Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said discussions are on-going with the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) to extend the contract period of those on regular contract by two to three years.

During the National Assembly’s question hour session on June 7, Jomotsangkha Martshala’s MP, Norbu Wangzom asked the Prime Minister on the government’s initiatives to regularise civil servants on contract. She also sought an update on the government’s activities on regularisation of contract teachers as announced by the education minister in the first session.

Lyonchhen said that according to the pay commission report, regular contract employees are eligible for pay, house rent, and benefits pegged to civil servants’ position levels, and an additional 30 percent contract allowance but not Provident Fund and pension benefits.

“RCSC has its own set of rules to follow. The government does not have the authority to change Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations (BCSR), but we would ensure that the contract employees be entitled to benefits like that of the civil servants,” he said.

Government agencies are allowed to recruit employees on contract against the approved staff strength, upon approval of RCSC and as per BCSR.

Lyonchhen pointed out that the contract employees would have access to loans and benefits according to their pay scale. “Temporary contract loans are in place.”

However, for some contract employees, the period would depend on the organisation they work for. The contractual appointments are based on need, expertise, duration of project, and availability of human resources in the market.

The formation of pay commission is one of the government’s achievements, Lyonchhen said and that the pay raise is higher for the Elementary Service Personnel (ESP), General Support Personnel (GSP), and Operational (O) levels, which would benefit the employees.

“Once the pay commission is approved by the Parliament, increased pay would make our employees self sufficient and narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.”

Choki Wangmo