…..The RCSC pays Nu 10,000 to every civil servant on the birth of a child under the Civil Servant’s Welfare Scheme.
By Sonam Deki
On November 11, 2022, Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) introduced a new entitlement under the Civil Servant’s Welfare Scheme (CSWS) that provides Nu. 10,000 to every civil servant on birth of a child. As of today, 57 member parents have benefited from CSWS since it was introduced, according to Kuenzang Choden, Royal Civil Service Commission’s Human Resource Officer.
This was decided during its 160th Commission meeting held on November 9. The scheme came into effect on November 11 coinciding with the birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. It was an effort to explore avenues to introduce additional welfare benefits to cater to the emerging needs of the civil servants under the CSWS.
Human Resource Officer further added “Childbirth benefit is extended to both male and female CSWS members. The admissible benefit is not based on contribution. The payout of Nu. 10,000 is payable to either spouse per incidence of birth. The CSWS will continuously explore and extend additional benefits under the scheme depending upon the sustainability of the fund. This scheme already covers incidence of death of the member and dependents, and health referral for the members. It also provides lifetime coverage for members in terms of semso payout”.
According to some of the civil servants, the RCSC’s decision to provide Nu.10,000 for a civil servants birthing under the CSWS program is a commendable gesture however, many civil servants believe that the initiatives are not good enough considering inflation and others even suggested that this amount to be lumped in the salaries. The sum, in my opinion, is insufficient to motivate us to work harder in government offices or to arrange better family lives, as stated by a few civil servants.
Kezang Wangmo (name changed) remarked, “Given that not all civil servants would benefit from this scheme since they are not blessed with child, I believe a wage hike would be a preferable option. It’s advantageous since it gives the mother and child some financial assistance”
CSWS was launched on December 17, 2014 by RCSC with the aims to provide financial support to civil servants; an initiative to care for civil servants both during their employment and when they retire; and foster a feeling of purpose, dedication, and emphasis on one’s responsibilities.
As per the Annual Report (July 2021 – June 2022), the Royal Civil Service, “The CSWS fund corpus is currently valued at Nu. 184.200 million as of June 30, 2022. 508 claims were paid out of total Nu.19,495 throughout the reporting period. Starting November 11, 2021, the RCSC provided a lump sum of Nu. 20,000 to members referred outside Bhutan for medical treatment”. The CSWS scheme is founded on the principle of self-help, compassion, altruism etc. It is a scheme “of’ by’ and for’ civil servants whereby members and their dependents receive financial relief in times of need.
CSWS scheme coverage is not limited to only Childbirth. It covers Medical Referral benefits and condolences (Semso) benefits in times of death of a member and its dependents. The CSWS also provides lifetime coverage for members in terms of semso payout and recently introduced entitlement of Nu.10,000 to every civil servant on the birth of a child.