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Mix feelings on Pay Structure Reform Bill

…๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐’๐’†๐’˜ ๐’‘๐’‚๐’š ๐’”๐’•๐’“๐’–๐’„๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’† ๐’“๐’†๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’Ž ๐’„๐’‚๐’Ž๐’† ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ 5% ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’”๐’Š๐’„ ๐’‘๐’‚๐’š ๐’‰๐’Š๐’Œ๐’†, ๐’‚๐’๐’๐’๐’˜๐’‚๐’๐’„๐’†๐’” ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’ƒ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’‚๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’”๐’†๐’… ๐’Š๐’๐’„๐’†๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’—๐’† ๐’‰๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“, ๐’„๐’Š๐’—๐’Š๐’ ๐’”๐’†๐’“๐’—๐’‚๐’๐’•๐’” ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’‰๐’‚๐’‘๐’‘๐’š

Sangay Dorji

The Pay Structure Reform bill ensued with heated deliberation in the houses of parliament and the National Council endorsed the bill on December 1. However, civil servants are not happy with discontinuation of vehicle quota.
The vehicle quota, though, is the most undesirable change, all public employees will no longer be eligible for the Nu 1.5 million and Nu 0.25 million monetized amounts or the automobile import quota, respectively.

The removal of the vehicle quota has upset civil servants. Dechen, government employee said, โ€œI have to admit that I lost motivation. The car quota served as our only source of motivation, therefore without it, I believe civil service attrition will increase. โ€œ

Another added, โ€œRemoval of vehicle quota means that a lot of civil servants will be settling for small cars. They will not be able to afford bigger cars such as Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV).โ€

A recent graduate who sat for the civil service exams shared that he feels a bit disappointed and demotivated due to the discontinuation as such incentives attracted and motivated the civil servants to perform better.

Nonetheless, there are people who find the discontinuation of the vehicle quota to be a timely decision.

Dorji, a graduate who is waiting for his civil service exams result stated that this was a timely decision. โ€œAccording to experts from Singapore, I believe, say that our current incentive system is irrelevant and not beneficial for an economy like ours. We have fairly good transportation system and I feel that almost every household can afford a family car. If you want to buy SUVs, we can use the public transport until we can afford one.โ€

โ€œIโ€™m hoping that doing away with unnecessary incentives and quotas can help the economy to become a robust one,โ€ he added.

Raksha shares her opinion about the illegal practices of selling the quota stating it as cheating the country. โ€œMost civil servants have sold their vehicle quotas to people and this practice is actually exploiting the government and the country. They have pledged to serve the nation yet they exploit the country and government for their personal gains. So, I find it a good decision to discontinue the vehicle quota.โ€

Civil servants also started pouring their feelings on how the pay reform could demotivate them. โ€œIf we calculate the benefits we got till now and the benefits of the pay reform, the revision is going downhill. Only leave travel concession (LTC) and some other allowances are added but we are losing our vehicle quota and other allowances,โ€ shared Ganga, a civil servant on social media platform.

People have been open about discussing their thoughts on the salary increase in light of the marketโ€™s high levels of inflation and the consumer price index. โ€œLow income group should have the increase, to meet the marketโ€™s price and inflation,โ€ Ganga added.

โ€œIn an average Bhutanese civil servants earn less than Nu.20,000 net pay a month. A maximum daily expense that an individual can make is Nu. 600. This shows that more than 60% of Bhutanese Civil servants are living below their means,โ€ said Pema Dorji(name changed), a civil servant.

For those public servants who are eligible for the vehicle import quota will be retained as per eligibility until the effective date of the Act-July 1, 2023.

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