Representatives of the 194 gaydrungs across the country submitted two pleas to the Prime Minister, and the Opposition Leader, they are seeking for term extension and compensations for the retrenchment.
According to the representatives of the gaydrungs, they say that either of the pleas, extension will help them to chart their future properly while compensation will help them to transition from the present job to another one.
They say that the entrenchment will cause a lot of discomfort. “We have so many financial obligations, and it will be hard to lead a normal life,” they said.
However, the representatives told Bhutan TODAY that their focus is on term extension, this is our main priority.
They said that the three-year extension in 2019 for gaydrungs was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that they couldn’t do anything concrete for themselves, and another extension in line to the present local government’s tenure or by two to three year would immensely help them. “As everything is smooth now without any disruptions by the outbreak, we think we can plan properly now,” said a representative of the gaydrung, Kinley Namgay.
He said that they have asked for a compensation of about one to two years basic salary. They say with this amount, they can transition to other jobs such as farming or business.
The Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering had told them the government would offer them licenses to operate various licenses. However, to this, they said that it would be hard for them with just the licenses with no prior experience, and immediate financial benefits.
The representatives told Bhutan TODAY that the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering has told them that the government would look into the matter and try to compensate them with a salary of about five to six months. Additionally, the Prime Minister also told them that the eligibility for compensation would have to be discussed with relevant agencies.
However, they told that the Prime Minister had expressed to them that there are no compensation provisions stressing that compensations from the government are only given on certain cases, and that gaydrungs are not eligible for it.
In 2019, a study by the Department of Local Government (DLG) on the relevance of gaydrung in gewog administrations recommended retaining and regularising the post of gaydrung. According to the report, 93 percent of the respondendents agreed that gaydrungs are critical for public service delivery, and the report also states that gaydrungs are synonymous to public service delivery.
Additionally, the first session of third parliament passed a motion to retain the post of gaydrung in the gewog administration considering their important role and responsibilities and the benefits of their services provided to the people. Further, the 22nd dzongdags conference and 9th gups conference also acknowledged the critical role of gaydrung in the functioning of gewog administration.
Meanwhile, the opposition leader, Dorji Wangdi said that the party is working upon recommendations for the pleas submitted to them by the 11 representatives of the gaydrungs.