This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Anticipation rises as Parliament discusses Sixth Pay Commission Report 

Rinzin Wangchuk

The much-awaited Pay Revision Bill of Bhutan 2023 will take center stage during the ninth session of the Third Parliament, fueling excitement and high expectations among the public and civil servants alike.

The National Assembly (NA) is set to deliberate on the report of the 6th Pay Commission later today, treating it as a money Bill following the introduction and adoption of the Annual Budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024. The Finance Minister will also present a report on the previous year’s budget and the Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill.

The country finds itself revising public servant salaries for the second time within six months, an unprecedented occurrence even before the first revision has been implemented. In November last year, Parliament endorsed the Pay Structure Reform Bill based on the recommendations of the fifth pay commission, ensuring a minimum five percent pay hike for civil and public servants.

Originally planned for implementation in July of this year, the new revision was intended to apply to general civil servants and other public servants. However, the recently elected National Council members have already received their revised salaries, while the salaries of National Assembly members were to be adjusted once the new government was formed.

The previous pay revision sparked debate among public servants, with some expressing dissatisfaction over the perceived inadequacy of the increase to keep up with inflation. This led to the formation of the Sixth Pay Commission in February of this year.

Commencement of the Ninth Session

The ninth session of Parliament commenced yesterday with an opening ceremony graced by His Majesty The King, attended by members of the Royal Family, senior government officials, foreign diplomats, and students from various institutions.

The ceremony also saw the presence of a delegation from the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, led by Speaker Michelle Roberts.

In his inaugural address on behalf of the Parliament, Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel expressed profound gratitude to His Majesty for unwavering commitment and tireless efforts in pursuing national prosperity and happiness. His Majesty’s extensive visits to all dzongkhags, granting audiences to civil servants, and interaction with de-suups involved in the Gyalsung Project have been a boundless source of inspiration to work harder, he said.

The Speaker also extended thanks to His Majesty for the substantive bilateral discussions held during the Royal visit to India in April, particularly in the fields of power and export. Additionally, gratitude was expressed to His Majesty and Her Majesty the Queen for their attendance at the Coronation ceremony of the King and Queen of the United Kingdom, which further strengthened ties between the two countries. 

Appreciation was also conveyed to His Holiness the Je Khenpo and the monastic body for their unwavering rituals conducted for the wellbeing of the country.

During the session, the National Assembly will deliberate on several important matters, including the agreement on traffic-in-transit movement between Bangladesh and Bhutan, the BIMSTEC Charter, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the National Digital Identity Bill 2023. The government will also introduce a declaration for a new biological corridor to connect Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary and Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary.

In the Joint Sitting of Parliament, members will deliberate the Forest and Nature Conservation Bill of Bhutan, Civil Liability Bill of Bhutan, and the Public Accounts Committee’s Review Report.

The newly elected members of the National Council held their inaugural ceremony on the first day of the session.

The summer session is set to continue for a month and will conclude on July 7, with the hope of addressing crucial matters and shaping the nation’s future through fruitful discussions and deliberations.