NA to discuss Pay Revision Act beyond MPs’ entitlements
Time:2024-06-07 13:07


Following media reports that the National Assembly (NA) MPs are proposing more entitlements for themselves, the deputy speaker of the NA, Sangay Khandu, clarified that the upcoming parliamentary session will discuss all inconsistencies related to the implementation of the Pay Reform Act 2022 in general, not entitlements and benefits for parliamentarians exclusively.

In particular, the news of parliamentarians pushing for a designated duty vehicle has sparked heated discussions on social media, with people accusing MPs of being self-centred and proposing another costly entitlement even as the country’s debt is on the rise.   

The deputy speaker said the parliament will deliberate on the inconsistencies in the act that have affected civil servants. He added that although the parliament endorsed the pay revision for implementation, there are irregularities and confusion in its interpretation.

Sangay Khandu acknowledged the public’s concerns, saying that when so many rural communities struggle to get basic facilities, it sounds unfair for MPs, who have not yet started the parliament, to ask for benefits and entitlements.

He explained that, anyway, MPs do not have the power to give themselves benefits, as people allege, unless the government presents the matter as a money bill to the parliament for deliberation.

He said the discussion is not about a raise or making changes but will cover everyone affected by the act, not specifically the MPs.

Sangay Khandu said that the legislative committee is reviewing the act in consultation with the government. The discussion will be based on the review of the implementation of the act and its challenges.

The goal of the bill, Sangay Khandu said, is not for self-benefit of the MPs but to create uniformity in the act for wider understanding and implementation. The discussion also includes issues within the bill, such as annual leave and travel allowances that have created inconveniences for civil servants. 

The deputy speaker said that the parliament has the responsibility to support civil servants and enable them to serve the country well.

He cited the discontinuation of communication allowances for civil servants as an example of inconvenience. This issue is important because almost all office work is today done using ICT technology, which requires personal devices.

Such changes, he said, have affected low-rung civil servants, as it is not fair for them to use their money for official work. 

Another example he cited is civil servants accompanying higher officials on tours, who are paid only 20 percent of the daily subsistence allowance.

The chairperson of the legislative committee of the NA, MP Kuenga from Nyishog-Saephu constituency in Wangdue, said that the parliament has the responsibility to review and fill the existing gaps and misunderstandings in the revision while implementing the act.

He added that this particular agenda has not gone down well with the public since the focus is on MPs’ benefits and entitlements.


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