Answering Sonam

Equity

Sonam’s question generated a good deal of discussions. And, most of you argued that we, elected officials – ministers and MPs alike – should not wear our kabneys and patangs after completing our terms in office.

Similarly, almost all of you who took the poll that asked, “Should elected MPs and ministers continue to wear their “kabneys” after their terms in office?” voted against the idea. A resounding 220 of you said “NO”; only 18 said “YES”.

I agree with the majority. But should we, in fact, take it still further? Should we do away with colour-coded kabneys and patangs completely for our elected officials, even while they are serving their terms in office?

I think so.

The kabney and patang denote rank – they represent power and authority. And they are incongruous in a democracy, a system of government that is based on the important idea that all people are equal. We cannot be true to the principles of democracy and ideals of our Constitution, if the very people that we elect continue to engage in visual displays of power and privilege.

Some of you will argue that we should continue using the kabney and patang as they are part and parcel of our rich cultural heritage. I agree. And, in keeping with our culture and traditions, only His Majesty the King should award such decorations; they shouldn’t be seen as automatic perks for elected MPs and ministers.

 

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  1. Honorable OL,
    Let us not waste our time over something that is NOT debatable.

    PARLIAMENTARY ENTITLEMENTS ACT
    KINGDOM OF BHUTAN,
    2008
    CHAPTER 4: KABNEY
    Section 26:The members of Parliament, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council shall not wear the official kabney once they cease to be a member of Parliament.

    This article remains in effect if the DPT MPs did not ammend the article behind closed doors of previous NA sessions, without live telecast. Or,they did it already,OL?

  2. phuntsho says:

    that’s where we went fundamentally wrong. change in the system of governance from Monarchy to democracy should have meant equality starting from what people don themselves with, notwithstanding one’s authority.

    but it has simply increased the number of people donning symbols and dresses of power and authority than under the Monarchy.

    and this has followed all the way to dzongdags and MPs silently fighting for who should sit in the front row at the official ceremonies.

    getting to don different kapney and patangs have also led to our elected MPs proclaim themselves Dashos, implicitly distancing and elevating themselves above the masses who elected them.

    everyone of us in Bhutan got it fundamentally wrong!

  3. Tangba

    i don’t know from where you got that section in parliamentary entitlement act 2008…i downloaded from NA website and checked that chapter/section and couldn’t see it….chapter 4 is actually “retirement benefits”…..Now whether that is removed in close door or open door is a question probably honorable OL will be able to tell us since this act was passed in 2008.

  4. Even if we do away with Kabney and Patang, ministers will be treated as Ministers,Dzongdas will still be Dzongdas and I think people will keep them in the front rows because of their official position and I think there is nothing wrong in it. So therefore there will still be a RANK even without Kabney and Patang.

    People are all equal but we have different responsibilities and in accordance with the responsibilities we have certain Authority and ofcourse accountability. If Kabney and Patang created differentiation among people then it is us who are to be blamed, it’s our thinking, our attitude.
    If all people are equal then all civil servants are also equal and we serve the same Govt. and the Country, therefore why is that we are paid differently. So I think there is no harm in wearing Kabney and Patang during the term of their office.

    I agree with OL that MPs and the Ministers shouldn’t consider Kabney and Patang as automatic perks. We must follow the Constitution strictly. Everything is clear in the Constitution.

    WHETHER TO DO AWAY WITH COLOUR CODED KABNEYS AND PATANGS FOR ELECTED MPS fully depends on the honourable members of the parliament.

  5. Wise Old Man says:

    What makes us equal is only the BLOOD.Lets face it. There never was, is or will be equality among people.This is for the world. In democracy we elevate them(leaders).Good leader is the one who does not forget this and a bad leader likes to forget it the very next day after winning and will remember it six months before election.So Patng or no patang, kabney or no kabney someone with attitude and arrogance will remain the same(by the way we do see it in all walk of life even today)I really would like to see our former and present ministers(now elected ones) give up their kabney and come to white.BUT i feel this will be ammended soon, behind closed doors and without BBS.

  6. hey guys lets put an end to this argument… weather the Mps or the Minsters keep on wearing their Kapneys… lets keep it upto themselves because its up to them weather they have earned enough respect or not and since they themselves know better than all of us let them decide on their own.

  7. To Samdrups: Wow wow wow!!
    Now I think Honorable OL should do some explaning. What happened? Did they amend it and deleted the article? Behind closed doors? Let’s wait to hear from OL.

    • Dear Tangba; Dear Samdrups: Article 4 “Kabney” was removed from the Parliamentary Entitlements Act when the bill was discussed in the National Assembly. The Assembly was informed that a separate legislation on “kabney and patang” was being prepared. The National Council endorsed the Assembly’s proposal to remove the “Kabney” article. The discussions took place before the Assembly’s ban on live TV.

  8. Until we wait for our Honorable OL to explain what has actually happened, in the mean time, read the following and find out what articles they deleted and what articles they amended and enacted anew in the draft? And for whose benefit did they do that, you are the judge.
    ************************************************************
    4th April 2007.
    The Royal Government of Bhutan hereby, post the Draft Parliamentary Entitlements Act for the information of the general public. This Draft will be formally enacted by the new Parliament after the first general election in 2008.
    ———————————————————
    PARLIAMENTARY ENTITLEMENTS ACT OF THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN,2008
    PREAMBLE
    IN KEEPING with the Constitutional vision for an effective and responsive Parliament, to enable the members of Parliament to safeguard the interests of the nation and fulfill the aspirations of the people of Bhutan through service to the people with highest ethical standards to facilitate the members to perform their constitutional and legislative mandates with competence, integrity and fidelity;The Parliament of the Kingdom of Bhutan during its First Session do hereby enact the Parliamentary Entitlements Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan on this /// Day of the /// Month of the /// Year, corresponding to the /// Day /// of /// Month of the Year 2008.
    CHAPTER 1
    PRELIMINARY
    Title, Commencement and Extent
    1. This Act shall:
    (a) Be called the Parliamentary Entitlements Act of the Kingdom Bhutan, 2008;
    (b) Come into force on the /// Day of /// Month of /// Year of the Bhutanese Calendar corresponding to the /// Day of the /// Month of 2008; and
    (c) Extend to the whole of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
    Application
    2. This Act shall apply to all the members of Parliament but shall not apply to the members of the Lhengye Zhungtshog.
    Repeal
    3. This Act hereby repeals any provisions of any law, rules or regulations which are inconsistent with this Act.
    CHAPTER 2
    NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON PARLIAMENTARY ENTITLEMENTS
    4. There shall be a National Committee on Parliamentary Entitlements to advice the Pay Commission on the Parliamentary Entitlements.
    5. The National Committee shall consist of:
    (a) The Chairperson of the Pay Commission;
    (b) The Chairperson of the Royal Civil Service Commission;
    (c) One member nominated by the Speaker of the National Assembly;
    (d) One member nominated by the Chairperson of National Council;
    (e) One member nominated by the Opposition Leader; and
    (f) One member from the Ministry of Finance nominated by the Lhengye Zhungtshog as the Member Secretary.
    Rule Making Power
    6. The National Committee may make Rules, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters required or permitted by this Act or necessary to be prescribed for effective implementation of this Act.
    CHAPTER 3
    SALARY, ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS
    Variation in Salary, Allowances, Benefits and other Emoluments
    7. No law shall vary the scales and structure of salary, allowances, benefits and other emoluments for the services of the members of Parliament, unless the proposal is tabled by the Pay Commission.
    8. The salary of the members of Parliament shall not be reduced during one’s term of office.
    Salary
    9. A member of Parliament shall be entitled to receive adequate salary to:
    (a) Ensure independence;
    (b) Reduce dependency;
    (c) Prevent corruption;
    (d) Attract the best candidates with optimal professional qualifications; and
    (e) Provide financial security.
    10. The salary, allowances, benefits and other emoluments of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Chairperson of the National Council and the Leader of the Opposition Party shall be equivalent to that of a Cabinet Minister.
    11. The salary of the members of Parliament shall be Ngultrum 30,000 per month.
    Travel
    12. A member of Parliament shall be entitled to actual lodging for one room and daily allowance of Ngultrum 500 or a lump sum amount of Ngultrum 1,000 per day.
    13. Travel shall be undertaken by a member of Parliament:
    (a) To his constituency to carry out any official assignment;
    (b) For the Parliamentary sessions in Thimphu;
    (c) For the Committee meetings of Parliament, if he is a member of any Committee; and
    (d) To carry out any assignment relating to Parliament approved by the Speaker or the Chairperson of the respective House.
    14. Travel shall be undertaken after necessary approval from:
    (a) The Speaker in case of members of the National Assembly; and
    (b) The Chairperson in case of members of the National Council.
    15. When a member of Parliament performs a journey outside the country in the discharge of his duties, he shall be entitled to traveling and other allowances in accordance with the applicable Rules.
    16. The members of Parliament shall be entitled to the use of executive lounges while traveling in and out of the country.
    Sitting Fees or Attendance Allowance
    17. Members of Parliament shall be entitled to sitting fees which shall be Ngultrum 800 per day.
    Residence
    18. A member of Parliament shall be paid thirty percent of his pay as house rent allowance during his term of Office.
    19. In the case of the member’s death during his term of office, his family members shall be entitled to retain the residence for the maximum period of three months on the same term as applicable to the member when he was alive.
    Transport
    20. Every member of Parliament shall be provided with a car or shall be given mileage allowance according to the rate fixed by applicable Rules. The National Committee shall decide the amount and type of conveyance to be purchased by the members of Parliament for their term.
    Telephone
    21. The Government shall install one telephone in the residence of each member in accordance with the applicable Rules.
    Parliamentary Entitlements Act as on 4th April 2007 4 of 6
    Returning of Facilities
    22. A member of Parliament shall return or convey the facilities provided under this Act to his successor, who is elected to fill the seat of the constituency, which the out-going member has vacated.
    Medical Facilities
    23. The Government shall provide medical facilities to the members of Parliament in accordance with the applicable Rules.
    Stationary and Postage
    24. The Government shall provide free stationery and free postal services for the better and efficient services of the members of Parliament in accordance with the applicable Rules.
    CHAPTER 4
    KABNEY
    25. The members of Parliament shall wear blue kabneys with no frills and without patang except for the five eminent persons nominated by His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo to the National Council, who shall wear the same kabney that was awarded before becoming the member of the National Council. However, the eminent person shall also wear the blue kabney, if he has not been awarded a kabney before being appointed as member of the National Council.
    26. The members of Parliament, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council shall not wear the official kabney once they cease to be a member of Parliament.
    CHAPTER 5
    RESIGNATION AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS
    Resignation
    27. A member of Parliament may, on his own volition, resign after giving notice of such resignation at least thirty days in advance.
    Authority to Accept Resignation
    28. The power to accept a resignation submitted by a member of Parliament shall be vested with the Speaker of the National Assembly or Chairperson of the National Council.
    29. The accepting Authority shall ensure that the resigning member of Parliament have complied with the conditions set forth in this Act.
    Retirement Benefits
    30. Every member of Parliament shall be entitled to pension and provident fund benefits in accordance with the Pension and Provident Fund laws and rules.
    31. The pension scheme for the members of Parliament shall be proportionate to the contribution made from the member’s monthly salary.
    Eligibility Criteria for Gratuity
    32. A member of Parliament upon retirement shall be entitled to such amount of gratuity as may be prescribed by applicable Rules.
    33. The respective Secretariat of each Houses of Parliament shall process any document relating to retirement benefits, provided there is no adverse report against the member of Parliament.
    Verification
    34. A member of Parliament claiming gratuity under this Act shall be verified from the personal file of the concerned member of Parliament and certified by the designated authority in the prescribed form.
    Amount of Gratuity
    35. The amount of gratuity payable under this Act shall be computed in accordance with the applicable formula.
    Recovery of Losses to Public Funds
    36. The amount found due from a member of Parliament, if any, at the time of his retirement or demise and not recoverable otherwise, shall be recovered from the gratuity payable to him or from the member’s contribution to the provident fund in consultation with the National Pension and Provident Fund.
    Sanctioning Authority for Gratuity
    37. The gratuity shall be sanctioned to a member of Parliament by the respective Secretary Generals of the Houses of Parliament according to the applicable Rules.
    Journey on Retirement
    38. A member of Parliament, who leaves office for any reason other than termination shall be entitled to a retirement benefit of an amount equivalent to one month’s last pay of the member of Parliament.
    Travel on Retirement
    39. A member of Parliament on retirement shall be entitled to travel benefits equivalent to his one-month pay and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed in the applicable Rules.
    Carriage Charge of Personal Effects
    40. A member of Parliament, who leaves office for reasons other than termination, shall be entitled to receive carriage charge of personal effects as prescribed in the applicable Rules.
    41. Family members of expired member of Parliament shall be entitled to traveling allowance in accordance with applicable rules for proceeding to their home town from Thimphu.
    Incidence and Payment of Retirement Benefits
    42. A member of Parliament shall claim gratuity and such other terminal benefits from Parliament from which his last salary was received.
    Nominees
    43. A member of Parliament shall submit to the Secretariat of the respective Houses of Parliament, one or more persons as nominees, who have the right to receive retirement benefits in the event of his demise.
    44. A member of Parliament who desires to nominate more than one person under this Act shall specify the percentage payable to each nominee.
    45. Every nomination made and every notice of cancellation by the member of Parliament shall, to the extent it is valid, take effect on the date on which it is received by the Secretariat of the respective Houses.
    46. Nominees of expired member of Parliament shall be entitled to gratuity and other retirement benefits in accordance with this Act.
    47. If there are no nominees of expired member of Parliament, the gratuity and other retirement benefits shall be disposed off in accordance with the law.
    48. A member of Parliament shall not be entitled to gratuity and other retirement benefits, if the member:
    (a) Is terminated;
    (b) Willfully remains outside the country with the knowledge of indictment or charges, as the case may be; or
    (c) Fails to appear, testify or produce any document relating to their service as member of Parliament, before an appointed authority or Parliament without any reasonable justification.
    49. The personnel file and record of member of Parliament who are terminated, suspended or have resigned shall be maintained with the Secretariat of the respective Houses for record.
    CHAPTER 6
    Miscellaneous
    Amendment
    50. The amendment of this Act by way of addition, variation or repeal shall be effected only by Parliament, by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the total members, provided that the amendment does not undermine the functions and effectiveness of Parliament.
    Authoritative Text
    51. The Dzongkha text shall be the authoritative text, if there exists any difference in meaning between the Dzongkha and the English text of this Act.
    ****************************************************************
    THE PARLIAMENTARY ENTITLEMENTS RULES & REGULATIONS, 2009
    Preamble
    WHERE AS, in keeping with the provisions of the Parliamentary Entitlements Act of
    the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008, hereinafter referred to as Act;
    The National Committee on Parliamentary Entitlements, hereafter referred to as
    Committee, as empowered under Sections 4 and 6 of the Act, hereby, promulgate the
    Parliamentary Entitlements Rules and Regulations, 2009.
    Chapter 1. Preliminary
    1.1 Short Title
    These rules shall be known as the Parliamentary Entitlements Rules and Regulation,
    2009.
    1.2 Extent and Commencement
    1.2.1 These rules shall extend to the Members of Parliament, hereafter referred to as Member, but shall not extend to the Speaker of the National Assembly,
    Chairperson of the National Council and the Leader of the Opposition, whose
    entitlements are at par with the members of the Lhengye Zhungtshog.
    1.2.2 These rules shall come into force with effect from the date announced through
    Executive Order of the Speaker of the National Assembly.
    1.2.3 All existing rules, regulations and circulars in force concerning the entitlements
    of the Member, shall be deemed to have been superseded from the effective date
    of these revised rules.
    Chapter 2. Salary
    2.1 Salary of a Member
    The monthly Basic Salary of a Member shall be fixed at the existing Pay Scale in the
    beginning of one’s five-year term, and shall remain in force till revised.
    2.2 Salary of Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairperson
    The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the National
    Council shall be entitled to monthly Basic Salaries at the existing Pay Scale in the
    beginning of one’s five-year term. Such Pay Scale shall be computed at the rate of 10%
    higher than the other Members.
    2.3 Annual Increment
    A Member shall be entitled to an annual increment as may be fixed by the National
    Committee on Parliamentary Entitlements from time to time.
    Chapter 3. Allowances
    3.1 House Rent Allowance
    A Member shall receive 30% of the Basic Pay as House Rent Allowance as approved by
    the Parliament from time to time.
    3.2 Vehicle Maintenance Allowance
    A Member shall be entitled to monthly allowance towards maintenance of one’s duty
    vehicle at the rate approved by the Parliament from time to time.
    3.3 Driver Allowance
    A Member shall be entitled to monthly allowance for employment of a personal driver
    at the rate approved by the Parliament from time to time.
    3.4 Telephone
    A Member, during a term of office, shall be entitled to a Mobile Phone, and a monthly
    Mobile Phone Voucher allowance at the rate approved by the Parliament from time to
    time.
    3.5 Discretionary Allowance
    A Member shall be entitled to an annual discretionary allowance at the rate approved
    by the Parliament from time to time.
    Chapter 4. Transport
    4.1 Purchase of vehicle
    4.1.1 A Member shall be entitled to a one-time lump sum amount at the rate
    approved by the Parliament towards purchasing one’s own duty vehicle, free of
    customs duty, at the beginning of one’s five-year term.
    4.1.2 In the event a member retires, resigns or is terminated from the office before the
    completion of one’s five-year term, he/she shall reimburse on pro rata basis for
    the remaining term. This shall not apply in the event the member is deceased or
    becomes physically handicapped or mentally unsound to discharge one’s duty
    for the remainder of the term.
    4.1.3 In the event of a new Member being elected, through bye-election, for the
    remainder of the term, he/she shall be entitled to a one-time lump sum amount
    computed on pro rata basis for the remainder term in completed months.
    4.2 Expenses for carriage and personal effects while joining
    A Member shall be entitled to the following benefits for the journey from one’s
    Gewog/station to Thimphu:
    a. Transport charge of personal effects at the rate approved by the Parliament;
    b. Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) at the rate approved by the Parliament;
    c. Travel Allowance (TA) or mileage for one way and the distance by the most
    direct route, if personal vehicle is used for traveling. In order to claim mileage, a
    Member shall submit a copy of the Vehicle Ownership document that he/she or
    his/her spouse owns a vehicle.
    4.3 Expenses for journey on retirement
    A Member, who leaves office upon completion of one’s term, shall be entitled to the
    following benefits:
    a. Transport charge of personal effects at the rate approved by the Parliament; and
    b. Travel expenses of an amount equivalent to one’s pay of the last month.
    Chapter 5. Travel
    5.1 Purpose of Travel
    Travel shall be undertaken by a Member, after necessary approval from the
    Chairperson in case of members of the National Council and the Speaker in case of
    members of the National Assembly:
    a. To one’s constituency to carry out any official assignment;
    b. For the Parliamentary Committee meetings within the country, if one is a
    member thereof;
    c. For study tour, seminar, symposium, conference, institutional visit, meeting,
    parliamentary delegation and programme both within and outside the country;
    and
    d. To carry out any assignment relating to Parliament.
    5.2 Travel itinerary and convenience
    5.2.1 The travel shall be planned for a specific period and the programme shall be
    submitted to the Chairperson or the Speaker, as the case may be, while seeking
    approval.
    5.2.2 Should a Member be unable to follow the approved tour programme due to
    unavoidable reasons, approval should be sought from the authority concerned
    for making changes in the programme immediately.
    5.2.3 Travel shall be arranged by the respective Secretariats of the two Houses of
    Parliament with concerned agencies.
    5.4 Tour Report
    It is mandatory for a Member to submit the tour report after his/her return from the
    tour to the duty station.
    Chapter 6. Travel expenses allowance
    6.1 Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA)
    6.1.1 A Member shall be entitled to Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) at the rate
    approved by the Parliament for official travels both in-country and abroad.
    6.1.2 A Member traveling to a location farther than ten (10) kilometers from the duty
    station for official purposes shall be eligible for DSA provided his/her absence
    from the duty station exceeds eight (8) hours.
    6.1.3 The day of duty shall be calculated from the time of commencement of the
    journey from the duty station and the days shall be reckoned on the basis of
    twenty (24) hours of absence from the duty station for the purpose of
    calculating DSA.
    6.1.4 Fifty percent (50%) of DSA shall be paid for such official travel which is more
    than eight (8) hours but less than twelve (12) hours and full DSA if it is twelve
    (12) hours or more.
    6.1.5 A Member required to halt in transit for 8 hours or more for the next flight while
    on travel outside the country shall be paid DSA.
    6.1.6 DSA shall be paid for the actual period of halts required for processing visa.
    6.1.7 A Member shall be paid DSA at the rate approved by the Parliament for travels
    connected with study tour, training, seminar, symposium, attachment,
    conference, institutional visit, meeting and workshop funded under the
    projects.
    6.1.8 DSA or related expense shall not be paid during a travel abroad for the period
    when the DSA and other expenses are paid by the donors. However, when the
    donor had provided only the basic hospitality, i.e., food and lodge only, the
    Member shall be paid 30% DSA.
    6.2. Other expenses
    6.2.1 Notwithstanding the section 6.1.8 above, a Member shall be reimbursed the
    visa fee and airport tax on production of original receipts/documents.
    6.2.2 When the travel expenses are borne by an external Agency, the mode and class
    of travel shall be determined by the Agency concerned.
    6.2.3 While on tour in areas where there is no road communication or where vehicles
    do not ply, a Member shall be entitled to claim charges of ponies/mules and
    porter charges at the rates approved by the Parliament.
    6.2.4 A Member who is the head of the delegation on official travel abroad shall be entitled to claim other incidental expenses towards buying of official gift(s)
    and/or offering of tips, at the rate applicable to cabinet minister heading the
    delegation.
    Chapter 7. Leave
    7.1 Type of leave
    A Member shall be entitled to the following categories of leave, upon approval from the
    Chairperson in case of the members of National Council and the Speaker in case of the members of the National Assembly:
    a. Casual Leave;
    b. Earned Leave;
    c. Maternity Leave:
    d. Paternity Leave; and
    e. Medical Leave.
    7.2 Casual Leave
    Casual Leave shall be:
    7.2.1 Granted to a Member for a short period on account of illness or urgent personal affairs and a Member on Casual Leave shall be considered on duty for all
    purposes;
    7.2.2 Admissible for a maximum of ten (10) working days during a calendar year;
    7.2.3 Treated as leave and debited to the Casual Leave account when availed by a
    Member;
    7.2.4 Allowed to be availed by prefixing, sandwiching and suffixing Government
    holidays including weekly off-days viz. Saturdays and Sundays;
    7.2.5 Granted even for half-a-day;
    7.2.6 Allowed to be availed by a Member while on tour but Daily Subsistence
    Allowance shall not be admissible for the days of Casual Leave;
    7.2.7 Allowed to be availed by a new Member assuming office in the course of a
    calendar year, proportionately calculated on a monthly basis; and
    7.2.8 Allowed to be added to the Earned Leave credit if unused at the end of the year.
    7.3 Earned Leave
    7.3.1 A Member shall earn leave with gross pay at the rate of 2.5 (two and half) days
    for every completed month of service.
    7.3.2 Earned leave shall be accumulated only to a maximum period of sixty (60) days.
    7.3.3 Government holidays and weekly off days (Saturdays and Sundays) within the
    period of the earned leave sanctioned shall not be counted as earned leave.
    7.3.4 A Member who has at least thirty (30) days earned leave at credit shall be
    permitted to en-cash thirty (30) days of earned leave, which shall be equal to
    one month’s basic pay of the Member as on the date of encashment.
    7.3.5 Thirty days earned leave shall be debited to the earned leave account of the
    Member concerned on the date of such encashment.
    7.3.6 Only one such encashment of earned leave is allowed during a financial year.
    7.3.7 Notwithstanding the provisions of Sub-Sections 7.3.4 and 7.3.6 above, a
    Member vacating office before completion of one’s term for any reason, or on
    completion of the term, shall be permitted to en-cash the total accumulated
    earned leave in one’s leave account, at the rate of full basic pay for 30 days
    earned leave.
    7.4. Maternity Leave
    7.4.1 A Member shall be entitled to full gross remuneration for a total period of three months from the date it commences. The Maternity Leave shall, at the latest,
    commence from the date of delivery.
    7.4.2 In addition to the leave admissible under Section 7.4.1, a Member shall be
    entitled to Maternity Leave with full gross pay during miscarriage for a maximum period of one month on production of a medical certificate.
    7.4.3 Maternity Leave may be combined with any other form of leave, except that the
    leave should commence from the date of delivery.
    7.4.4 Government holidays shall be prefixed or suffixed, but holidays intervening the
    maternity leave shall be counted as leave.
    7.4.5 Maternity Leave shall be granted on production of medical certificate.
    7.5. Paternity Leave
    7.5.1 A Member shall be granted Paternity Leave of 14 working days.
    7.5.2 The Paternity Leave may be combined with other forms of leave and shall be
    prefixed or suffixed to public holidays.
    7.6 Medical Leave
    7.6.1 A Member, who has been certified as incapable of performing duties due to
    illness or injury shall be granted Medical Leave on production of a medical
    certificate issued by a medical authority in Bhutan.
    7.6.2 A Member on medical leave shall be paid gross pay to a maximum of six months
    and basic pay thereafter.
    7.6.3 A Member, who has been granted Medical Leave for more than three (3)
    months, on re-joining the duty, shall be required to produce a medical
    certificate of fitness to perform the duties.
    7.6.4 A Member shall be granted the Medical Leave for a maximum period of one (1)
    month to escort a direct dependant of the Member concerned.
    7.6.5 Records of leave accounts of Members shall be maintained by the respective
    Secretariats of the Houses of Parliament.
    Chapter 8. Medical Facilities
    a. A Member shall be entitled to medical facilities in accordance with the National
    Medical Treatment Rules.
    b. A Member proceeding on medical treatment or as an escort shall be paid DSA at
    the rates prescribed in the medical treatment rules of the Ministry of Health.
    Chapter 9. Retirement Benefits
    9.1 Eligibility
    A Member shall be entitled to retirement benefits on one’s resignation or on
    completion of a term. However, a member is not entitled to retirement benefits if
    he/she:
    a. is terminated;
    b. willfully remains outside the country with knowledge of indictment or charges,
    as the case may be; or
    c. fails to appear, testify or produce any document relating to their service as
    Member before an appointed authority without any reasonable justification.
    9.2 Provident Fund and Pension Benefit
    9.2.1 A Member who has served for a minimum of one year shall be entitled to the
    provident fund benefits, both the employee and employer contributions together
    with returns thereon as per the National Pension and Provident Fund Rules and
    Regulations.
    9.2.2 A member of parliament shall be entitled to avail pension scheme of National
    Pension and Provident Fund as per the National Pension and Provident Fund
    Rules and Regulations generally applicable to any salaried employee of any
    organization.
    9.2.3 The amount of monthly pension benefits and the Provident Fund payable to a
    retired Member under the National Pension Plan and the Provident Fund
    benefits shall be subject to the provisions in the National Pension and Provident
    Fund Plan Rules and Regulations.
    9.2.4 A copy of the order relieving a Member from Parliamentary Service shall be
    endorsed to the National Pension and Provident Fund, which shall form the
    basis for the National Pension and Provident Fund to sanction the pension and
    provident fund benefits.
    9.2.5 The amount accumulated to a Member under the National Pension and
    Provident Fund Plan shall not be liable to attachments, garnishments, levy or
    seizure, except to pay any dues of the Member payable to the National Pension
    and Provident Fund Plan or to the respective Secretariats of the Houses of the
    Parliament.
    9.3 Gratuity
    9.3.1 A Member, on completion of one’s term, shall be entitled to receive gratuity at the rate of one and half (1.5) times of last monthly salary for completed number
    of years on production of an audit clearance certificate. The gratuity shall be
    payable to the nominee(s) of a Member in case of his/her demise while serving
    the term.
    9.3.2 The gratuity claim of a Member shall be verified from the personal file of a
    concerned Member and certified by the designated authority in the prescribed
    form.
    9.3.3 The gratuity shall be sanctioned to a Member by the respective Secretary
    Generals of the Houses of the parliament in accordance with the applicable
    rules.
    9.4 Group Insurance-cum Saving Scheme (GIS)
    A Member, on completion of one’s term or on voluntary resignation before the
    completion of the term, shall be entitled to the benefit of GIS Scheme, which shall be
    managed by the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd.
    9.5 Recovery
    The amount due from a Member, if any, at the time of completion of term, resignation,
    retirement or demise and not recoverable other-wise, shall be recovered from the
    overall retirement benefit payable to the Member concerned, his nominees or other
    legal heir to whom such payments may be released.
    9.6 Returning of Facilities
    There shall be proper handing/taking over of the charge before a Member is relieved
    when his/her services are separated from the Parliament, irrespective of the reason for the separation, or convey the facilities provided, if any, to the respective Secretariat.
    9.7 Secretariat
    The Secretariat concerned shall take the responsibility to process on time the post
    retirement benefits of the Member upon completion of the term or when his/her
    services are separated from the parliament irrespective of the reason for separation.
    Chapter 10. Other Benefits
    10.1 Executive class and executive lounges
    A Member shall be entitled to travel by the executive class and entitled to use
    executive lounges in the airport while traveling by air.
    10.2 Leave Travel Concession
    A Member shall be entitled to annual Leave Travel Concession (LTC) amount at the
    rate recommended by the National Committee and approved jointly by the Speaker of
    the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council.
    10.3 Duty Free membership
    A Member shall be entitled to Duty Free membership for the Duty Free Shop, Ministry
    of Finance, at the rate recommended by the National Committee and approved jointly
    by the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council.
    10.4 For family of a deceased Member
    Family of a deceased Member shall be entitled to the following allowances:
    a. House rent allowance shall be paid for a period of three months from the date of
    his/her demise;
    b. Transport charge of personal effects at the rate approved by the Parliament;
    c. Travel expenses of an amount equivalent to the last month’s pay of the
    concerned Member.
    Chapter 11. Nomination
    a. A Member shall submit to the respective Secretariat concerned a nomination in
    the prescribed form conferring on one or more persons the right to receive the
    retirement benefits that may be due to him/her in the event of his/her demise.
    b. A Member who desires to nominate more than one person under Sub-section (a)
    above, shall specify the amount payable to each of the nominees.
    c. A Member may, at any time, cancel a nomination and submit a fresh one in its
    place.
    d. A Member may state in a nomination that in the event of predecease of the
    nominee, the right conferred upon the nominee shall automatically change to
    another person or persons, as may be specified in the nomination.
    e. A Member not having a family at the time of nomination shall file a fresh nomination on acquiring a family and if one fails to comply with this requirement, the benefits shall be paid to the nominees nominated earlier or disbursed in accordance with the law of inheritance, as the case may be.
    f. Every nomination made and every notice of cancellation by a Member shall, to
    the extent it is valid, take effect on the date on which it is received by the
    Secretariat concerned.
    g. The personal file and service record of a Member who had completed one’s term
    or whose services are separated from the Parliament, irrespective of the reason
    for the separation, shall be retained by the respective Secretariat.
    Chapter 12. Miscellaneous
    12.1 Supplementary Order
    The Speaker of the National Assembly shall issue Executive Orders consistent with
    these rules as may be necessary from time to time upon the recommendation of the
    National Committee on Parliamentary Entitlements.
    12.2 Authority for Amendment and Interpretation
    Upon submission from the National Committee on Parliamentary Entitlements for
    amendment of any provision of these rules and/or interpretation thereof, the authority
    for amendment and interpretation of any provision under these rules shall vest with
    the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council and
    their interpretation shall be final and binding.
    12.3 Authoritative Text
    The Dzongkha text shall be the authoritative text in the event of any difference in the
    meaning between the Dzongkha and the English texts of these rules and regulations.
    *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
    WHERE IS “KABNEY” ARTICLE GONE????

  9. since the kabney portion has been deliberately kept silent. Dept of culture has to now propose for a Kabney Act 2010

  10. This is a serious issue. Waiting for the OL to explain how this happened.

  11. yeswecan says:

    It is quite amazing that things change so fast in Bhutan, especially in last 2 years. Even though I am not an expert in any field yet I can feel and sense lots of changes taking place in a short time. As a student, seeing such changes inspires me to be more active and contribute to growth of our nation. Change has arrived in Bhutan; “a new order of world” is in town and it came from top to everyone’s surprise, unlike in rest of the world.
    Well such changes seems new to every Bhutanese, the world outside; especially the “western world” has already experienced it few decades ago, so we have lots of examples and references, equally bad and good that we can choose from and follow it wisely still preserving our rich cultural and heritage in the pursuit of GNH. But to be able to embrace such changes positively, I feel that we should know HOW to distinguish between “culture and tradition” with “old habits”, often separated by very thin line.
    I always hear people talking about building knowledge-based society, which I feel is every essential for such a small country like Bhutan. But nevertheless, while doing so we should forget to know that:
    “Specialized knowledge by itself produces nothing. It can become productive only when it is integrated into a task. And that is why the knowledge society is also a society of organizations: the purpose and function of every organization, business and nonbusiness alike, is the integration of specialized knowledges into a common task”. Peter F. Drucker

    So to be able to achieve this, we have to come out of the shell, open our mind, think critically and get rid of “old habits” that has bogged us for decades. As such by no means the pursuit of science and technology can only create new knowledge, bring change and make old knowledge obsolete. But rather social innovation and change with time is equally important and often more important than scientific innovation. To that end, being transparent and following democratic rules should be the “new order world” for Bhutan at-least at this initial stage. As saying goes ”Rome was not build in a day”, so lets us move slowly but effectively to create a lasting peace and prosperity for all.

  12. yeswecan,
    I don’t know why in the world you wrote this article under this topic and at this point of time.I have painstakingly read your article but find no relevance whatsoever with the issue under discussion in this topic. You write well but it was so much so out of place in here! Learn to say the right thing at the right time. Learn to do the right thing at the right time.That’s just a brotherly advice. No offence intended.
    Lastly, yes, you are right, Rome was not build in a day, but did you also know that Rome did not create a great empire by just having meetings.They did it by killing all those who opposed them!!
    Cheers.

  13. keen observer says:

    Tangba,
    You know how to correct others but others too find errors in your article. Just example …”Lastly, yes, you are right, Rome was not build in a day”… I think it should be built and not build …heheh…the old brighter grammar days are gone but we all read…

  14. yeswecan says:

    “Kabney and Patang” and some missing sections from the act as mentioned by you, which I have no idea promoted me to share some of my thoughts. Well I am sorry that I could not make you find the topic much relevant but my intention is to tell people that well we try to bring change, lets us also preservation our “Culture and Tradition” while equally distinguishing between culture and habits. For example, wearing Kabney and demanding respect are two different aspects. Doing away with Kabney, I think is too early to talk about, so lets better start with kicking off “old habits”. The “old habits” I mean is being less “autocratic” and more democratic even by wearing Kabney and Patang. People talk too much about change, but if we really think and do some research, those who talk much are the ones who resist real change. Without such basic thinking and change in mentality, trying to build a “knowledge based society” would be just like building castle in the air, which as I mentioned requires “society of organizations” to make such knowledge a common task that can be only achieved though participation and inclusion of all stakeholders. Autocracy has no place in such a setting. So without starting from basics principles, I think thousands of lines that you have been writing and frequent and critical questions asked by our honorable OL would just be “gone with the wind”.
    I think “acting big” with lots of ego is also one unique feature of every Bhutanese people, rich and poor, high and low. Even I can feel it myself sometimes, which make me wonder, “Have I picked up such habits from the very education system that I attend whole my life in Bhutan”. Well, this is just my thought.

    Cheers

  15. yeswecan says:

    To add to this discussion on “Kabney and Patang”. Instead of seeing them as a symbol of power of authority, what if we change our thinking and perception and see them a a measure of ones success and achievement. So that young people could work hard, be competitive and achieve success, which should not be necessarily be seen becoming powerful with lots of authority.

  16. Practising GNH says:

    If the clauses on kabney and patang were removed during the discussions in the NA and also fully endorsed by the NC we can understand the logic. The very people who wear those now and probably later did not want it written … sounds logical … was there a conflict of interest?

  17. Hi Lyonpo,

    Its time, if not late, that Bhutan should have an act (law) on Kabney. I and many see it very necessary. Please, initiate law on the kabney.

    faithfully yours,

    KL

  18. Heights of Irony

    This is a fresh matter. OL must have read the letter that the ECB had written to the government about budget in BHUTAN TODAY, June 2.
    The language was very strong and the ECB has told them to know their boundaries. It is the first time that ECB has challenged the government. And it also shows that the government is interfering.
    Can we have your views.

  19. Heights of Irony Continued

    I said heights of irony because when the PM was giving the state of nation address, where he was stressing on independent bodies, the ECB’s letter came out.

    We also heard that a reporter,was scolded by Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk for about half an hour for a story, which was factual but had your views. Can you tell us the truth OL, as you must have heard about it. Maybe the reporter and the paper are afraid to raise this problem. But we want to know which minister did this?
    Can you question the government

  20. I just came to know that the reporter is from Bhutan Today. There were all other journalist and near was education minister.
    I heard that the reporter wants to resign because of the incident.
    And the story was about the foreign minister Lyonpo Ugyen Tashering, where OL had objected a lot.
    Can a minister do this? I want to know because I think sometimes that they have the power.
    I also want to know how serious is the act of the Minister. Should he apologise?
    And it looks like the Bhutan Today management is not helping the reporter.

  21. Dear Thadamtse:

    I heard about the incident. And read about it in Bhutan Today. Will share my thoughts after Bhutan Today posts that article online.

    Tshering

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