What’s decentralised

Consider this: each minister would enjoy entitlements and benefits totaling about Nu 9,942,000 during the 10th Five Year Plan period. This is at current pay scales. (See my conservative estimates towards the end).

Now consider this: 40 gewogs would each get capital funds amounting to less than Nu 9,942,000 each during the 10th Five Year Plan period. This is according to what has been budgeted in the draft 10th Five Year Plan. Three of them (Soe, Samrang and Khatoe) would not even get Nu 3 million each for the entire 10th Plan period – in other words, each of these gewogs would get less than one-third of what a minister would earn.

Then consider this: each minister would enjoy entitlements and benefits totaling about Nu 13,842,000 during the 10th Five Year Plan period if the Pay Commission’s proposal is accepted.

And consider this: 70 gewogs would get less than Nu 13,842,000 during the entire 10th Five Year Plan period. That means that 70 of the 205 gewogs would get less money each for capital works during the 10th Plan than what a minister would earn during the same period.

True: Education, health and rural electrification are not included in the gewog budgets. And true, the dzongkahgs and central ministries would have additional programs that would benefit gewogs.

Also true: people in the gewogs would be mainly concerned about money that they would have real control over. That is the funds that have been budgeted for their respective gewogs. And there may be 70 gewogs, each having access to less money than what one minister may earn.


(A) Current entitlements and benefits of ministers (including PM, Chief Justice, Speaker, Chairman of NC and Opposition Leader):

1. Salary: Nu 78,000
2. Housing: Nu 23,400 (30% of salary)
3. Telephone: Nu 5000
4. Electricity and water: say Nu 3000 (actual)
5. Discretionary grant: Nu 8,300 (Nu 100,000 a year)
6. Prado: say Nu 33,000 (new Prado costs Nu 2,000,000. Assuming ministers keep it after five years, monthly benefit is 2,000,000/5/12 = Nu 33,000)
7. Fuel: say Nu 10,000
8. Driver: Nu 5,000

Total benefit = Nu 165,700 per month or Nu 1,988,400 per year or Nu 9,942,000 for five years

(B) Entitlements and benefits proposed by Pay Commission for ministers (including Chief Justice, Speaker, Chairman of NC and Opposition Leader; PM would get more):

1. Salary: Nu 130,000
2. Housing: Nu 26,000 (20% of salary)
3. Telephone: Nu 5000
4. Electricity and water: say Nu 3000 (actual)
5. Discretionary grant: Nu 16,700 (Nu 200,000 a year)
6. Prado: say Nu 33,000 (new Prado costs Nu 2,000,000. Assuming ministers keep it after five years, monthly benefit is 2,000,000/5/12 = Nu 33,000)
7. Fuel: say Nu 10,000
8. Driver: Nu 7,000

Total benefit = Nu 230,700 per month or Nu 2,768,400 per year or Nu 13,842,000 for five years


Facebook Comments:


  1. WOW!! i don’t know what to say! This is amazing.
    I am sure people in the MoF and PC are aware of this fact, but i can’t understand why the government decides to go ahead with a really bad plan/proposal despite all its loopholes and contradiction.
    I remember that during one of the budget meeting, MoF was questioning why the students from VTIs were provided with the amount of Nu.200/day (or it was less than that) on OJTs., but the funny thing is no one question us getting 500/day. I think its high time our leaders and decision makers acts with little ounce of compassion and insight.
    Thanks for this post.

  2. That’s a lot scary!!! Thanks for bringing it up with exact numbers. Well, I couldn’t help, but laugh my frustrated lungs out when I went through bhutantimes forum and came across the abbreviation of JYT(PM) which it claims to stand for Jigme Yargye Tshogdu. Indeed, that is how it looks like!
    Decision makers, I am worried about farmers who would be the worst hit by this pay hike. As they don’t earn or get any pay hikes, but in the name of pay hikes, shopkeepers will raise the prizes for commodities and farmers will be starving! But must keep reminded, they have voted the decision makers hoping for good.

  3. Opinionated Bhutanese says

    This is good reporting, clear amd precise, just the way I like…Great

  4. My views would be, take as much as you can. But in the process learn to share and give what you are actually here for. If your services to us people and the country will cost you this much, and if there’s a means, take so…but deliver…deliver as you take, deliver as you should, deliver as you deem yourselves capable of…deliver as you promised. The world is watching…everyone is.

  5. woahh…thats a lot of money, i really didn’t realize this. Thanks for this precise and useful information.

  6. that sure is a huge amount and could perhaps be used towards many projects that we hold on stand due to lack of fund. But there’s always a justification….. ministers have more work and as such higher risk and therefore should get paid higher. just like when prados were bought for the Lyonpo aums a few years ago……..
    and of course it is also a matter of the pride of our country ….. Minister’s should live a Minister’s life style… i have heard it ….
    many promises were made and many supporters cast thier votes too… i won’t be surprised if these very people are complaining now…

    However, i wished there were more focus on increasing the salary of lower paid people though and a bigger demand in professionlism from these people thereafter……..
    On the other hand if Minister’s justify the salary and the perks … i guess we can’t stop it.

  7. I think the pay hike proposal is a complex thing to plan for, since there are many things that need to be taken into consideration.
    The parlementarians need a higher salary to reward them for their effort and also to curb corruption. Their potentially 5 year short tenures should also be considered.
    On the other hand when is enough really enough? This is simply a flaw in human nature. Maybe lower pay can encourage MPs to perform better in order to win the next elections, if the perks and honour of the position isnt enough on its own. The gaps in the pay is also a cause of concern, with the gap between rural and urban society as large as it already is, do we need to create a bigger gap in the government? Corruption at the lower echelons should be taken into consideration here also since its only a difference in scale.

  8. WangDrugay says

    Great job OL! This is the type of leader we need in our country. 10 such guys and I think Bhutan can be a Japan. I think instead of inviting Sangay Ngidup back as your party leader, your party should consider you as the party’s leader becoz I think you can make an excellent Prime Minister, perhaps far, far better than Ata Jigme Thinley.

    So much said, keep doing your good job. Doing good and sincere jobs does not always fetch the medals in our country but in the end you will enjoy that peace of mind.

  9. It seems to me from the estimates you have made, It is quite sad to know that while our Hon’ble Ministers enjoy a major chunk of the budget, the rural people are left out from the entire portion. Does this mean DPT’s priorities for developmental activities, so talked about during their campaigns, meant merely to acquire this amount of salary? If they are dedicating their service to Bhutan, I think salary would be the last thing on their mind. By this, I don’t mean to say that they should not be paid, but substantial amount goes to their pocket is not justifiable when our rural developments and geogs are lagging behind.

    Second, as per my understanding, the salary hike is for Civil Service, does this include Political entities the MPs and Ministers? The pay package for them is just a half year old and if every half a year we hike their pay package, I think, forget about rural developments and other promised agendas, I can see the future of Bhutan not very promising…

    Third, this is for the Hon’ble OL. When you already know the impact of the pay hike especially pay hike for MPs, what are you going to do about it?

  10. Opp leader!, that’s an excellent analysis and comparision. U as one of the beneficiaries of the apparently unreasonable salary, excessive perks and previleges, I have a simple and straight question for you- did you even make a slightest attempt to refuse what you have been given? Ur writing seems to be honest and genuine,and it can easily convince any ordinary person so passionately that will easily make most not see and compare what you say and what you do. Do you also equally practise what you preach?
    Right now you are quietly taking the salary, pocketting the house rent, since you are leavin in your own house (but that is all right, since it is your entitlement),driving abrand new prado without a single penny contribution to the purchase of it (as oppose to most of the MP who have spent half the amount from their own pocket), which most probably will become your own after 5 years and many other unlimited list of perks and previleges.
    If you refuse to accept these lavish payments and facillities and advocate that others of your level (the ministers, speaker, chairman of NC)do the same. then you are a man of honour, a man of principle. The others (MPs, Secretaries, directors, civil servants) will, I am sure, follow suite. Just one move from your side to give genuine meaning to what you preach is enough I will regard you as unparalleled leader, consider you as the most honest living person. othewise you have just been successful in politicizing the issue, appear to look good yourself at the cost of others, convince simple ordinary people that you are realy honest and prnciplled.
    So act as you speak, practice as you preach. You can fool one people one time but you can’t fool all the people all the time.

  11. wow!!! i really appreciate 4r ur good research work..its
    amazing..opp leader should be stronger than what u are right now..any way great effort u r puttin in..thanx

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply