Perks and peeves

Two years ago, I had been surprised to hear that the cabinet had issued each minister with an additional car, a Wagon R. I had been surprised because that additional perk does not feature in the government’s approved list of “Entitlements of Cabinet Ministers and Equivalent Posts”, and because the additional expense had not been declared when the budget was discussed in the Parliament.

Now I’m surprised to hear that each minister has been receiving “an allowance for cooks and housekeepers from the cabinet”. I’m surprised because this perk is not part of the government’s approved list of “Entitlements of Cabinet Ministers and Equivalent Posts”, and because the additional expense has not been declared when the budget was discussed in the Parliament.

It’s perfectly okay for our ministers to enjoy certain perks. But those perks must be clearly defined. They must be transparent. And they must be approved by the Parliament. Otherwise, our ministers may be tempted to enjoy limitless perks.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Now i Understand why they did not ask for the pay raise … Who knows there might be a lot of hidden perks ….



  2. In Bhutan, Every where its about Perks and benefits. starting from Cabinet to MPs to Secretaries to Managing Directors/CEOs and goes on…….

    country cannot provide enough for all those, please understand.

    Few people are trying to maximise their benefits in the name of country and people. some blatantly demand for perks and benefits saying that their term is for limited one and others in the name of future.

  3. Do you OL also receive these perks?

  4. my vote for hon’ble OL for PM in 2013 to change it all for ever

  5. i totally agree to you hon’ble OPL. i fee like comming out in the public and speak out my mind. frustrated and exhausted by looking at the way the governemnt runs the government, the sort of transparency, accountability and efficiency they carry out. feels like coming out in the public and speak out my mind. challenge any one who ever interferes. please suggest me to get rid of these.i even dont feel like doing anything and becomes obsolete. please reader sugest me…

  6. please! i request all the ministers to look down at grass root level where socity don’t even have a single car to fulfill their needs, you all are having fulfilled your wants also. do not misuse the government budget and spend in some good purpose..
    we’ll never vote to such wrong leader in future…

  7. It seems that OL also have no knowlegde of such perks enjoying by the ministers, I wonder now how these things happening. I hope our minister are not receiving allowance for bathing and washing also. I am very much eager to know how much amount our ministers are receiving per month including their all entitlements….

  8. INVISIBLE says

    Dear OL and Readers,

    Forgive me if I sound naive here. I actually believe that (if we can afford it) politicians must be paid their perks well, civil servants must be paid their salaries well, corporate employees must be paid their allowances well, farmers must be paid their crop prices well, businesspersons must be paid their profits well, and so on, but on the condition that they are all TRUE to themselves and whatever they are doing – no short cuts, and definitely no MONKEY tricks. They must do their job well and they must take their well-deserved due too. I will never find a reason to rant.

    We don’t lack good examples. Leave TWO KINGS above as extra-ordinary, we still don’t lack examples:

    1. Minister? Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho comes to my mind. I don’t know him personally. I have never met him in person except seeing him on TV. But he earned my respect because (if I am correct) he was the only DPT MP (that also a minister) who voted with conscience (at least once that I know of) in the Parliament for the interest of the nation, and not voting in DPT herd. That one vote made a significant contribution to the nation – history will record it. My grandchildren will remember this minister from Bumthang’s name just like we hear about good folk tale of another Bumthang minister Lyonpo Tamshing Jagar for being upright.

    Please keep an eye on this Sanam Lyonpo for good reason before he falters.

    2. Civil Servant? Dr. Lotey (Tshering?) comes to my mind. I don’t even know his last name for sure. But I know him very well through his work for the “invisible” people’s operations on his weekend along with his team members (whose names I don’t know yet but my hearts and deep respects go out to them too – I will bow to these women and men on the road if I know who they are). Dr. Lotey is becoming a household name among “invisible” people I know.

    Please watch this Dr. and his team of doctors, nurses, and fellow hospital staffs before they falter. We need them.

    3. Corporate Employee? Ap Chencho Dorji of Bhutan Telecom (someone said he now tired gracefully). I once heard an inspiring untold story how he saved the nation from embarrassment in a cold winter in Haa during one of 4th King’s 17th December National Address to the nation. Due to cold winter, Microphone system’s battery went dead just when 4th King was in Chipdrel procession arriving towards the microphone (HM was to deliver the National Day address). Ap Chencho’s younger colleague almost fainted – it was Ap Chencho Dorji who saved the show (how he did it deserves a whole story article on that – I will bring to public someday). His “invisible” act saved the Nation’s embarrassment. We need to value such simple daily acts of service.

    4. Businessperson? Yangphel CEO Ugyen Rinzin comes to my mind. I only saw him once during a Tarayana meeting. He wouldn’t even notice me. But I really like his business principle. If I saw employees of our private business who are at least proud of their private employer, it is Yangphel.

    Please find out his business principles – our private sector hopefuls might learn something from him.

    5. Farmer? Ap Karchung of Durung village in Yangneer, Trashigang, comes to my mind. Ap Karchung has built whole great wall of China type stone wall around his farms with his bare hands and hard work to guard his farm from wild animals for once and all without needing to go after wild animals. His farm also has all kinds of fruit trees. He is “invisible” but I would nominate him for an award if anywhere anyone wants to honor a farmer.

    Please take a visit to remote village of Durung if you happen to go to Trashigang. Now I heard even farm road has come or coming there. When I visited, it had no road.

    There are many other numerous good stories of good people, however “invisible” to our eyes, in our country.

    We must awaken our people to see these good examples, so that we won’t fall prey to MONKEY tricks of selfish few.

    We must just look at visible few, but we must also look at invisible many. This is how we should move our nation forward and this is how I would like to record good folk tales for my grandchildren. Every choice we make every day becomes a history at some point.

    Be part of the history making. Please wake up. If Ap Chencho Dorji can save the nation from embarrassment, we can do it because we have better resources than Ap Chencho. If Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho can vote with conscience in the Parliament, we can also do something with our conscience (no one has control over your own conscience unless you choose to give it away)…..and so on.

    With Deep Respects,

  9. unlimited greed, arrogance & hypocrisy characterize bhutanese ministers..their sly & shifty nature will be exposed through such stories, no matter what they say publicly..
    if they are there to serve people, king & country, they’ve got it all screwed up..all one needs to put things into perspective is visit & recognize the way most of our rural folks live..perhaps that will jolt one’s conscience when tempted to reward oneself unlawfully on the about honor among thieves..

  10. Lobzang Choda says

    well, its nt fair on the part of the government n most people are nt aware abt it also,..!

  11. Deb-Nagpo says

    There are not many when it comes to greed breeding amongst the people in power. We just need to co-orelate this greedy grabbing of public resources into the current Rupee cruch to some extent. Together with the WagonR goes fuel and driver that are over-utilized by the Ministers. Now that the Rupee issue has become severe, people in power, including high level civil servents (who are entitled for chauffer-driven cars along with unlimited re-fueling privileges) are pushing hard recommendations such as “GREEN TAX” on import of cars and use of fuel. Or personal lifes are hard and restrictive. There is too much interference and dictation in how we choose to live. Finding some comfort and consolation in life is not an easy endeavour. They all live in free government quarters. The common men cant think of living in their own homes since there are now not-so-friendly means to have one, including financing (high interest rates on borrowing,limits on the amount, and so on), restrictions on import of construction materials, etc…

  12. Question is how dedicated are we to the tsawa-sum which everyone brags about.It is sad that none of our leaders except for our kings emulate qualities of dedication and passion towards the betterment of the people and the country.
    The executioner and the foot soldiers of GNH are mired in the well of ego and self-indulgence.
    How I wish to witness a leader who would follow the footsteps of our Kings.

  13. If we are talking about selfless and person without greed. Best person to emulate is from Dasho Neten Zangmo of ACC.While some of the govt official misuse pool vehicle, she is one among the few official who under uses govt. vehicle. Heard that she uses the vehicle solely for the official purpose.For private purpose she is seen to hire the vehicle from others. Poor Dasho Neten (morally rich), she doesn’t seem to own one vehicle also.
    Bhutan need to have more officials like her

  14. Ugyen, you are right there!

    Today Dasho Neten Zangmo like personalities is the rare species.

    I do not know how far Dr. Tandin’s SDP has been successful in convincing her to be their party president.

    I think there is a big stake in DNZ’s personality in today’s political showground.

    Already, Dr. Tandin as a person appears not a bad one himself when assessing from a distant lens.

    I do not know him personally.

    At the end of the day, Bhutanese people are coming closer into understanding the reality shows that it’s, after all, still the “kith and kin” driven non action taking way of life which hugely dominates the show over other national priorities.

    There are already a good pool of highly capable, sincere and dedicated people in the market who given the chance would make better MPs.

    For that, Dr. Tandin should be truly trustworthy person himself as a party coordinator right from his heart and let go of any artificiality qualities if any.

    Should such few pieces are in place; I do not see any reasons why SDP cannot come as a creditable party in 2013.

  15. why should be single out. u also entitled.

  16. And why are the people talking about the future parties, president, members.. Dont you guys think its little off track for this post!
    lets talk about the real issues here! Ministers sure do have so many perks, and allowances! This should be taken in consideration by the ACC and Opposition Party!

  17. my voice says

    Dear OL, Besides, these minister perks as you have mentioned and subsequently by others followers, i would like to request if you could also bring the issue of misuse of government vehicles by the organization bosses. And even on entitlements within civil servants, some people at director levels have no prados and land cruisor while some offices at chief level do have pradoes. this is very unfair. we need to streamline the entitlements as per the usual norms. How come some shief level have pradoes while some chief drives their own santros and altoes. Hope Hon’ble OL will put up this issue although looks small but will have great impacts.

Leave a Reply