On a mission of bureaucratic reshuffle

Published on Mar 05 2009 // Main News

Thimphu, March 05, 2009: Bureaucratic reshuffle is not easy for the new government until it has political influences in that sector or at least some trade unions supporting the ruling party. 

Chairman of DHI Om Pradhan.

Chairman of DHI Om Pradhan.

In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the elected government of Jigmi Thinley launched voluntary retirement scheme last year and this seems to be more easy approach to laid off the government employees. This is long-term strategy designed by Druk Holding and Investment to downsize the public enterprises.

The latest scheme by Royal Insurance Corporation Ltd introduced in February saw response from 31 persons so far expressing their willingness to leave government job in favor of young people. Studies have not been made if this would help curb the increasing unemployment that already touched five percent. 

The voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) was available for employees who served the company for more than 10 years, and should be availed from 1-28 February, this year. The retiring employees will get lump-sum payment equal to their salaries of two years besides pension. However, discrepancies are likely to occur because the corporation management said the productive employees willing to retire will get only 12-month bonus. The rooted culture of favoritism in South Asia is unavoidable in Bhutanese context as well.

The new entrants, fresh graduates, will take over the responsibility of these 31 officers by end of March. The corporation management said the exercise will ensure a compact and efficient group of employees in the corporation.

In what is called a corporate governance strategy, the corporation introduced voluntary retirement scheme and compulsory retirement scheme. Under Compulsory Retirement Scheme an employee will be paid only with one-month salary and post service benefits. This is applicable to unproductive and redundant employees.

The scheme had drawn dispute in the corporation few months back with some employees coming up against the decision of the management. 

The State Trading Corporation of Bhutan (STCB) has already laid off 27 of its 80 employees under similar scheme. STCB spends about Nu 750,000 just on salaries for its 80 employees, amounting to 55 percent of the company’s total expenses and has deteriorated company’s commercial health. 

DHI plans to put up same project to Bhutan Board Particle Ltd. (BBPL), which employs more than 400 people.