I read today's Kuensel article titled " Hydro revenue ..." highlighting what Martin Rama said about Bhutanese economy. I am thunder struck with the recommendation that states " park additional hydropower revenue instead of giving a pay hike". Park yes because we need to have reserves but why emphasis do not raise civil servants pay?
Normally, I would not see the devilish intent behind this advice but for the ongoing fb post of grievances about pay by some civil servants. And The Bhutanese attacking such sentiments.
The fact is majority of civil servants received an increase of 4% of basic pay the last time when MPs and other elected officials got over 60% increase. Earlier Local elected officials had also received substantial increase. This time Local elected officials got on the average over 50% increase in salary. I am happy with the increase and other benefits given for multiple reasons.
I would not begrudge what elected political officials get but I also can understand why civil servants desire for better pay. Whether the nation can afford or not can be of economic or political basis. I also understand that within the nation there have to be opposing views and I do not begrudge even the attacks upon the civil servants by The Bhutanese which some view as an unofficial PDP Party mouth piece. I reserve my opinion on this particular assumption. But when an outsider like Martin Rama of World Bank makes unwarranted interference into a hot national issue, my antenna goes up. World Bank is not just a monetary institution. It is highly political in composition and strategy.
What our leaderships think of this is possibly beyond the humble parameters of most of us the common citizens including myself. But at personal level, I see it as a divisive advice. Why did Martin Rama feel particularly obliged to throw a World Bank spanner into this local issue about civil servants pay raise or no raise. All over the world the intellectuals instigate and the masses respond. Is a foreign factor introducing a disruption between the engine that runs the national train and the driver that directs the train.
The Bhutanese has concluded that civil servants are too few in number to influence the outcome of an Election. I do not even know whether every civil servants will vote or not and if they vote for whom they will vote let alone concluding that they can or cannot change election result. All I know is civil servants are of diverse make and inclination and I have no basis to draw a conclusion that civil servants act as a group in political or any other major issues except in their common responsibility to serve the Tsawa Sum.
For me salary has always been an economic matter never a political issue. And I hope it remains so for many employees dependent solely on one income: Their monthly salary.