Govt. reneged on their promises to retain gaydrungs: Opposition

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa

SHERAB DORJI

Thimphu

The Opposition Party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), has asked the government to reconsider their stance to discontinue the post of gaydrung.

The party, in a written statement, said the government must honour both the resolution of the National Assembly (NA) and its subsequent commitment made to gaydrungs to retain them in the Local Government cadre.

“The OP was indeed surprised on the decision of the government to discontinue the post of gaydrungs. Standing by its current decision will be a breach of the NA resolution and the promises they made to retain them,” DPT said.  

According to the press release, the members of the Ruling Party including members of the Cabinet had then voted in favour of the motion to retain the post of gaydrungs on 16 January, 2019 after a thorough deliberation in the NA.  

The opposition stated, “We understand that during the extension of tenure in April 2019, the government had committed to base any extension in future on a detailed study of the necessity of their services.”

Accordingly, a study titled ‘Relevance of gaydrungs in Gewog Administration’ was carried out and, among others, it had revealed that 93 percent of the population felt gaydrungs were critical, 89 percent were satisfied with their services and 76 percent of  Local Government (LG) members felt that Gewog Administrative Officers and accounts personnel could not substitute gaydrungs.

Opposition Leader, Dorji Wangdi, said, “We urge the government to seriously look into the recent submissions made by these affected individuals on reasonable extension of their tenures and other compensations.”

The tenure for the gaydrungs expired on April 2 however they were given extension till the end of April to complete the necessary handing over of their charges and responsibilities to the gewog administration.   

Following the government’s order, 11 individuals representing the194 affected gaydrungs from across the country appealed the Prime Minister and Home Minister on 10 April. The representatives also appealed the opposition party on the same month.

They had appealed for an extension of a year or more and to provide them cash compensations amounting to a few months’ salary for retrenching them.

Dismayed by the government’s decision, a former gup said that gaydrungs were the most important and hardworking individuals who had to carry out a lot of tasks at the local government levels. He added that even with the digitalization of services, gaydrungs used to do all the paper-works as most local people were farmers and illetrate.

However, the former gup is sceptical if the government will reconsider their decision as it has already been passed as an executive order. “I just hope that their appeals will be considered,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government said it decided to permanently do away with the post of gaydrungs from the local governments after the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), cabinet members and relevant constitution agencies like Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs (MoHCA) all gave the nod.