In one of my earlier post, I remember writing that I am Customs officer by profession. I also wrote myself being a blogger and reader by passion. Didn't I ? I think I did so. But of late, with smuggling rate shooting up, I am getting bogged down with writing various reports, preparing exhibits, gathering evidence and handing over the people to the Police.
Thanks to such events, I have now discovered a new writing skill. Its called writing the "Chronology of Event". Mind you, it is totally different form of writing from what I normally do. My superiors, friend and colleagues, big and small keep telling me that its a serious business. So I need to be cent percent conscious.
And here is another thing that is keeping me on my knees and toes. -writing meeting minutes. Sometime I get the feeling that I am becoming a professional minute keeper.
Yesterday, to the happiness of all the Bhutanese civil servants, the National Assembly of Bhutan has finally announced the much awaited (upward) pay revision. Its long over due, but the delay is understandable. Our exchequer, according to talk of the town has gone high and dry on resources. Seriously, when our current Government promised pay hike along with the housing allowance, I really did not believe. For once, I thought that our much talked about pay revision is any thing but a grim possibility even with the presence of Buddha and his blessing. With all sorts of austerity measures in place, our present government, who otherwise promised power and change to the people are rumored to have played the "pay revision politics".
Whatever may be, civil servants will earn more starting this July. So Big Thank you to our Government. Temporary and volatile it may be, it is a cause for celebration. Vehicle quota seems gone, but who cares, there is handy Nu. 160,000 coming. DSA has gone up Nu.1000 per day. Mileage is up too. Nu 6 for low ranks and Nu 16 for high ranks looks ridiculous though. But again, who cares. Let me not go further. But as a Revenue and Customs official I am bit nervous and worried. Because this calls for us to collect more from our tax payers. To make affairs such as these sustainable, it calls for Revenue and Customs people to sweat more, shed more tears, take in more criticisms, and face more allegations. Interestingly, not many seem to know this.
There are few things that I am not able to understand about the recent pay revision. First. For civil servants, revision percentage is descending as we move up. Second. What is the rationale behind revision for MPs by more than 50%. I am sorry but this reminds me of a Book called "Animal farm" by George Orwell (where it says only Pigs deserves to drink milk, but I am not saying our MPs are pigs) Third. Why our PM is begging not to take the proposed hike. Fourth. There is no mention of my department and many other uniformed departments when it comes to uniform allowance. I can go on. But we all know, how pleasing everyone is perpetual impossibility in democratic society.
Now here is the reason why I am saying its a temporary and volatile affair. With pay hike, civil servants will even pay more too. As such house owners have already revised their rental charges. With this revision, it gives them the motivation to do it one more time. Shopkeepers and vegetable vendors are seen celebrating. Prices of meat have gone up and so would the prices of other commodities in coming days.
On many occasions, I bought goods on credit because my bank balance ran low. I did not respond to those miss calls because my voucher ran low too. Some other time, my family just enough to see the month end and not more. Today am happily managing with just one pair of shoes. And happily I tell people that I am somehow managing to keep my pot boiling. I have sailed across a high and rough inflationary tides and I survived. I don't know whether the proposed hike of 21% would actually cover the inflation. But I have now come to agree that living is no easy business but can be made even without the hike in pay. So I think Pay revision is not the solution at this age but our frugality is. Therefore I am bit indifferent to this revision.