100% plus taxes and 100% plus salary hike! The former is for the civil servants and general people, and latter is for MPs.
National Assembly had decided to lift the ban on vehicle import but on condition that tax on import be raised 100%, 115%, 120%,125% and 180% for vehicles within Cylindrical Capacity brackets;not exceeding 1,500, 1500-1799, 1799-2,500, 2,500-3,000 & above 3,000 respectively. This ban would flatly apply to all, save MPs, they can bypass the tax. The reason being because MPs are already provided with one million Ngultrum(increased from seven hundred thousand Ngultrum) one-time allowance for the purchase of a duty car. It's unambiguously clear; the decision is alike pouring in rain where there is an abundance of water. If the decision has to really come in people's favour, it should work out the reverse. The problem aggravates when fuel tax is raised by 5%. The high market inflation unmatched by salary hike would be price of politics that people has to pay. Market prices has increased three times; first, while making promise for salary hike, second when pay commission was set up and all sorts of rumours afloat, and third when actual salary hike is discussed. At the end of the day, it is likely the talk of salary hike will put us into naught.
|Taxes to be imposed(Source: The Bhutanese)|
I agree that our MPs should be given preference but to what extent is a question. It befits to say, law makers are law breakers in Bhutan. Before the law is born, it's transparent that it will be broken for it's known MPs could bypass tax on import of vehicles(in the current case). What a decision from our ELECTED representatives, the trustees of the nation, the leader upon whom voters has placed indelible trust. It’s heart chilling to see our trustees disposing off the very trust manifested in votes. In no terms, can anyone buy such decision from our leaders. I have read and heard that in Democracy, it's people first but it gives an impression that the case is otherwise in Bhutan.
I have no ill feelings to any of the parliamentarians for having made the move, after all it is a majority rule that has played a role as a rule of thumb. But it is worth a second thought, to have two different laws: one for MPs and other for the people. To me, it's perplexing. Legislators can't have different laws for themselves nor can they treat themselves ultra-vires.
On the same lines, they have decided that pay-hike for civil servants at 19-25% which came out with too many deceptive calculations behind, plummeting actual increase to 4-10%. Conversely, Prime Minister, Members of the Parliament could draw crystal clear, a flat 19-131% pay hike on their current salary plus all possible allowances. The decision is unanimously selfish. Everyone made show of hands to the hike but on other hand they have baffled on sick economic conditions while deliberating salary hike for the civil servants.
I couldn’t come at consensus, why MPs are treated ultra vires on vehicle tax and could enjoy extravagantly high salary hike while their subjects bears the brunt of the two.