Saturday, 4 April 2009

Bhutan : Government owned corporations struggle to retain and recruit competent employees

April 2: The management of government owned service oriented corporations says they are struggling to retain and recruit competent employees. They are losing more experienced employees to better paying profit oriented corporations. This could affect the overall growth of their organizations and the quality of their service, they said.

The government has said they are working on the salary for corporations. But a recent Cabinet announcement has dampened the mood of the management as well as the employees in government corporations.

According to the announcement, employees of state owned enterprises are paid 15 percent more than the civil service. It says this was done at a time when there was a need to attract people to join the corporate sector but the scenario is no longer relevant. Government owned corporations disagree with most managing directors saying that they are still struggling to retain experienced, competent employees or find quality people to join their corporations.

The managing director of Bhutan Post Tseten Geltsen said they recently announced the vacancy for the post of a company secretary. Not a single candidate applied for the post. He said that’s because the salary is not attractive enough.

The management of several government owned corporations like Bhutan Development Finance Corporation, the Food Corporation of Bhutan, and Bhutan Broadcasting Service said they cannot get quality people because of the long working hours and comparatively poor salary.

The civil service, they point out, is still preferred because of job security as well as prestige, social position, and opportunities. They also enjoy several perks and privileges which are not available in corporations.

Nawang Gyeltshen, the Managing Director of Bhutan Development Finance Corporation said BDFC has lost many experienced employees to other financial institutions who pay more and provide better perks and privileges.

He said they are likely to lose some more people if the government does not look into the salary of government owned service oriented corporations.
The managing director of Bhutan Post said low salary could also lead to fraudulent practices especially in corporations like Bhutan Post where people deal with cash everyday.

The managing directors of service oriented corporations said it is still relevant to pay corporate employees 15 percent more than the civil service.
At the moment, a fresh university graduate who joins any of the service oriented government owned corporations gets between Nu 11,000-12,000. Profit making corporations pay above Nu 16,000.

General Managers and Division Heads of service oriented corporations draw between Nu 19,000-21,000. Their counterparts in profit making corporations earn more than 50,000. The Managing Directors of service oriented corporations are paid Nu 30,000-40,000. The managing directors of profit making corporations earn a maximum of Nu 130,000.

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