"--Indo-Asian news Service"
Thimphu, June 20 - Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has refused to take his enhanced salary, and announced he would donate the additional Nu 50,000 (Rs.50,000) from his revised monthly salary to charity.

While presenting the state of the nation report to parliament Thursday, the prime minister said many people have criticised the salary for members of parliament and cabinet ministers.

I'll not defend the increase or argue whether it's too high or not, he said. However, on the prime minister's salary, I also agree that it's too high.

Our country can't afford it and my conscience will not be able to accept it, Tobgay said.

The prime minister would only accept the salary equivalent to that received by the cabinet ministers, and the additional monthly amount of Nu 50,000 would be donated to charity organisations at the end of his five-year term, Bhutan's national newspaper Kuensel reported Friday.

There's no motive, I'm just driven by the understanding that the PM's salary was too high, Tobgay told Kuensel.

On one hand, the government was trying austerity measures and on the other, the prime minister cannot accept such a big salary, he said.

Several members, both in the opposition and the ruling party, said that I have to take it. But I said I couldn't accept this and if the PM must get more then give him Nu 1 more, just as a token, which wasn't accepted as well, he said.

--Indo-Asian news Service

ssp/pr/vt


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