Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, February 28th, 2021

Pay Cuts for Ghani and Ministers, But Pay Rises for Govt Workers

Pay Cuts for Ghani and  Ministers, But Pay Rises  for Govt Workers

KABUL - The Ministry of Finance has finally agreed to increase the salaries of government employees, while the president and ministers will all take a pay cut. 
The increased budget spends for government employees has been requested repeatedly by the Wolesi Jirga’s Finance and Budget Commission, which has twice rejected the draft budget on the grounds of salaries and the allocation of emergency funding.
The finance ministry announced on Monday it has allocated an additional 12 billion Afghanis (AFN) to salaries, of which half will be added to the salary fund at the start of the fiscal year (in April) and the balance will be added to the mid-year budget cycle.
Khalid Painda, the acting finance minister, also said the president and ministers will take pay cuts.
Members of the Wolesi Jirga commission felt however that the full amount should be rolled out immediately but the finance ministry said this was not possible.
“The salary increase must be accepted as 12 billion Afghanis, and this money for salaries must be paid at the beginning of the fiscal year; in most of the codes (funds) there is extra money, which needs to be reduced and the salaries increased,” said the committee chair Mir Afghan Safi.
The decision to increase the amount allocated to salaries comes after negotiations between the finance and budget committee of parliament and the finance ministry.
“On the issue of salaries, I promise to get six billion to finance the salaries, and we will implement it in the middle of the year and allocate twelve billion for next year,” said Painda.
In addition to this, members of the commission stated that government must respect the legislative authorities of the House.
“All those institutions that have not gotten a vote of confidence from the parliament are not authorized to sign financial letters, and if they do, they are accountable to the law in financial documents,” said Mohammad Azim Mohssini, a member of the Finance and Budget Commission.
However, Wolesi Jirga members who attended the commission’s meeting said part of the dispute over the draft budget has been resolved but that government needs to agree to other recommendations so that the budget can be tabled in parliament for approval. (ATN)