Malawi which is currently mauling over how to close financing gaps in the 2014/2015 national budget due to aid freeze, has proposed an almost 600 percent salary increase for cabinet ministers and their deputies.
The proposal from the country’s Office of the President and Cabinet also suggests an increase of gratuities for the ministers from K9 million to K52.5 million for full ministers and K6.429 million to K45 million for deputies.
The gratuities apply to those who serve in the cabinet for a continuous five years period.
A leaked memo reference number CS/S/002 signed by acting Chief Secretary to the Government Willie Samute proposes that the new salaries for full ministers be at K3.5 million from K600,000 per month while the deputies get K3 million from K428,000.
Samute also disclosed in the memo addressed to the country’s President Arthur Peter Mutharika that already a new loan facility of K24 million has been introduced following the introduction of a similar facility for Parliamentarians.
According to Samute, the new loan facility means that the old facility that gives ministers loans for motor vehicles, general purpose and emergency advances amounting to K8.5 million for ministers and K8.2 million for deputies has been abolished.
The memo titled ‘Revised terms and conditions of service for ministers and deputy ministers’ also revealed that housing rental entitlement has been revised from K170,000 to K300,000 per month for ministers and from K150,000 to K280,000 for deputies.
“House rentals have gone up tremendously in Lilongwe and the new amounts will enable government to rent decent houses in prime areas,” Samute said.
The proposal also suggest mobile phone airtime allowances of K75,000 and K50,000 per month respectively and a local travel allowance of K70,000 per night if the minister is provided full board accommodation while foreign allowances have been pegged at US$750 to all countries in North Africa and outside Africa from US$500.
However, in an interview Presidential Press Secretary Frederick Ndala, who confirmed that the President has received the memo, said the proposals have since not been entertained.
“The President finds the proposals unethical since the cost of living is not only high for the ministers but affects every Malawian,” said Ndala.
He ALSO assured that President Mutharika has no intentions of raising his salary any time soon.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :