Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe has said Ministers and Deputy Ministers in have joined their President Arthur Peter Mutharika and his Deputy Saulos Chilima in deferring the implementation of the proposed salary increments until Malawi economy recovers.
The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) effected an 80 percent salary increment for the President and the Vice-President plus 168 percent hike for leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera and Cabinet ministers. Members of Parliament were given a 376 percent pay rise.
The adjustments were effected on October 1 2014.
But Gondwe told reporters in Lilongwe that the new salaries will not be paid to any officer as of now.
“The ministers have made it clear that they will not receive their salary in arrears until the economy improves,” said Gondwe, who added that government will save K100 million with the arrangement by the end of October next year.
Gondwe who was accompanied by Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa, said there will be no question of arrears and it should be considered as total cancellation as it stands at the moment.
“It is very difficult to say when exactly the economy will be back on track. Everything on the normalisation of our economy is being done on projections. It is high time we put a strong system in place. A system that will reduce and end fraud and corruption. It should not be business as usual,” explained Gondwe.
Meanwhile, President Mutharika has rejected a proposal by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to increase salaries of office bearers in the National Assembly and the parliamentary service which would have seen Speaker Richard Msowoya receiving K3.3 million gross monthly package.
“Proposal not approved. Under the revised salary and allowances for elected personnel, your salary is pegged between that of minister and that of the Vice-President. Your basic pay is, therefore, K1 500 000 and your gross monthly salary is K2 080 000,” reads Mutharika in his hand-written response inscribed on Msowoya’s memorandum on 6th November, 2014.
The revised emoluments followed a meeting of the PSC held on October 3 2014 to discuss the matter and would have made the Speaker the highest paid public servant in Malawi with the President coming after him.
Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa had previously said the new salaries were in line with a budget that was passed by Parliament last September. The budget includes a deficit of $205m after donors suspended aid worth $150m.
Government has pledged to continue working tirelessly to bring the confidence of the country’s development partners back into the economy and improve the living standards of ordinary Malawians.–(Additional reporting by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :