Friday, August 18, 2017

Pay hike for civil servants unlikely

Hopes for a pay rise this month will likely remain a pipe dream for civil servants, according to an official from the Ministry of Planning and Finance.

The ministry official said no recommendation on increasing the salaries of civil servants had been made during the parliament meeting to discuss the Union budget, denying rumours that government staff would see a salary increase this month, which marks the start of the new 2017-18 fiscal year.

“There is no directive issued on this,” the official told The Myanmar Times yesterday.

Pyithu Hluttaw MP Daw Khin San Hlaing from Palae township, Sagaing Region, who chaired the assembly’s Banks and Monetary Affairs Development Committee, said considering the country’s financial situation at this time, a pay hike for government staff was not possible.

“Myanmar is recording budget deficits and state-owned enterprises are making losses.

“Civil servants hoping for a pay rise at a time like this, I think it is impossible.

“There is no recommendation to increase salaries. The government cannot afford it now,” she told The Myanmar Times.

Director U Swe Tint from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation also said the pay rise was unlikely to materialise under the present situation.

Another Pyithu Hluttaw MP, Dr Hla Moe from Aung Mye Tharzan township, Mandalay Region, said the pay rise rumours were aimed at creating discord between the government and the civil servants.

“The rumours are inciting the civil servants to protest,” the Hluttaw Rights Committee secretary said.

The Myanmar Times made several calls to the President Office’s director-general U Zaw Htay to seek comments, but was unsuccessful.

Salaries for civil servants were last raised in the 2015-16 fiscal year -- the final year of former president U Thein Sein’s administration.

The pay hikes were “dramatic” that year, with some high-ranking civil servants doubling their salaries.

The minimum pay scale was raised from K75,000 to K120,000 while the maximum scale (director-generals and managing directors) was amended from K250,000 to K500,000.

The salary scale for military personnel also saw big increases from K75,000 to K120,000 (minimum pay scale) and from K1.2 million to K3 million (maximum pay scale) for the commander-in-chief of the defence services.

Civil servants in 110 townships in remote areas also received travel allowances.

In 2012, the cabinet gave civil servants K30,000 extra for allowances. Daily wage earners were also given an extra K1000 in allowance per day.

In the following year, the government raised salaries by K20,000. Daily wages also went up to K1700.

In 2014, salaries were upped again by K20,000. Daily wages were raised from K1700 to K2000.


 

Translation by Zar Zar Soe