Monday, March 18, 2013

Govt staffers react to pay rises

Monday, 18 March 2013 16:14 Khin Myo Thwe

The Minister of Finance and Revenue announced on March 15 that all civil servants will receive a 20,000 kyat monthly pay rise beginning in April; however, government employees have voiced concern about the raise in salaries effecting inflation.

“In 2013-14 fiscal year, the monthly salaries of civil servants will be increased by 20,000 kyat [US $23]. Monthly pensions and bonuses will be increased proportionately along with the salaries,” said Minister Win Shein at the Pyihtaungsu Hluttaw (General Assembly) session.

He continued, “Extra allowance and regional expenses will not change.”

Government employees are naturally pleased to receive the raise, but Mizzima has spoken to a number of government staff who are concerned about the rising price of commodities.

“We don’t want commodity prices to go up before we get our pay rises,” said Daw Kyi Kyi, a deputy director at a government department.

"In the past, when people heard about the raise of government salaries, they went out and bought a lot of daily commodities in advance. That’s why the prices went up. We should be careful about this matter," she said.

“I am just hoping that children’s tuition fees stay stable,” said Myo Nyunt, a nurse.

Calls for raises in pensions have been made to the government too.

“For retired lower-ranking staff who are worried about the cost of living, they are hoping for a raise in pensions or mass disbursed payment,” said a retired professor from Yangon University.

An economist in Yangon has said that the pay rise for government staff, who make up three percent of Myanmar's population, should not effect inflation.

“There will be no inflation due to this salary raise because it’s such a small percentage of the population. If the price of commodities increases, it will be instigated by the worries of the people,” he said.
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