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Civil servants pay to delay again

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NATIONAL NEWS • WRITTEN BY : SUZGO KHUNGA

There is a high likelihood that civil servants will enter the month of July without getting their June salaries as Treasury has promised that the salaries would be processed this week.

Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson Nations Msowoya, in an interview yesterday, attributed the delays to end of financial year processes such as closing of financial books and preparations for the 2015/16 financial year.

Government’s financial year ends on June 30.

Parliament on Thursday passed the K930 billion 2015/16 National Budget, but Msowoya said Treasury was not waiting for Parliament to approve the Appropriation Bill to start spending as some quarters were alleging because the June budgets were included in the 2014/15 financial year plans.

He said: “As we close the financial year, there are delays which are only to be expected. The exercise of closing books and preparing new ones can be timeconsuming, but the salaries will be processed this week.

“Civil servants should not panic. We apologise for the delays, but everything will be perfected this week.”

Meanwhile, Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) general secretary Denis Kalekeni said in an interview negotiations are ongoing on the proposed salary increment for teachers and civil servants with a likelihood that public servants have not been left out of the K930 billion budget.

The possibility of another pay increase for civil servants after giving them an average 44 percent in the 2014/15 financial has attracted criticism from the private sector and members of Parliament (MPs) to which Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has responded that the wage bill remains within the acceptable international norms.

In the 2014/15 National Budget, wages and salaries increased from K163 billion to K198 billion due to the salary increases in the public service and recruitment of 10 500 primary school teachers and 500 secondary school teachers.

In the 2015/16 National Budget that rolls out this July 1, the wage bill is expected to increase to 6.7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) which is an increase from the 5.8 percent registered last year, Gondwe told Parliament last week.

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