Government Salaries to Rise

May Titthara / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Civil servants are all in line for pay rises. Supplied

Prime Minister Hun Sen, ministers, secretaries of state and 2,500 other civil servants and political figures will receive substantial pay rises after the Council of Ministers approved a draft of the 2017 Draft Law on Financial Management on Friday.
During the cabinet meeting, Mr. Hun Sen said the government’s improved ability to collect taxes would cover the costs of the new national budget, which has increased by almost $1 billion over this year’s $4.27 billion figure.
“The government has the ability to collect revenue to support the operations of the government. Now we have money we can raise salaries for civil servants,” he told the assembled ministers.
He said his own salary, now 3.6 million riel (about $900) a month, would almost treble to 10 million (about $2,500). Ministers will now receive 4.5 million riel ($1,115), secretaries of state 3.5 million (about $850), undersecretaries of state 2.8 million ($700) and some 2,500 assistants and advisers will receive an extra 80,000 riel ($20) a month.
The six-chapter long draft budget proposal, which now needs to be approved by the ruling party-dominated National Assembly, is just under $5 billion, an almost 16 percent increase.
According to a statement released on Friday, the budget increases are largely to cover the rise in salaries, not just for senior government figures, but also civil servants across the country.
Some $825 million has been earmarked for defense needs, up more than 20 percent from this year, while social spending will rise by almost 13 percent.  
San Chey, chairman of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said yesterday that while the government may now possess the ability to increase budgets, the likely benefactors will be senior officials and ministries in Phnom Penh and more should be earmarked for sub-national costs.
“The national level cost seems very large. With this budget increase, it should have a division of the budget to sub-national level to strengthen the implementation of new reforms and ensure that the budget will be used for public services, education, health and agriculture to be effective.”
He stressed that ensuring that corruption was monitored and limited as much as possible must be a high priority.
“National audit authorities should expedite the National Audit on the expenses properly,” he said.
Cambodia has about 180,000 civil servants, excluding the military and police. Since 1994, four national census have shown more than 60,000 “officials” have drawn government salaries without actually having a job.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education announced that teachers’ base salaries would rise to $230 a month in April, up from $193 at present. At the same time, the country’s garment workers secured a pay rise of $13 a month, from $140 to $153, starting in January.

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