Nat’l Legislature To Climax Budget Hearing
The National Legislature is working with various line ministries and agencies in the country to ensure that the 2020/2021 Fiscal Year budget hearing comes to a climax. The draft budget, which was submitted on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, is in the tune of US$535,446,000 (five hundred thirty-five million four hundred forty-six thousand United States dollars); Mercy Kpaingbay writes.
In the draft budget the Executive is said to have increased the compensation session of the budget of some line ministries and agencies of government, and the decision to increase compensation in the draft budget is in violation of the harmonization policy of the government passed by the Legislature.
Speaking to a team of reporters on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at his office, Assistant Minister for Budget, Jesse Korboi, clarified that what is being referred to as an increase in compensation is not an actual increase, but a subtraction of presidential appointee(s) from one ministry to another.
“There is no increase in compensation numbers. Before we got enrolled in the IMF program compensation was around three hundred and fifteen million to three hundred and seventeen million dollars a year. When we got enrolled in the program last year compensation was around 297 million dollars. This year we are projecting 291 million dollars, so the program we have signed up to with the fund—this is one of the stickers of the program. Compensation has to be a percent of your domestic revenue. At some point in time, compensation was 60 to 70 percent of our domestic revenue, so what that meant is that we were basically collecting taxes to pay salary. This is the situation we are trying to reverse, but we are trying to reverse this situation, taking into consideration people livelihood, so we are very mindful in executing the program. What people referred to as increase is actually not an increase. So what has been happening is that we have been having a payroll called the presidential appointee payroll. That payroll has been the CSA,” Assistant Minister for Budget, Jesse Korboi, stated.
“A presidential appointee is in the employ of a ministry or agency, but is paid by the CSA from the presidential payroll list with the CSA. So that is how it has been, so we decided to know the true cost of compensation for each spending entity. So, instead of keeping the presidential appointee payroll, let’s move all appointed officials back to their host ministries and agencies. So when you add them to their host ministries and agencies’ payroll, it will appear like a particular ministry has increased but it has not increased in terms of its total number,” the Assistant Minister continued.