PM clarifies salary and allowance policies to NA
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong has convinced state employees to understand the government's decision to halt their 760,000 kip monthly allowance in October, saying that the government is still keen to improve their livelihoods.
Mr Thongsing was clarifying the situation to National Assembly members during the ongoing session in Vientiane last week so that they can relay this message to other officials about the government's policy related to allowances and salary.
“As you may know the salary and allowances for officials, police, soldiers and retired officials is part of the Party and government's policy to improve their livelihoods,” he said.
“In the past, the government has tried to increase salaries for these officials despite facing financial difficulties. In addition, the government also assisted them in other ways by giving a wood quota, land plot, vehicles and so on.”
Mr Thongsing clarified for the NA that, due to the revenue shortfall, the government has decided to halt the living allowance granted to officials.
“If we have more revenue we will give the officials more. If our revenue is the same, it's hard for the government to pay more to officials. I want the officials, police and soldiers to understand the government because we are a government of the people and work to serve the people,” he said.
“It's like the father of a family. When he has no money in his pocket it's hard to say how much he should give his children to go to school every day. Children of a rich family may receive more money but the children of a poor one cannot be treated the same as the others.”
He explained that the allowance will be granted to officials only in a time of need or on occasion to improve their livelihoods, not be given forever.
Mr Thongsing said that certain sectors made wrong projections for increasing salaries and allowances simultaneously, forecasting that the country's revenue can be sufficient for the two payouts.
“In the next five-year plan [2016-20], we will set up a committee to formulate a salary policy to avoid wrong projections. The committee will be composed of all relevant sectors. We will not repeat our mistake,” he said.
The PM is committed to put strong measures on those who violate financial principles and laws while addressing loopholes that lead to financial leaks and revenue shortfall.
Minister of Finance Phouphet Khamphounvong proposed the NA to approve the budget adjustment for 2013-14, saying that if the NA approves the budget adjustment, the expenditure for salary and allowances for officials will decline from 10,780 billion kip to 8,800 billion kip. The money saved from this will be used to pay off the country's debts created in 2012-13.
By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update December 16, 2013)