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Editorial: A Little Increase in Payments

The ministry of finance this week agreed to add some amount to the government employees’ salaries. After months of disputes and disagreements that caused a long delay in approving the next year’s budget by the parliament and worried the people about more weakening of economic activities, the members of the parliament’s lower house were satisfied by the finance ministry to add 2,000 Afs (less than 30 US dollars) to the payments of government’s low level servants. The lawmakers happily announced the addition of money, taking gesture just like great conquerors or those who managed to resolve centuries-long problems or to have gained an achievement that is beneficial for the world inhabitants. If the long disapproval of the budget draft was just for the 2,000 Afs increase, the honorable representatives of the nation could have easily asked and surely the government would have agreed. All these noises and angry faces were not needed in the parliament who called for “equalization” of the government servants’ salaries.

These days, gas is sold for 100 Afs per kilogram, a huge increase comparing to two weeks back when people bought it for 50 Afs per kilogram. The prices of foodstuff, fuel and other essentials have jumped astronomically as well, so increasing of less than 30 dollars will not help teachers and other government servants to solve their problems, while most of them do not have houses for their own and have to pay a large part of their salaries for house rent. This is while government’s high-profile officials including the lawmakers, who occupied the seats of parliament with the vote of poor people, make as much money in a month as low level employees cannot make in many years. Is this to equalize the payments?

If the government’s two powers aim to curb administration corruption, this is not the way since corruption takes place by high level officials including the legislators who hold all authorities. Secondly, adding 2,000 Afs to the payments is not a great amount so that the employees avoid from taking bribes. The solution is that senior officials, who take money under different names, should reduce it and be content of simple life like the people and the additional amounts that they receive, should be distributed to the poor employees, defense and security forces, disabled and the families of those soldiers who were killed in defense the country. This will mean equalizing of payments and can bring a hope of reducing in administration corruption.

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