Bùi Sỹ Lợi, deputy chairman of the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee, talks with the Kinh Tế &Đô Thị (Economy and Urban) newspaper about salary increases for public servants.
At a recent meeting, the National Assembly Standing Committee suggested the Government increase the basic salary to VNĐ1.3 million (US$58) from VNĐ1.210 million ($54). What is your comment and does the Government have the financial resources?
I highly appreciate the suggestion. It shows awareness of the difficulties faced by State and Government employees. The salary increase will help improve living standards of pay-roll employees, retired people and others who are dependent on social subsidies.
However, in my opinion, the basic increase is a band-aid solution. In the longer term, the Government should conduct a comprehensive salary reform, because even an increase to VNĐ1.3 million is only a 7-8 per cent hike and salaries will still be far from meeting employees’ needs.
What should the Government do to improve the pay for employees and retired persons in the long term?
The Government should reform the Government and State administrative apparatus and salary system for nearly 2.8 million public servants.
Among 2.8 million public servants, 2.3 million persons working in the public service sector will be paid according to the operation of their sections.
In fact, the Government does not have enough money to pay all 2.8 million public servants anymore. The State budget cannot afford to increase salary for all workers.
The Government should implement reforms in salary scales and subsidy policies.
The basic salary will be meaningful if it can meet the basic demand of employees.
For many years, basic salary hikes for public employees have been very modest due to the constraints of the State budget. Meanwhile, the Government has asked businesses to pay their employees higher salaries. How can one ensure equality among employees in the public and private sectors.
I would like to reaffirm that the increase of the basic salary this time is not a reform. It is only a measure to temporarily solve the difficulties of public employees.
At present, the salary of State and non-State sectors is uneven because of legal regulations. In fact, each sector has its own calculation of basic salary for employees.
What is your comment about the fact that 700,000 public servants were recently evaluated as ineffective?
I think in fact the number may be higher. Obviously, lazy public servants have been hindering the economy’s development and wasting thousands of billions of đồng every year.
But the number was released by experts. So far, the Government has not yet answered the National Assembly on this issue. -- VNS