Finance Minister and the country’s biggest philanthropist cum business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim, who is also the Speaker of the Special Majlis who has been seen to be mainly responsible for the adoption last Thursday of the country’s new constitution has said that he asked President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to form a pay commission for the government, reported Jazeera Daily has reported.
It is believed that the President will exercise his executive presidential powers to form a pay commission for state employees. This is a direct response to a possible strike by teachers demanding for better pay and working conditions. However, Honorable Gasim did not specify the contents of a cabinet paper that has been presented to him prior to a cabinet meetnig on the subject either tomorrow or the day after.
The question is whether a cabinet paper and a possible pay commission can resolve the multitude of issues facing ordinay life in the country caused mainly due sky rocketing land rent in Male’. The government, as usual is overconcerned with “honorable living” for their employees rather than the welfare of the people who they allegedly serve.
The country’s electorate consist of nearly 200,000 persons and the civil sevice and other government services employ under 15% of that figure. If one consider them and their dependents it would constitute less than 50% of the working population in this country. It is therefore, pathetic the government goes head over heels to make the conditions of these few superior, neglecting the rest.
If the passion the government had for the health insurance of government staff is anything to go by, the fate of the pay commission is a foregone conclusion. The salary structure of teaching professionals went through its first proposed revisions almost ten years ago, and has been waiting for want of funds ever since. One former official of the Ministry of Education said, they have been nothing but “lethargic” sitting on the revision for nearly a decade. It would be futile to believe a supplementary budget to give a pay rise to teachers can ever be realized.
I just hope that one day soon this government will have a passion for the welfare of ALL its people rather than just the few who attend to their ceremonies!