Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has assured civil servants that they will be paid their annual bonuses for this year, despite the liquidity crunch.
Speaking to radio host Miss Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa on Capitalk on Wednesday, Minister Chinamasa said bonuses were part of the civil servants’ salaries hence they must be paid.
He said he was working on ways to grow the economy as it was unsustainable for Government to spend over 90 percent of its revenue on salaries.
“The bonus is part and parcel of the wage bill. It (the wage bill) consumes between 90 and 92 percent of revenues. It’s not sustainable, but it’s now a matter that we are addressing,” he said.
Government recently announced that civil servants would start receiving their bonuses next year in February. These would be staggered due to cash crisis.
Minister Chinamasa said the Government was trying to reduce the wage bill through the rationalisation of civil servants jobs.
“One approach which is not so successful is basically that we will try to rationale, redeploy, retrain to achieve efficiencies in the administration of the civil service in order to create savings,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He said the only way to effectively increase the country’s revenue base was for Government to grow the economy.
“But the more sustainable approach to dealing with the wage bill is to increase the cake. To grow the economy, to increase production, which is why if you look at any of the borrowing that I’m making, I’m addressing fundamental areas — infrastructure, energy, irrigation — so that you have an enabling foundation for you to make production,” he said.
“We are addressing issues to do with production. When I borrow to produce, I don’t think anyone should blame me for borrowing to produce, because that is the only way we can come out of our current circumstances.”