–says R3PSi Head
HEAD of the Region Three Private Sector Inc. (R3PSInc), Halim Khan, has praised government for increasing the salaries of public servants, noting that this will certainly improve their economic and social conditions.
“The announcement of an eight per cent across-the-board retroactive increase to public servants, teachers, members of the disciplined services, constitutional office holders, as well as government pensioners will go a long way in improving disposable incomes to public sector employees and Guyanese at large,” Khan said.
He noted that the increase must be placed in the context of the restoration of the cash grants to the parents of school-aged children, totalling some $6 billion in direct cash transfers, and an increase in the minimum wage for private sector employees by 36 per cent to $60,147.
“Government had also implemented a number of measures to mitigate the effects of the rise in cost of living, most notably the removal of the excise tax on fuel, capping freight charges used in calculating import taxes, providing fertiliser and other support to farmers to boost food production, and direct cash transfers to especially vulnerable communities,” he said.
Khan noted that the government continues to examine ways of improving the income of Guyanese, to ensure that each citizen reaps the benefits of the major-scale developments that are taking place across the country.
“Last year government paid out over $10.5 billion in wages and salaries in December 2021, when a seven per cent increase was issued; this jumped the spending power and improved growth in the economy. With the current increase things will only get better,” Khan related.
The current injection for next month will also stimulate economic activity across the country as over $11 billion will be placed in the hands of public sector employees, which would then be multiplied as workers spend their increase in disposable income in markets, shops, or other businesses across the country, he added.
“The government is delivering on its Manifesto promises… that their investment in the public sector does not end with the salary increase, as [they] will continue to work to improve the lives of all Guyanese,” Khan noted.
While some may not be appreciative of the increase, he said it must be appreciated since Guyana has been developing rapidly because of the great leadership of President, Dr. Irfaan Ali.
“The high cost of living is a global issue but the President and his government are doing their best to cushion the impact of such,” he noted.
Khan said that many persons in CARICOM countries currently do not have jobs, but Guyana has been blessed with constant improvements.
“The President is a man on the ground and knows exactly what the people need; we must all work towards what we want to achieve whether in the private or public sector,” he said.
He noted that each public servant will be taking home more than $60,000, in additional income for the Christmas holiday season.
“That in its own nature is a cash grant,” Khan stated.
As part of its continued efforts to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of public sector workers, the government approved the eight per cent salary increase last Thursday.
In a virtual address President Ali said the increase will be granted retroactively to January 1, 2022.
He related that work will start immediately to ensure that the increase is processed and paid to eligible employees together with their December salary.