Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa says government and the private sector can cut salaries and wages to align their employment costs to the operating environment.
Speaking at TelOne’s annual general meeting on Friday, Chinamasa commended the parastatal for aligning its costs to the prevailing economic environment.
Last year, TelOne effected a 15% cut in salaries and wages across the board to contain costs in the wake of declining revenue on voice calls attributed to the harsh economic environment and the use of social media applications such as WhatsApp.
“I want to commend you highly for aligning your employment costs to the operating environment. the decision that you took to undergo a 15% cut in salaries and wages needs to be emulated not only in the private sector, but also in government. It’s a very positive decision, a very courageous one that you took in order to align your costs to the operating environment,” Chinamasa said.
He said Econet had also cut salaries to align its costs with the operating environment, a move he also commended.
“They [Econet] have also, like you, forgone bonuses. This is in order for you to survive during this difficult period. So I commend you on that,” he said. Chinamasa’s remarks come as government’s coffers have been depleted due to low revenue inflows. However, although they receive relatively modest salaries, ministers and senior government officials are pampered with huge allowances.
An attempt by Chinamasa to forgo bonus payments for the civil service was overturned by President Robert Mugabe who gave the minister an angry public reprimand. Government is now struggling to pay salaries, with some employees expected to get their June salaries next month. Standard