Finance Ministry to increase maximum wage
Minister of Finance Hani Kadry - YOUM7/Ahmed Ismaill
By AHMED ABU SHADY

CAIRO: Minister of Finance Hani Kadry announced Sunday that the ministry is reconsidering the decision to apply a maximum wage rate worth 35 times that of the minimum wage, to avoid losing skilled professionals in governmental authorities and achieve social equity.

The ministry’s possible amendments of the maximum wage rate will re-balance between two important aspects. The first is eliminating preferential treatment, which means the ministry will no longer discriminate in favor of certain individuals. The other aspect will include the reconsideration of cutting down the number of ministerial advisors to decrease additional costs, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

The financial allocations for wages in the 2014-2015 fiscal budget amounts to 207 billion EGP, Kadry said during his inspection tour to the self-employed tax directorate in Nasr City.

The Cabinet that followed the January 25 Revolution, headed by Essam Sharaf, had approved draft law for maximum wage to be 35 times the minimum wage. The resigned Cabinet, headed by Hazem al-Beblawy, also approved a draft law stipulating that maximum wage should not exceed 42,000 EGP, but the two draft laws have not been applied until now.

Former head of the Sadat Academy for Management Sciences Abdel Muttalub Abdel Hamid interpreted the ministry’s reconsideration of the maximum wage to mean that they will increase the maximum wage with a definite upper limit, or allow companies and institutions to set the maximum wage rate for their employees.

The decision would prevent qualified professionals from abandoning governmental posts, prevent corruptions and increase transparency, Abdel Hamid told The Cairo Post.

Social equity is not achieved through wages alone, but through equity in services, restructuring governmental wages and developing the lower-income provinces, he further recommended.

The Ministry of Finance should ration expenditures and increase financial revenues to provide the needed budget for increasing maximum wage rates, he added.

In the meantime, several vital sectors saw major long-going strikes at the beginning of the year, demanding the minimum wage that was passed in a law by the Cabinet last December. Many of these sectors have not yet resolved the crisis.

Additional reporting by Mona Diaa.

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