BUJUMBURA July 12th (ABP) – The Cabinet Meeting was held in Gitega from July 7 to 8 under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye. According to a press release from the general secretariat of the government, 9 items were on the agenda.
The Cabinet considered, among other things, the analysis of a draft fair wage policy in the Burundian public sector which was presented by the Minister of Public Service, Labor and Employment.
During the discussions, the Cabinet fixed this index at 28 while the unions had proposed “45”. The Cabinet noted that the index 45 “would allow those with high wages to go up further”. With regard to the implementation of the wage policy, the Cabinet concluded that this policy must be implemented according to the budget of 34 billion Burundi francs planned for this year “to raise the salaries which still remain low”. According to the Cabinet, the salary should take into account the job actually held and not just the diploma.
The document should show salaries at the level of all ministries rather than being limited to certain sectors only. In the content of that policy, the Cabinet noted that the contributions to the INSS (National Social Security Institute) and to the ONPR (National Office for Pensions and Occupational Risks for Civil Servants, Magistrates, and Law Enforcement Agents) should not be dealt with under this policy because an option has already been taken in relation to pensions.
The Cabinet also mentioned that in terms of career management, there is a need to harmonize the system of advancement for everyone. They also felt that the implementing texts of the Social Protection Code should be drawn up. He also pointed out that the principle of acquired rights must be qualified. According to that press release, “there are rights which have been wrongly or illegally acquired”.
According to the same press release, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning presented the note relating to the problem of liquidation of companies managing washing stations (SOGESTAL) and that of pulping and packaging of coffee (SODECO). After discussions, the Cabinet recommended that there be an audit in order to calculate all the values of the leased assets taking into account the material and financial resources that the government had made available to those companies. The press release recalled that the State had recommitted itself, in 2019, to redressing the ailing coffee sector by adopting the strategy of recovery, revitalization and sustainability.
In the calculations to be made, the Cabinet recommended to take into account the advances that the State released on its own to pay the coffee producers. As for the liquidation, it was proposed to do so transparently with sharing of responsibilities at all levels.
The ministries in charge of finance and agriculture have been called on to work together to determine what those companies owe the State and to carry out recovery “even if forced if necessary”. The Ministry of Justice may be requested if necessary.
According to that press release, the Cabinet analyzed three draft ministerial ordinances presented by the Ministry of National Defense and Veterans Affairs. Those three bills involve the creation of three schools. These are specialization schools in field artillery, navy and aviation. The minister in charge of national defense explained that before, specialization was done abroad and was expensive at home. He pointed out that the creation of those schools reduces the costs generated by those trainings abroad and makes it possible to train a large number of soldiers compared to the small number who benefited from them abroad. After discussions and debate, the Cabinet passed those three bills with “slight alterations”, the press release concluded.