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20.08.2004 General News

Osafo Maafo, IMF & Salaries ‘Wahala’

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At last Tuesday's news conference on the update of the status of the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) relief addressed by the Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the issue of reduction in the July salaries of certain categories of workers cropped up.

According to Osafo-Marfo, the slash was to rectify an anomaly in the payment of the June salaries which exceeded what has been stipulated in the Appropriation Act for 2004.

“I admit that there was a mistake in personal emoluments for the month of June. And there is nothing wrong admitting the error. Indeed I wrote the letter to our development partners in the spirit of transparency and corrected the error,” he told journalists.

In an interview monitored on an Accra based radio station last Wednesday, a labour consultant, Mr Austin Gamey, said it was inappropriate for the government to have gone to Parliament with a fixed wage bill.

In the circumstances, what the government can do is to engage in, as it were, a robbing Peter to pay Paul situation, reducing the allocations of certain sector Ministries to balance others where there are shortfall and ultimately ensuring the same total figure, he proposed.

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