Gov't to present proposals to control wage bill ( Minister of Economy)

February 4, 2021

TAP) - The government will present proposals to modify working hours in order to control the wage bill, said Wednesday, Minister of Economy, Finance and Investment Support, Ali Kooli.

The aim is to examine the possibility of reducing working hours against a decline in wages, he said, adding that the government will also present proposals to employees who wish to create their own projects.

In a statement to TAP, on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of a loan agreement between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG), the Minister explained this approach by 'the level of the wage bill which now represents 40% of the State budget', a rate qualified as very high and which de facto requires a margin of prudence.

'To reassure everyone, this does not mean that we are thinking of reducing the salaries of civil servants', continued the minister, stressing that the government will be open to discussion and ideas as well as proposals from employees and their representatives.

'We have the will to reform Tunisia to make it stronger and able to withstand international competition. We are a government of success and reform,' the minister added.

On the revision of the subsidy system, Kooli stressed that a diagnosis of the situation has been undertaken and that certain measures that are currently being examined will be taken.

'As soon as the measures are ready, they will be discussed with the stakeholders in the debate, namely the national organisations, expressing the wish to be able to put them (the measures) in place as soon as possible.

For the Minister, the will is there and the government will start to implement these measures gradually this year.

Besides, he recalled that the government has already started, since the previous month, the issue of bonds whose amount could reach, by 2021, three billion dollars.

The borrowing resources of the State budget for the year 2021 will have to reach 19.5 billion dinars in order to finance the budget deficit and repay the public debt for 2021.


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