Ameer: Pay cuts will not be imposed on frontline workers

Health authorities collect samples for COVID-19 testing in Male' City on May 14, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, on Saturday, said that while the Finance Ministry had made the decision to impose cuts on the pay of some public servants, no such cuts will be imposed on the pay of workers in the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19.

The government has decided to cut the pay of public servants who earn above MVR 20,000.

At a National Emergency Operations Center press briefing on Saturday afternoon, Ameer said that the Finance Ministry was scheduled to release a circular detailing the pay cuts later this Saturday.

He said that while the government had decided to impose pay cuts on public servant, it had also decided to exempt frontline workers from the cuts.

As such, employees of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), employees of Health Protection Agency (HPA), employees of health centers and hospitals except for presidential appointees, employees of Maldives Police Service, employees of Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), and representatives of institutions who work at the National Emergency Operations Center for more than six-hour shifts were exempt from the pay cuts.

The government has made the decision to pay a new daily allowance within the range of MVR 200 to MVR 500 to frontline workers.

Frontline workers engaged in high risk tasks will be paid a daily allowance of MVR 500, while workers engaged in medium risk tasks will receive MVR 250, and workers engaged in low risk tasks will receive MVR 200.

Political appointees, workers in and above deputy minister level, and workers who already receive an allowance for the frontline work are not eligible for the new allowance.

Ameer had announced at a NEOC press briefing a week back that public servants who earn between MVR 20,000 to MVR 25,000 will undergo a 20 percent cut to their basic salary, those who earn between MVR 25,000 to MVR 60,000 a 30 percent cut to their basic salary, and those who earn above MVR 60,000 a 35 percent cut.

The government had previously imposed a 20 percent pay cut on employees above deputy minister level.

He said the government had also decided to cap the net salaries of all public servants.

Ameer said the pay cuts were expected to save MVR 15 million in monthly government expenditure, offering a measure of relief to the government’s cashflow issues.