By Livingstone Marufu
Government has set aside $176 million to pay civil servants their annual bonuses, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced yesterday.
Presenting his 2018 National Budget proposals, Minister Chinamasa said bonuses were part of civil servants’ salaries, hence they should be paid.
He said he was working on ways to grow the economy and cut civil service budget to sustainable levels.
Minister Chinamasa said: “A provision of $176 million has been set aside for the payment of the 2017 13th cheque awards.
“Treasury will, therefore, honour the commitment already made to pay the 2017 13th cheque, but in a staggered manner.
“The bonus is part and parcel of the wage bill. It consumed between 90 and 92 percent of revenues, but an array of measures are put in place to address the situation.”
Civil servants would start receiving their bonuses next year in February on a staggered basis due to cash shortages.
Minister Chinamasa said Government was trying to reduce the wage bill through the rationalisation of civil servants jobs and abolition of some posts.
He said Government will rationalise, redeploy, retrain to achieve efficiencies in the administration of the civil service in order to create savings.
Minister Chinamasa said the only way to effectively increase the country’s revenue base was for Government to grow the economy.
Government staggered payment of 2016 bonuses because of resource challenges, but all the workers received the 13th cheque by July this year.
Initially, Government had envisaged to pay the last batch in August. The Herald