G OVERNMENT officials from the Prime Ministers to under-secretaries of state are
pocketing more cash from new allowances, but other state employees may have to
wait at least three years to see their wages raised.
A sub-decree signed
by co-Prime Ministers Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Hun Sen on July 26 approved a
monthly allowance of:
- $1,470 for a prime minister;
- $1,120 for a deputy prime minister;
- $1,000 for a minister of state;
- $840 for a minister;
- $700 for a secretary of state;
- $560 for an under-secretary of state.
Officials who hold more than one positions can claim only one
The monthly official wage for Cambodia's Prime Ministers is
known to be about $70, while ministers get $40.
Members of the National
Assembly have always been considerably better paid - to the ire of some
ministers and other government officials - and earn about $1,800 in salary and
Prak Sok, Secretary of State for the Public Service
Secretariat, said the allowance increase for executive government members was in
line with the revised 1995 national budget.
It was to cover expenses such
as holding receptions for foreign guests to discuss "big business", their field
missions and the rental of their houses.
"Unlike rank-and-file employees,
they [senior officials] have a great responsibility and must enjoy appropriate
living and working conditions. The allowance is to encourage them to be more
responsible in their jobs," Sok said.
He said lower-ranking government
workers would have their wages increased when the economy improved, revenues
increased, staff numbers were reduced and qualified people recruited into the
civil service. He believed that might be in about three years time.
government employees spoken to by the Post were unhappy at that.
the government of prime ministers and ministers," said a staff member at the
state-owned Agence Khmere Presse, who made about $20 a month.
of Information worker, who earned about $15 a month, complained: "They [top
officials] have cars, villas, everything and now they've got more money. How
about us? You see if I ever vote for this kind of government again."
a senior official at the Ministry of Information said the government was, quite
rightly, more concerned with trying to develop a competent and efficient public
He said the government was pursuing a strategy of encouraging
less-qualified staff frustrated at their low salaries to quit their
Salaries would not be raised for existing employees, but
better-qualified staff would be recruited, if they passed an entry examination,
and paid more.
The official, who would not be named, said the
government's new plan followed its February head-counting exercise - a census of
state employees aimed at weeding out "ghost" workers and those with more than
one job - which was unsuccessful.
He believed the government was on line
to develop a more "efficient and dynamic" administration, especially after the