Finance Minister, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, has re-echoed government’s call for fortnightly payment of salaries to public servants.

Addressing delegates at the 2007 Annual Controller and Accountant Generals Conference in Accra last week, the Minister explained “this is to ease the stress of most workers in the country”.

The call is the second since the Minister made the same government proposal at the handing over of 60 brand-new cars to management staff of the department recently.

According to a top source at the department, the second call has generated the desired response, resulting in the decision to set up a committee to look into the possible constraints of rolling out public sector salary payment to replace the existing monthly payments.

Whilst experts believe the fortnightly payments is a good idea, especially since it will help government’s cash flow, attention has also been drawn to the attendant cost in terms of additional labour costs and stationery, among others.

“Paying fortnightly means that, for example, if government has to raise say 10 billion cedis to pay salaries at the end of the month, it will now do it in two instalments. That is, pay it in two halves, two weeks apart. This way, it will reduce pressure on government to find the total sum at the end of the month,” a source at the department explained.

The government projects raising 13.2 trillion cedis to pay its workers this year. This represents some 66 percent of its total discretionary expenditure.

Already, the Fair Wages Commission is working out a comprehensive pay structure that will allow equity and also ensure that public sector workers receive enhanced salaries in 2008.

Culled from Business Week

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