Tue, 19 Dec 2000

Civil servant salary hike awaits presidential nod

JAKARTA (JP): An official said on Monday the basic salaries of civil servants could soon be increased by between 100 percent and 700 percent.

The head of the National Employee Affairs Agency (BKN), Prijono Tjiptoherdanto, said if President Abdurrahman Wahid signed the presidential decree on the matter soon, the new salaries could be implemented by Jan. 1.

"We are now awaiting the decree, which will be announced by the minister of finance. If the decree is signed, the new salaries will be received in January, as the increase has already been calculated in the state budget," Antara quoted him as saying after a meeting with the President.

The lowest basic monthly salary for civil servants is Rp 78,000 (US$8.20), which would increase to Rp 530,000 ($55.80). The highest salary of Rp 700,000 ($73.70) would be doubled to Rp 1.5 million ($158).

The some 4.5 million civil servants in the country, along with police and military personnel, received a 30 percent basic wage increase earlier this year.

Separately on Monday, State Minister of Administrative Reforms Ryaas Rasyid, who also attended the meeting between the President and Prijono, said the government was completing the process of reassigning some 700,000 civil servants to the regions in line with the implementation of regional autonomy next year.

A total of 1.9 million civil servants are being transferred, with the process already being completed for 1.1 million of them.

"The process will be completed within two weeks at the latest, since by Jan. 1 everything must be completed," Ryaas said.

He pledged the transfers would not drastically effect the fate of civil servants, saying the government has guaranteed no one will be fired when regional autonomy is implemented.

According to Prijono, the government will impose a centralized and standardized system of employment for all civil servants.

The problem, he said, lay in the sometimes contradictory data regarding the number of civil servants, with institutions sometimes reporting figures that differ from BKN's.

Regarding the remaining 700,000 civil servants yet to be transferred, Prijono said the wait was the result of the incomplete reporting process.

"We won't even take a holiday so we can finish this up," he added. (hdn)