Thu, 27 May 2004

Govt to provide 13th-month bonus to civil servants

Moch. N. Kurniawan, Jakarta

The government passed on good news on Wednesday to around 5 million active and retired civil servants and Indonesian Military and National Police personnel that they would receive doubled salaries and pension funds in June.

State Minister of Administrative Reforms Feisal Tamin told a House of Representatives hearing that the government would pay next month a 13th-month salary and pension bonus in an effort to improve civil servants' welfare.

"The extra salary will be equal to their regular monthly income, which consists of a basic salary and family and living allowances," Feisal told House Commission II for legal and domestic affairs.

The policy is expected to cost the state at least Rp 5.5 trillion (US$611 million), according to Feisal.

He said the government would issue a regulation to enable it disburse the funds for the 13th-month bonus.

"At present, a draft government regulation is with the State Secretary, and it is expected to be submitted to President Megawati Soekarnoputri soon," he said.

Commission II deputy chairman Abdul Rachman Gaffar said the House fully supported the policy.

Feisal said the government had increased the basic salary of civil servants, police and military personnel, as well as pension allowance for retirees through Government Regulation Nos. 11, 12, 13 and 14, all issued last year.

Living allowances for police have also been increased in accordance with a presidential decree, while the President is studying a planned rise in allowances for judges.

Separately, Feisal also announced that 495 civil servants would resign or be dismissed, as they had joined political parties.

Data at the administrative reforms office shows that of these, 324 joined political parties in 1999 and 171 contested the April 5 legislative election.

Of the 114 civil servants who were nominated legislative candidates, 63 had been dismissed or had retired voluntarily, 50 were in the process of being dismissed and one had passed away, he said.

Commission II has urged Feisal to take firm action against those who did not have a clear status due to their decision to be nominated as legislators in the recent election.

Of the 151 civil servants who joined parties after the implementation of Law No. 43/1999 on general elections, 85 were dismissed or retired, three had decided to request that they be reinstated as civil servants, 29 were in the process of being dismissed and one had passed away, while 33 others had no clear status.

Of the 173 civil servants who had joined parties since 1999, 11 were dismissed, 97 reinstated, six were in the process of being dismissed and the remaining 59 had no clear status.

Feisal said civil servants were also not permitted to participate in presidential campaigns, and that he had issued a circular on sanctions that would be imposed on those who breached political neutrality, which included immediate dismissals.