A senior government minister has urged the private sector in Malawi to emulate government in increasing salaries but a senior private sector operator has called for caution, PANA reported from here Tuesday.
Finance Minister Ken Kandodo, in his 2010/2011 budget presentation during the on-going budget session of Parliament, announced an increase of 15 per cent across the board in government workers’ salaries.
Labour Minister Yunus Mussa said Tuesday the private sector should emulate government gesture and equally increase wages and salaries.
“Most Malawian workers are being abused by the private sector,” he said, adding “It is high time they emulated government’s gesture as announced by the Minister of Finance.”
Mussa has been touring a number of businesses where he has been lambasting private companies for not only paying workers peanuts but also for not providing them with protective gear.
However, reacting to the minister’s call, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) Executive Director, Chancellor Kaferapanjira, said Mussa’s call was unrealistic.
“I don’t think it is everyone in government who believes that should be the case because in the private sector, we increase salaries according to performance of a company,” Kaferapanjira said.
Kaferapanjira said dynamics in the private sector were different from those in government, asserting, for instance, that most companies did not follow government’s financial calendar.
“The minister should not say salaries in the private sector should increase according to government calendar because financial years in government and us are not the same,” he said.
Another player in the private sector, who did not want to be named, said while government raised money from taxes, the private sector raised money from sales.
He said forcing the private sector to follow the regime of government would run most of them aground.