- Life Style
Egypt's newly-appointed finance minister, Samir Radwan, on Monday said the salary increase recently announced for government employees was "not a bribe" intended to offset ongoing demonstrations demanding the departure of President Hosni Mubarak.
"We are not bribing citizens,” Radwan told a parliamentary subcommittee. “We are simply responding to their demands.”
Radwan had earlier announced an increase of 15 percent in salaries for government employees and for military and civilian pensions, beginning in April. He pointed out at the time that the increases in pensions alone would cost the Egyptian treasury some LE6.5 billion.
He went on to tell parliament that the government had adopted measures aimed at assisting those affected by the the recent political crisis, including the establishment of a fund of LE5 billion to compensate those affected by recent acts of looting and vandalism.
He also said the government was taking steps to address the effects of the global financial crisis and achieve social justice for the people. He added that the legislative committee of the Council of Ministers had agreed to exempt late sales tax payments due in January and February from any monetary penalties.