Of the current draft Nu 309 bn 12th plan Nu 193.55 bn is for current expenditure, a huge chunk of which includes the pay and allowances of civil servants.
Nu 116 bn is allocate for capital expenditure to build hospitals, schools, road etc.
The 2018 elections saw all four political parties chasing the postal votes of civil servants by promising generous hikes and other goodies.
The moment any hydro-project is inaugurated, the first priority is given towards a pay increase for civil servants. Politicians are a new addition to this list giving themselves generous incentives but they are also public servants enjoying the fruits of the public exchequer.
Added to these 28,973 civil servants are under 8,000 state owned corporate employees who also receive and automatic hikes either to keep up with or above the civil service pay.
Since the advent of democracy, there have been three pay commissions with a fourth one to be formed soon.
Each pay commission presided over by politicians and civil servants have been most generous to themselves though it has had a huge implication on the exchequer.
Public servants should get commensurate pay to lead a dignified life and to ensure that the government machinery runs smoothly.
However, the question to now ask is what of the private sector and also the farmers and rural folk.
The last three pay commissions have resulted in overnight inflation as house rents go up and while civil servants can afford to pay from their increased pay, the private sector workers suffer with no pay hikes for them.
A struggling private sector and a mostly static farm sector has meant that the two sectors of the economy that employ the largest number of people have seen no pay increases.
It is time for DNT to look at effective policies to narrow this growing wage gap.
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
― Benjamin Franklin