Vietnam plans another increment in civil servants' base salary

By Nguyen Hoai   October 21, 2019 | 06:38 pm PT
Vietnam plans another increment in civil servants' base salary
Residents perform paperwork at a public office in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Tuyet Nguyen.
The government has proposed that monthly base wages for civil servants be increased by 7 percent to VND1.6 million ($69) in 2020.

The proposal was mentioned by Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung Monday while reporting to the National Assembly on national budget implementation in 2019 and planning for 2020.

Examining the government's proposal, Nguyen Duc Hai, Chairman of the NA's Committee on Finance and Budget, drew attention to a counterproposal that a raise be reconsidered because it could "shift budget spending into consumption than investment in development."

Salaries are calculated by multiplying a base wage, which now stands at VND1.49 million ($64) after a 7.2 percent hike from July 1, with a coefficient determined by qualification and experience.

Public sector employees have complained for years that their earnings are too low. Local economists said at a recent conference that low wages have and will continue to foster corruption in the public sector.

Data from the General Statistics Office shows that at the end of 2017 there were more than 5.2 million people working in the public sector. The size of Vietnam’s public sector compared to the population is among the biggest in Southeast Asia, according to the World Bank.

In 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered government offices to reduce staff numbers by between 1.5 and 2 percent every year over the next five years.

Vietnam's per capita income last year was $2,587.

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