Vietnam’s corruption-prone public sector to receive 7 pct pay rise next year

By Anh Minh   November 12, 2017 | 11:12 pm PT
The minimum wage for civil servants will be increased to $61 a month from July 2018.

Vietnamese lawmakers have approved a 7 percent pay rise for workers in the public sector, an area critics say is prone to corruption due to low official salaries.

The basic wage in the sector will be raised to VND1.39 million ($61.20) a month from July next year from the current VND1.3 million.

In Vietnam, the minimum monthly pay for civil servants and public employees is calculated by multiplying the basic wage with a coefficient determined by qualifications and experience. The coefficient for a new subdistrict-level civil servant with a bachelor’s degree, for example, is 2.34.

Vietnam's government has 2.8 million people on its payroll, according to local media.

Many in the public sector have been complaining for years that their earnings are too low. In May last year, Vietnam raised the minimum wage in the sector by 5 percent, the first hike in three years. It received another 7.4 percent bump last July.

Economists have blamed low wages in the sector for increasing levels of corruption.

At a conference last year, experts also said the current wages for many officials only cover 60 percent of basic living costs at best, but most still manage to afford nice houses and cars.

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