GOVERNMENT PROPOSES DEBT SWAP POLICY TO AID CIVIL SERVANTS OUT OF PERSONAL DEBTS

… dialogue between service commissions, government workers on cards

Public Service Commissions has bemoaned high debt levels among government workers and is proposing a debt swap mechanism where it wants to take over debts of civil servants it owes.

Public Service Management Division Permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali Monday told Provincial Heads of Government Departments, teachers and Labour leaders that recommendations are being made to come up with a mechanism that will provide some debt relief to civil servants.

Mr. Chimbwali noted that in instances where government was owing civil servants in settling allowances, leave days benefits and other emoluments, the backlog could be offset through the debt swap policy.

He said thorough consultations will be done before arriving at the actual implementation of the mechanism that will provide relief to thousands of civil servants.

The Permanent Secretary noted thay government was fully aware that staff debts and financial problems had been a source of frustration among workers in the civil service,hence the need for a lasting solution.

Meanwhile, Teaching Service Commission Chairperson Stanley Mhango who has bemoaned the high debt levels among government workers said the situation was affecting performance productivity.

Mr. Mhango however lamented that it was unfair for some civil servants to blame government for the debts they themselves had contracted.

He regretted government’s lapse on conducting vigorous financial literacy for civil servants when it effected unprecedented salary increases of up to 150 percent in 2014.

Mr. Mhango called on government workers to think seriously think about investing in projects that would financially sustain them.

And Local Government Permanent Secretary Bishop Ed Chomba called on local authority workers to be motivated with the good conditions of service that government has put in place.

Bishop Chomba cited the introduction of the funeral and health insurance policies as some of the conditions of service.

And Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Dr. Felix Phiri who thanked his counterparts for visiting the Province, took time to promote the economic potential of Luapula Province.

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