PM says budget strain means no pay raise

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Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed (PHD) said a salary increase for civil servants would not be imminent because of budget concerns. He said that internal displacement of millions of drought victims has left the government short of funds.
“There are a hundred thousand people who have been displaced from some parts of the country and as a government we have the duty to provide them with food, cover their health costs and there are also many drought victims receiving aid from us so we are spending money on that and we are unable to prioritize other economic issues.”
“The inflation rate has gone down to 12 percent and we hope after agricultural products are harvested inflation will be reduced to single digits.  If we raise salaries at this point we will aggravate inflation and place unnecessary pressure on the market and on the people themselves.”
Though the PM did disclose how much money the country had in reserve he did say that the amount grew by 334 percent compared with last year.
He added that the government has worked hard to elongate the debt to China.
“Our deal with the Chinese government was to pay our debts through commercial loans but  the Djibouti – Sebeta rail road is not yet operating to bring income for us so we told China that we can’t pay USD 100 million every year and we have been convincing them to pay it via concessional loan agreement which will bring us some relief.’’
He urged his people to help his county when she is in trouble.
“When Greece was in a financial crisis the people sold their property to save their county, when Ethiopia  is in trouble it is our duty to work extra hard and be more committed to get the most out of people. We have to show our love for our country not by words only but also by action.’’
The parliament members asked the PM why he did not act swiftly  when a group of soldiers unexpectedly came to his office to talk him in an inappropriate manner.
“The way the solders acted was totally wrong but as a leader I have the responsibility to cool down bad things and not to make trouble for the majority of Ethiopians. Inside my heart I was very angry but I talked to the solders with a smile.”
He asked the media and political groups to be more ethical and professional.
“I am not saying all media are acting wrongly but some media are working in the wrong way and need quick attention to adjust their problem .’’
During the recent cabinet reshuffle the number for ministers was cut from 28 to 20 the gender composition became half women and half men. He also gave key positions such as Minister of Peace and Defense to women ministers.
The women include:  Muferiat Kamil – Minister of Peace, Aisha Mohammed – Minister of Defense and the former  deputy mayor of  Addis Ababa ,Dagmawit Moges   as Minister of Transport.