Friday, January 16, 2009

Democracy for civil servants?

Yesterday I accepted an open invitation by BBS TV for a panel discussion on the proposed salary rise for the civil service – to be held at 5pm sharp. Now since this is the hottest topic (at national level) I thought I might not get a good seat and so I went early - at 4pm. Only to run into an empty studio. Not only. Since there was a lack of participation, the panel even got delayed by several minutes. There wasn’t a single civil servant who attended the panel discussion. Indifference, apathy, scared of future repercussions? I don’t know. Draw your own conclusion!

Unless I got it wrong, democratic governance means shared responsibility to govern the country. The MoF and the PM are expecting frank and honest views and opinions on the matter because this pay-rise thing will have a serious implication on everything in this country and lots and lots of ramification into other sectors of the country.

And then, Dawa, the presenter, tried hard to cover these possible implications but the callers, and questions from the floor, kept coming back on the percentage of rise – which in my view is just one aspect of this pay rise. I raised about the possible scenario of unemployment getting worse because the private and corporate sectors will lay off people to contain the overhead, someone asked how they are going to sustain the rise because Constitution states very clearly that "recurrent expenses should be met from internal revenue" and so on and so forth. Readers are free to draw another conclusion here.

Have fun........................... and have a nice weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Umm.. the reasons could be many for this near no-show by "civil" servants. A plain and simple one that I can think of right now is our fellow colleagues in the "civil" service still feel that there is rarely anything "civil" in the kind of treatment dished out to opinionated "civil" servants by the Royal "Civil" Service Commission!