Finance minister: No budget allocations for public sector salary increases

The Finance Ministry is not involved in the Public Transport Authority (PTA) crisis and therefore there will be no budget allocations for salary increases for public sector workers, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawy said Thursday. 

Employees of the PTA in Cairo continued their strike on Thursday for the ninth consecutive day, demanding higher wages, the dismissal of corrupt leaders in the Transportation Ministry, and improvement of transportation services provided to citizens.

Some 3000 PTA workers protested Wednesday outside the cabinet building to announce their opposition to Manpower and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hassan al-Borai's declaration that the government will not consider any new financial arrangements for PTA employees until the drivers return to work.

The drivers threatened to escalate their sit-in next week if all their demands are not met.

Beblawy told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Manpower and Immigration Ministry is working on resolving the dispute through dialogue and negotiations with employee representatives and their independent union.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf will meet with representatives of PTA workers next week in an attempt to find practical solutions to their problems and respond to their demands, said informed sources.

Beblawy also said the Finance Ministry is seeking financial resources to cover the demands raised by the striking workers.

“We are committed to the state budget as it stands, and we cannot make specific budget allocations for each individual sector," he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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