Finance Minister AMA Muhit said he was disappointed and enraged at the demands of the public university teachers to make an independent pay-scale and to cancel the new pay selection grade.
Muhit said the most educated people of the country are protesting due to lack of knowledge.
“They are protesting because they don’t know what they have and what they don’t in the pay grades. There is no justification of this work abstinence,” the minister said.
The minister said these while talking to reporters in the secretariat on Tuesday over the cabinet approved pay structure.
Muhit asked the teachers how they were humiliated in the new pay grades and alleged that there is corruption in the teachers’ selection process.
Public University teachers have been taking part in various processions and protest programmes for an independent wage board since December last year after the 8th pay scale was proposed.
They accused that Professors were in the same grade as the secretaries and major generals of forces in the 7th pay grade, but they have been demoted in the new one.
Teachers from all public universities abstained from taking classes and exams on Tuesday to protest the new pay grades.
Muhit criticized the programme called on by the teachers and commented that ‘teachers should stop their corrupt practices’.
When asked where the corrupt practice is, the minister replied that everyone becomes a professor if they will without proper processes.
“There are many professors in the country. There are four categories – professor, associate professor, assistant professor and lecturer. The number of lecturers is the least. There are ten in the lower grounds and thousands in the higher level. How is this proper service? This should be corrected,” the minister told reporters.
Muhit stated that the new pay scale of minimum 8,250 and highest 78 thousand basic pay is ‘groundbreaking’.
“We aimed for such a pay scale that will be acceptable with the current market. As many claim that the salary of government workers are less and that is why they are corrupt.. this should not be the case anymore. No one should complain now that government employees are paid less,” the minister said.
He said that there will be no fresh commissions and said that there will be an official who will look over the situation and submit reports to the cabinet annually to notify if any changes are necessary.
The minister also said that the salary of government officials will increase by 3.5 – 5 percent annually. He added that the new government pay scale will have an effect on the private sectors’ payment as well.
Muhit commented that inflation will not increase as the pay scale has been changed.
“Inflation is dropping and it will go down further. There will be more production in the markets. But increasing the prices is more of a hobby of the businessmen nowadays. The businesses just aim to increase the profit margin. No other countries have such high profit margins like that in Bangladesh,” the minister said.