As Doha buzzes with news of an astounding salary hike for nationals in the public sector, the government is working to calm inflation fears.
“Don’t exploit the situation” is the main message the Ministry of Business and Trade delivered to the business community on Wednesday, the Peninsula reported.
“Prices must remain stable,” said Sheikh Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, head of the ministry’s Consumer Protection Department.
The government also clarified its intentions for such a dramatic salary hike:
“We want people to make savings and invest (for their and their family’s future). We don’t want people to suffer due to rising prices,” said Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, business and trade minister. “This would aid economic growth which, in turn, would positively impact society.”
Meanwhile, many nationals in the private sector reacted with dismay to news of the salary increase, prompting concerns that the hike could make non-government jobs even less attractive to Qataris.
The National reports:
“Many GCC states have recognised that they need to make a concerted effort to attract nationals into the private sector. This dramatic increase in public sector wages seems counterproductive to that aim,” says Toby Simpson, managing director at the Gulf Recruitment Group in Dubai…
“There is (also) a real risk of further polarising a segment of society in a nation where 30% of construction workers are paid less than US$220 a month,” he adds.
Despite the potential knock-on effects of the pay raise, the general sentiments among many Qataris appear to be joy and relief.
Gulf Times reports:
A Qatari employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed her “deep joy” at the decision and said this would make her life easier. She said the Qatari people were very grateful for this and considered it as an “Eid gift”.
Bashir Y Elkahlout, economic consultant and financial analyst at The Group, said that many Qataris had bank loans, the repayment of which takes up a considerable part of their salaries.
“This makes them unable to enjoy their lives in a way that matches their status as citizens of the country with the highest per capita income in the world. With this wise decision of the government to increase salaries, they would be able to pay off their debts and enjoy the incentives of the economic boom in the country.”
What do you guys think about the raise? How will it affect you and your loved ones?
Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala/Doha News