August 13, 2010 / 3:13 PM / 9 years ago

Congo Republic to hike public sector salaries 25 pct

BRAZZAVILLE (Reuters) - Congo Republic will give all public sector workers a 25 percent pay rise to mark the 50th anniversary of its independence from France, the central African country said on Friday.

The oil-producing nation of around 4 million people employs 60,000 state workers, whose minimum salary is 50,000 CFA francs per month.

“The minimum salary in the public sector will rise by at least 25 percent,” President Denis Sassou-Nguesso said in a national address as part of the August 15 anniversary celebrations.

“This is a great present ... For a long time our salaries have been low, while the cost of living has risen,” said teacher Claude Goma.

Congo doubled its national budget in 2010, banking on an increase in petroleum revenues to improve infrastructure and combat poverty, but its government has since come under pressure from donors to keep spending in check.

The Paris Club of sovereign creditors and Brazil agreed earlier this year to write off all of the country’s debt in a deal worth around $2.4 billion.

In January, the International Monetary Fund said the government should limit spending to avoid being forced to borrow and thereby running up debt again.

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