The Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)

27 May 2009

Ethiopia: Govt to Pay Compensation to 'Victims' of BPR, Opposition Against

Addis Ababa — Government employees who for various reasons are found unfit to continue with the newly introduced business process re-engineering will be paid up to a sum of a full year's salary, according to a new bill the House endorsed on Tuesday.

The House of people's Representative (HPR), which on Tuesday deliberated on civil servants' pension payments after 25 years of service, with the maximum age being 50, also passed a bill for civil servants who are left out of job due to the new business process re-engineering commonly termed as BPR.

Hence, a government employee who loose his or her job in this situation will be entitled for a minimum compensation of 6,000 Birr which may go as high as ones full year salary depending on specific conditions, according to the new bill.

The bill also provides for a facilitator role of the government should these government employees to get together to engage in micro projects.

The house deliberated at length on the two bills amid strong objection to it by the opposition MPs.

The opposition argued that the ruling party EPRDF was using the new business process to serve its purposes and the new pension law was designed to benefit members of the ruling party and therefore was not to be endorsed.

"Endorsing this bill means, granting license for EPRDF to do what so ever it likes to do," OFDM Chairman Bulcha Demeksa told the house sounding angry.

"In our side, let alone giving a vote, we don't want to think at all," Bulcha added.

Responding to the outcry from most of the opposition MPS, Chairperson of Social Affairs Standing committee, First Lady Azeb Mesfin responded that the 25/50 law was not primarily intended for EPRDF alone, but entire citizens of the country.

"We, at the EPRDF, know very well that it doesn't mean that the law would exclude non-members of EPRDF," she said.

She added that the proclamation conforms with the concepts of the BPR and its structural changes, and not to EPRDF.

The House on Tuesday also passed the revised proclamation to provide for employment exchange service with no against vote.

The new law states the role of public and private employment agencies in employment exchanges.

According to the new proclamation, license for a private employment agency will be issued to Ethiopian citizens and foreign nationals who have a permanent residence permit in the country only.

The proclamation put its restriction for private employment agency which deploys workers abroad and for the purpose of protecting the rights of workers, they need to reveal deposited amount of money in a blocked bank account.

Accordingly, for up to 500 workers they should have USD 30,000 or its equivalent in Birr, where as for from 501 up to 1,000 workers USD 40,000 and for above 1,001 workers USD 50,000.

Some MPS opposed amount of money the private agencies should register in bank account saying it sounded like it was meant for the rich people only.

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