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PM: state secretaries responsible for hiking salaries for government-run companies

Jan 09, 2013

RIGA - Commenting on the disproportionate increase in salaries for board members at major state-owned companies, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) said in an interview with LNT television this morning that in most cases it was the respective ministries' state secretaries who should be held responsible for that.

Dombrovskis added that he would not go as far as to evaluate the state secretaries' responsibility, which he has ordered the ministers to do.

The Cabinet of Ministers' amendments, which made it possible to increase the salaries, were passed because ministries argued that government-run companies were losing qualified experts to the private sector, stressed Dombrovskis. However, such radical wage increases was an unpleasant surprise.

Dombrovskis said he had not expected the salaries to triple. "I expected that people would realize that some proportionality would have to be observed, and that a given company's problems should be considered in a wider context," said the premier.

As reported, Dombrovskis has ordered the Transport Ministry and the Economy Ministry to assess how reasonable the salary hikes for "Latvijas Dzelzcels" and "Latvenergo" board members were. Dombrovskis said he expected a "more balanced and down to earth solution."

Transport Minister Aivis Ronis and Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts said they would assess the increase in salaries at the government-run companies responsible to their ministries: "Latvijas Dzelzcels" railroad company and "Latvenergo" power utility.

Ronis added, however, that he still believed that salaries at a company such as "Latvijas Dzelzcels" had to be adequate, and people should receive proper salaries for the work they do.

Whereas Pavluts said that the Economy Ministry's State Secretary Juris Puce would present his explanations for increasing salaries for "Latvenergo" board members until January 15. Pavluts declined to say if the salaries could be reduced, saying he wished to know precisely on what basis and according to what criteria the salaries had been raised.

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