Malawi’s Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe has expressed worry over the extremely high salaries and bonuses some private sector executives are getting, saying the development is not good for the economy.
Gondwe was speaking in Blantyre when he presided over the launch of the Malawi Business Climate Survey compiled by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI).
Gondwe said it is disheartening to note that some private sector executives are getting paid huge sums of money as if they are in America.
“Some of you are getting as high as K10 million per month, some around K6 million. Is that fair?
“We need to understand that we are in Malawi and, therefore, entitled to a fair salary if our companies are to grow,” said Goodall.
At the current exchange rate, K10 million is an equivalent of US$16,129.
The minister said the high salaries that corporates are paying their executives is the reason why some of the firms have failed to grow.
“How do you expect the companies to be competitive when you are getting that much? The funny thing is that you have not listed this among the major obstacles of doing business in the 2015 Malawi Business Climate Survey.
“Next year I want to see high salaries for top executives as one of the obstacles of doing business in Malawi,” said Gondwe.
He also took a swipe at the business captains for advocating for the abolition of the fertiliser subsidy programme which, he claims, benefits the poorest of the poor.
Gondwe said the business executives with their extremely high salaries can afford anything at a time when the local man in the village cannot even afford food.
“Let me put it clear here that the main aim of the fertiliser subsidy programme is not to improve productivity but to help give the poorest of the poor some food on the table. If we don’t do that, these people will starve to death,” said Gondwe.