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Tunisia: The budget deficit delays payment of employees' salaries for the third month

October 27, 2021 at 9:33 pm

A man retrieves newly circulating Tunisian bank notes from an ATM in the capital Tunis, on March 27, 2020 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The Tunisian government did not pay the salaries of public employees for the previous working month, despite being overdue for 10 days, while experts attribute the reason to the deficit in the state budget.

The working days for salaries are calculated in Tunisia starting from the 16th of the month and ending on the 15th of the following month, while salaries are disbursed after 3 days (18th of each month).

Public employees’ salaries are not delayed for the third month.

A number of education workers revealed to Anadolu Agency that they had not received salaries for the month from 16 September to 15 October, so far.

In a statement to Anadolu Agency, economist, Ridha Shkandali, attributed the delay in paying salaries to the deficit in the state budget.

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The economic expert explained that, among the solutions offered to find the necessary liquidity, is to print the currency for one month, despite the serious consequences of this step, especially the high inflation in the country.

On Monday, data from the Tunisian Ministry of Finance showed that the budget deficit during the first eight months of this year decreased by 38 percent to 3 billion dinars (about one billion dollars) at the end of last August, from 4.9 billion dinars ($1.75 billion).

The ministry attributed the decrease in the deficit to an increase in tax revenues by more than 10 percent.

The salary bill for public employees in Tunisia is estimated at about 1.7 billion dinars (about 610 million dollars), and the salary item constitutes about half of the monthly expenditure.

In August, Tunisia received $741 million from the International Monetary Fund, out of $650 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) that the fund distributed to member states (190 countries).

Tunisia allocated most of the amount to fund wages for the past months.

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