The state on Thursday announced a special allowance for high risk persons working on the front lines of Maldives’ COVID19 response
In answer to a question posed by The Edition's journalist during the press briefing held by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on Thursday afternoon, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer declared that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has decided to grant an allowance after categorising frontliners based on risk levels.
According to Ameer, frontline workers are divided into three categories. The first category contains those subjected to the highest risk, such as individuals who come into direct contact with COVID-19 patients, including doctors, nurses, sample collectors, laboratory technicians, those who operate the vehicles in which positive and suspected individuals are transferred and those who enter COVID-19 treatment facilities.
The aforementioned group of people will receive an allowance of MVR 500 for every working day.
Medium risk frontliners fall into the second catergory, including those who have to work with high-risk individuals although they do not come into contact with COVID-19 patients. Those in this category will receive a daily allowance of MVR 250 on every working day.
Frontliners that do not fit into either of the aforementioned categories but work in NEOC for more than six hours each day will receive an allowance of MVR 200.
However, Minister Ameer noted that some individuals will not receive this allowance despite fitting into the categories, including political appointments made by the President under Article 115 of the Constitution, those who don't fall under the high-risk category and receive salaries and allowances equivalent to a Deputy Minister and those who are already paid an allowance due to COVID-19 from their place of employment.
In addition, Minister Ameer also announced that the state will slash basic salaries for civil servants earning over MVR 20,000 per month.
Under this decision, the salaries for civil servants earning between MVR 20,000 to MVR 25,000 will be reduced by 20 percent, while salaries of those earning between MVR 25,000 to MVR 60,000 will be slashed by 30 percent.
Civil servants with basic salaries over MVR 60,000 will see a reduction of 35 percent.
Moreover, the state has also declared a ceiling for the take-home pay for civil servants, capping the total income at MVR 70,000 for those who earn over MVR 80,000 per month while those who earn less than MVR 10,000 has a cap of MVR 25,000.