According to Minister Stanley Raghoebarsing of Finance & Planning in Suriname, the administration has been debating various measures to substantially lower the expenditure pattern over the past few weeks. Telephone costs are one expense that has a significant monthly impact on budgeting.
The minister estimates that it comes to $1 million USD per month. The Safe City project, among other significant public benefit initiatives, strain the presidency, he continued.
Raghoebarsing stated on Sunday in the radio program Weinlichtinge Kringen that “our telecom costs are ten times the costs of business trips for the civil service.” The ministry estimates that approximately SRD 3.5 million is spent on business travel per month on average.
Raghoebarsing has additionally stated during government discussions that he will specify the maximum salary budget for each ministry. Crossing this threshold will force fellow ministers to watch for themselves. Therefore, a hiring freeze for new governmental officials has been implemented across the board as of May 3. As a result, no further government employees may be hired for the remainder of this year.
The Suriname Police Force (KPS) also spends 25 million SRD on wages and salaries, while the State bears a cost of 50.1 million SRD for these law enforcement officials’ allowances. It has been agreed within the government to take a serious look at this. “We need to look at limits on allowances and overtime pay,” he said.