JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban takeover. Here, a Staff Correspondent for JURIST in Kabul offers observations on the financial predicament of civil service employees in Afghanistan. For privacy and security reasons we are withholding his name and institutional affiliation. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.
The Taliban have suspended the salaries of all civil servant employees. Essentially, government agencies without a budget have been instructed to suspend all salaries until the Taliban government prepares a new salary scale for such employees. However, the Taliban is yet to release any information on what the new salaries of the employees will look like, but odds are they will be cut.
Many government employees have not received any pay for nearly three months now, leading to gatherings and demonstrations in Kabul and other provinces. Notably, salaries of such employees, especially those working in an independent budgetary unit of the government, are not much to begin with. As an example, even before the Taliban takeover, monthly salaries of directors and director generals at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, paid through World Bank’s “Change” project, were approximately just US $1,200 person. Other employees were not even entitled to this salary scale and the heads of departments used to receive AFN 14,000 (approx. US $154) per month.
Project Change is no more and said directors and director generals now receive AFN 18,000-25,000 (approx. US $198-275) per month. It is very difficult to survive with this kind of a salary. If it is cut down further, I do not think anyone will be interested in working with the Taliban, especially in the middle of an economic crisis.