A new draft bill which was presented before the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) on Tuesday aims to amend the existing proclamation on the rights and benefits of outgoing heads of state and government, senior government officials, members of parliament and judges. It also proposes improving privileges for senior governmental officials leaving office.
The existing law, referred to as Proclamation to Provide for the Amendment of Rights and Benefits of Outgoing Heads of State and Government, Senior Government Officials, Member of Parliament and Judges, was adopted in 2009.
According to Amanuel Abrham, the deputy government whip, the draft proclamation would also allow state ministers, deputy speakers, deputy government whips, and deputy heads of political parties to get equal benefits.
The amended bill included details of the reforms made on the existing proclamation, including improvements made on rehabilitation allowance, severance pay, house allowance and vehicle service for outgoing government officials.
The existing proclamation (653/2009) classifies the rights and benefits of the executive bodies in two categories. The first category is about heads of state and government while the second one is about other senior officials. However, the proclamation grants relatively better privileges for the former as compared to the latter. Hence, though the existing proclamation stipulates the rights and benefits granted to senior governmental officials, the document states that amendments to improve the outgoing officials’ maintenance allowance, severance pay, housing allowance and residential allowance as well as transport vehicle and vehicle allowances have also been included.
“When this proclamation comes into force, it is going to entail more cost, of course. However, the cost would be justified in view of the overall goal of building a democratic system,” says the bill document attached to the draft proclamation.
It was also noted that draft bill proposes providing equal benefits for ministers, speakers, government whips and heads of opposition political parties.
The house referred the draft proclamation to the pertinent standing committee for further consideration.