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Mozambique approves new minimum salaries

MAPUTO, Apr 27 – Mozambique\’s government has approved wage increases for all sectors of the economy, with some sectors earning 52 percent more from April, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

The council of ministers, the country\’s highest decision-making body, approved the new salaries after talks between the government and representatives of employers and workers, government spokesman Alberto Nkutumula said.

"Agriculture, livestock and forestry earns the lowest (salary) at 2,005 meticals (64 dollars, 44 euros)," Nkutumula told AFP.

"The highest is in the financial sector. The salary is 5,320 meticals, a 52 percent increase from previous levels."

Only 3.4 percent of the country\’s 14 million employable people have a job in the formal sector.

Mozambique is one of the world\’s poorest countries, with over half of its 22 million people living below the poverty line. It pays the lowest salaries in southern Africa, according to a recent report by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Last year, violent riots against price increases left at least 14 dead, prompting the government to subsidise food and fuel.

However Mozambique is trying to rein in spending with plans to trim back food and fuel subsidies that cost the government millions of dollars a month.

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The government said last month it would gradually scale back the subsidies and offer other forms of support to the poor.

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