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Houthi militia trying to mislead Yemenis over payment of salaries to retired civil servants: information minister

LONDON: The Iran-backed Houthi militia is trying to mislead Yemenis over the payment of retired civil servants’ salaries, despite their decision to suspend them, starting with its coup against the state, the looting of reserves from the public treasury and abandoning all government initiatives to pay them regularly, said Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Moammar Al-Eryani.
He added that the government is prioritizing the payment of salaries, especially in Houthi-controlled areas and is working to find practical solutions as it considers it a humanitarian priority and a public responsibility, and has deployed large efforts, which have clashed with the Houthi militia in many cases.
“In 2019, in order to preserve civil servants and the regularity of the work of vital services, the government paid the salaries of more than 120,000 civil servants and pensioners in Houthi-controlled areas, including the health sector, and 50 % of employees in higher education, universities. in Hodeidah,” he said in a series of tweets.

Al-Eryani said the government has also conducted negotiations with the international community to allocate part of the humanitarian aid to a fund that covers the deficit, especially in the education sector.
“In January 2020, the Houthi militia imposed a monetary split by preventing the circulation of currency issued by the headquarters of the Central Bank of Yemen in the interim capital, Aden, which disrupted the payment of salaries by the government in the areas controlled by the militia, after being circulated for an entire year,” he added.
“In return, the Houthi militia doubled taxes, customs and zakat on citizens and the private sector, taking advantage of the black market in oil derivatives, as an example, according to a report by a group of experts , (while) the value of Houthis’ taxes and other income in 2019 was over $1.8 billion,” he also said.
As independent estimates indicate, the sums obtained by the Houthi militia during the year 2020 exceeded 4 billion dollars, amounts equivalent to several times the bill of salaries of state employees and pensioners in the areas under their control, Al-Eryani said.
“Since the truce in April 2022, a double number of oil-derived ships have arrived at the port of Hodeidah, with tax and customs revenues exceeding 213 billion Yemeni riyals (851 million dollars), looted by the Houthis and hindered the discussions to establish their disbursement to cover part of the salaries of civil servants and retirees in its areas,” he said.
The UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, offered to pay the salaries of civil servants in Houthi-controlled areas, but the militia rejected the proposal and demanded payment of the 2014 budget, which included the salaries of soldiers and members of the security militias who have replaced state personnel. Noted.
“The Houthi militia claims that before the war, oil revenues accounted for 70% of the budget, unaware that these revenues decreased by 75% due to the war it imposed, and caused the departure of companies and workers. foreign investment, and the cessation of oil production, exploration. , and the export of liquefied natural gas.
While the state’s oil revenues in 2014 topped $5 billion, those revenues fell to nearly $1 billion, he said, adding that the government is keen to address this issue through controls that ensure sustainable wages and income processing, including ports of Hodiedah and taxes. revenue in Houthi areas, and ensuring a clear role for the international community to finance wage shortfalls and remedy Houthi-imposed monetary distribution.

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