64th Turkish government fulfilling election promises, makes headway in reforms
by Emre Özüm
ANKARAJan 20, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Emre Özüm
Jan 20, 2016 12:00 am
Turkey's newly elected 64th government has already implemented half of the 2016 Action Plan, which includes various changes that will affect thousands of farmers, students, tradesmen, workers and women. The second half of the plan, which has a three-month time stamp for completion, includes 44 pledges and 20 reforms which were made to the Action Plan, and will likely be completed by March 30.
Initially, the Turkish government focused on reforms that do not require legislative regulations, namely educational grants and student loans for undergraduate students, which increased to TL 400. The allowance for rank and file military personnel also increased TL 100. The government's plan to provide complimentary monetary funding for students, graduates and young people was also implemented, reflected by TL 50,000 ($17,150) and TL 100,000 in interest-free loans for young entrepreneurs.
In addition, the value-added tax (VAT) on feed and fertilizers was removed, and young farmers will be granted financial support of up to TL 30,000 for projects they submit, provided they are in compliance with regulations.
The government's meeting with the Minimum Wage Determination Commission resulted in a minimum wage increase, from TL 1,000 ($346) to TL 1,300 ($428) per month. Addressing the concerns of business owners regarding rising financial burdens, the government claimed financial burden of the minimum wage (approximately TL 30 billion) with private enterprises. The wages of village headmen were also increased to TL 1,300 from TL 950 and benefits for policemen increased to TL 3,000 from TL 2,200.
New rights for women and free insurance for recent graduates were other topics that passed from the relevant commissions of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). The commissions addressed maternity leave for women, who will receive paid leave according to their family situation. Specifically, women will receive two months maternity leave after the first child, four months after the second and six months after the third child, including full-time pay for part-time work and longer periods of maternity leave for female government officers.
The related commissions of the TBMM are also working on the main reform topics indicated by the government which include the law of political ethics, transparency of political funds, government shares from the predicted increase in profit from building construction in accordance with plans for new building laws, legalizing Alevi centres for worship (known as "cemevis"), addressing ways to solve the problems faced by the Roma community, personal data safety, removing anti-democratic codes from governmental institutions, safer working conditions and regulations over work-related promotions.