BNB'S GOVERNOR IS AMONG THE LOWEST-PAID BANK MANAGERS
How much does BNB's Governor get? And is his salary the reason for the immense passion and appetite (growing up over the last six months) for that position? Or is the guaranteed 6-year mandate of the central bank's head one of the safest refuges for politicians, who have been tired of upholding party positions (as the management of the fiscal reserve, for example)? Comments on that matter are considered in the BNB a manifestation of bad taste and really annoy the central bank's incumbent Governor Svetoslav Gavrijski.The remuneration of BNB's head from 1990 to 2000, for example, gave grounds for constant nibbling at Mr. Gavrijski on the part of Ventislav Dimitrov, who was then a deputy from the MRF-dominated parliamentary group of the Alliance for National Salvation (ANS). The MP from ANS then frequently referred to the Budget and Finance Commission in order to learn the size of Mr. Gavrijski's salary, and the latter (as if in definace) refused to answer him. However, in the autumn of 2000 BNB's Governor and vice governors were obliged by law to provide information about their incomes in the Public Register, which is under the auspice of the Accounting Office. Then it became known that the central bank's Governor gets a monthly salary of BGN2,520. In addition he gets remuneration for his participation in boards of directors of various international financial institutions, such as the Bank for International Payments, based in Basel (Switzerland).The latest data about Mr. Gavrijski's salary are from 2001 when he got about BGN2,700 per month from the BNB (the information about 2002 will be known through the Accounting Office in October 2003). Is this money much or little? As compared to the salaries of the Premier (around BGN1,500) and the head of the Parliamentary Budget Commission (almost BGN1,300), excluding the travelling and entertainment allowances which they get, BNB's Governor seems much better paid than these two senior state officials. But it should be born in mind that the central bank is responsible not only for the stability of the currency board in Bulgaria (managing the State's foreign currency reserve), but also supervises the bank sector and ensures the troublefree functioning of the counrty's payment system.In 2002 the BNB remitted to the budget BGN145MN (the surplus of revenues over expenditures, which it is obliged by law to deposit to the Treasury). On the background of that figure is more than amazing if anyone tries to capitalize on the remuneration of the central bank's Governor and vice governors. Compared to the salaries of the heads of some big commercial banks, who get BGN15,000-20,000 per month according to inoffficial data, Mr. Gavrijski's payment is some six- to eight-fold lower. Therefore, the aspiration for the position of BNB's Governor cannot be explained by the expected remuneration or the six-year mandate.