By Shezna Shums
The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment for the first time is to open its own SLBFE Travel office to accommodate the travel needs of the persons seeking employment aboard as well as for persons who want to travel abroad for other purposes.
The SLBFE is to open this new office next week (26 April) at their premises, and according to them this new travel office is established to assist and provide higher benefits to the country’s migrant workers when it comes to booking their tickets to the country of employment. The migrant workers who are registered with the bureau will be able to benefit from this new office.
This office will also help the migrant workers to avoid being cheated by rogue travel agencies as well as benefit from economical prices for their air fare.
This initiative was introduced by Minister of Foreign Employment Promotions and Welfare, Dilan Perera.
The Minister has also noted that the Migrant worker industry is one of the fastest developing industries in the country and this new office will greatly benefit the country.
Air tickets at economical rates can be bought by migrant workers and will also be available for other persons who need to go abroad for work and other purposes.
The SLBFE is working in collaboration with SriLankan Airlines, Mihin Lanka, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Oman Airways and other airlines as well.
At the opening of this new office will be the officials from the Foreign Employment Development Agency and Welfare Ministry; Foreign Employment Promotions and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera; Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne as well as Ministry of Ports and Aviation, Deputy Minister, Rohitha Abeygunawardena.
According to the records available at the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, the present outflow is over 200,000 per annum.
Recorded sources of foreign exchange earnings show that migrant workers in the Middle East remitted over 229,298 million rupees in 2009 out of the total private remittances. It was 59.90% of all remittances and Saudi Arabia., Qatar, Kuwait, U.A.E. and Jordan were the major labour receiving countries that have captured over 86% of Sri Lanka labour market.