Speaking to the media at the Opposition Leader’s office in Colombo, Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardana
- Pic by Lasantha Kumara
By Nuwan Senarathna
The Joint Opposition yesterday called on the Government to expand the allowance of Rs. 2,500 to include semi-Government institutions, authorities, the private sector, and the plantation sector as it would boost consumption and drive economic growth.
Speaking to the media at the Opposition Leader’s office in Colombo, Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardana criticised the Government for treating semi-Government employees and plantation sector workers differently, insisting they deserve equal increments and allowances.
“When the Budget 2019 proposals were passed in Parliament, the Government said State employees will be given an increased allowance of Rs. 2500. However, this was not given to the employees of semi-Government establishments and other authorities. This is an unfair decision by the Government,” Gunawardana charged.
Gunawardana argued according to the administration circulars, the allowance can be paid to semi-Government institutions and other authorities. According to Gunawardana, all previous administrations had followed the mechanism when allowances were increased for State employees.
He noted the Government had promised to increase the State employee salary by Rs. 10,000, but that turned out to be a misleading statement, as it was not done in one phase. “The Government promised to increase State employees’ salaries by Rs. 10,000 but later they said it will be done in four stages. This is a very misleading statement and State employees voted the Government in with an expectation of Rs. 10,000 salary increase. Now State employees have realised the truth and they will answer at the next election.”
Gunawardana claimed the Rajapaksa administration had taken measure to increase private sector salaries to some extent.
“The private sector employees received salary increases under the Rajapaksa administration. But the private sector under the incumbent Government is not getting any salary increase. We believe they deserve an increase.”
He charged the Government had misled estate employees, as they were unable to deliver the promised daily wage of Rs. 1000 for the estate sector. He noted they he cannot be satisfied with the working conditions of estate workers, insisting that will change under their administration.