President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday advised the private sector to engage in a collective agreement concerning the wage hike for plantation workers, aiming for a minimum of Rs. 1700, as per their request.
Alternatively, plantation companies were urged to reach a consensus on the increased wage amount before 31 December. This guidance was imparted during a discussion held yesterday where the President met with the heads of plantation companies. The purpose of the meeting was to explore how regional plantation companies could align their programs with the agricultural modernisation initiative outlined in the 2024 Budget presented in Parliament last month.
The President’s Media Division said the discussions also delved into the program designed to grant land rights to plantation workers. President Wickremesinghe expressed his intention to establish committees for future work, proposing one committee to address the housing needs of plantation workers and another to represent the interests of both workers and plantation companies.
Emphasising his confidence in an export-oriented economy for the country’s economic development, President Wickremesinghe stressed the collective contribution needed to ensure the success of the agricultural modernisation program. He highlighted the growing demand for food due to the increasing population of Asian countries and urged the country’s export economy to prepare for this reality.
The meeting was attended by Labour and Foreign Employment Promotion Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of State for Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, Senior Advisor to the President on Economic Affairs Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, and numerous representatives from local plantation companies.