- Employers Federation informs Labour Minister members can only consider Rs. 5,000 allowance if economy improves
- Opines private sector had extra expenses to keep business afloat for the past COVID-hit 2 years
- Labour Minister calls on private sector to submit a collective document to present to Cabinet
- Minister insists on importance of protecting employees and employers interests for economic recovery and stability
Private sector yesterday categorically informed Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva that they are unable to extend the Rs. 5,000 allowance to private sector workers until the economy improves.
These views were expressed by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) at a meeting chaired by the Labour Minister to discuss on the matter to extend the Rs. 5,000 allowance to private sector workers, held at the Labour Department yesterday.
The members of the EFC also pointed out that they had to spend a lot of extra money to keep businesses afloat during the past two years and to keep their employees safe as per the health protocols.
“The export volumes and earnings were also negatively impacted for the past two years and dropped due to various difficulties they encountered,” EFC Director General Mangala Yapa said.
Increase in customs duties, unavailability of containers, soaring costs of production, issues relating to raw material imports and increased costs, debt moratorium coming to an end in March and high interest rates in banks, were also outlined as some of the difficulties the businesses face at present.
Yapa also asserted that the service sector too was facing a lot of difficulties, given the current economic crisis.
In response to the private sector views, the Labour Minister asked them to present a document collectively with their rationales to be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers expeditiously.
“It is crucial to protect employees and the employers, as both are equally important factors for economic recovery and stability,” de Silva stressed.
Representatives from the free trade zones, small industries, tourist hotels, defence services, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), manufacturing industries and construction and other services also participated at the discussion.
Labour Ministry Secretary Mapa Pathirana and Labour Department Commissioner General Prabath Chandrakeerthi also participated in this discussion.