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Over 20,000 labourers will have an opportunity- Minister of Labour

Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower Athauda Senaviratne pointed out at Maho that a large number of workers were unable to have a shelter of their own due to financial constraints and that he would introduce a housing loan scheme with low interest from the (EPF) Employee Provident Fund.

Minister Athauda Senaviratne was speaking at the commissioning of a two storeyed labour office in the Yapahuwa electorate.

He said the Korean and Malaysian Ambassadors had reached agreement regarding the unemployment problem of Sri Lanka. As a result of their discussions on the problem more than 20,000 Sri Lankan labourers would have a chance to work in those countries.

The Minister said he decided to meet Labour Ministers of Middle-East countries about the plight of housemaids harassment and ill-treatment.

He said that he had asked Sri Lankan embassy officials and welfare officials to contact relevant agents in those countries and urge them to release the affected workers who could be re-employed under another employment.

Referring to contract workers, he said that most trade unions were not in favour of employment of contract employees who were required to work the same way as permanent employees.

The Minister said the job security of all Sri Lankan migrant workers along with all contract workers will be protected and people in the North East wishing to go abroad for employment will be encouraged.

Minister of Highways and Road Development T.B. Ekanayake noticed a large number of vacancies currently existing for Sri Lankan professionals in foreign countries and those vacancies would be filled under a special programme due to be implemented shortly. A number of local professional including doctors, engineers and accountants got an opportunity to work in foreign countries during the past year and we are expected to double this number in the coming months.

He said last year 120,000 Lankans took up foreign employment. Out of them more than 90,000 went as housemaids, while the others left for various other employment categories including clerical, supervisory and labour work in permanent factories, plantation sector and other industrial establishments.

PC member Bandara Rajapaksa said the Government despite the war would help public and private sector employees with a fair salary increase.

The State is always trying to uplift the living standard low-income people of Sri Lanka.

 

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