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Over 300,000 join Public Service

Recruitment not stopped, says Minister:

Minister Siyambalapitiya

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has alleged that the Government has stopped recruiting employees to the public sector, but during the last United National Front (UNF) Government led by Wickremesinghe three circulars preventing the recruitment of personnel were issued by his Government, said State Revenue Minister and Financial Planning Deputy Minister, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya at a press conference yesterday.

He said the first circular No:14 directed to stop recruitment to officer and minor grades in the public service.

Circular No:15 to stop recruitment of all grades of public servants and most important was the third and fourth circulars No:16 and No:16-I issued by the Wickremesinghe Government abolishing all vacancies in the public sector.

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government has not only filled vacancies but also has created new posts to strengthen the public service. These include 205,349 persons recruited up to 2009 and filling of 99,711 vacancies that existed from 2004 to 2009. The total new entrants within this period were 305,060, the Minister said.

He said the Government’s fiscal policies were also formulated with long-term objectives in mind. For instance the debt percentage to Gross National Product (GNP) in 2008 has been reduced to 81 percent, it was 105 percent in 2005.

The Government while fighting a war in the North and the East did not neglect development schemes and started projects like Hambantota and Oluvil ports, power supply schemes like Norochcholai and Upper Kotmale. Improvements to Colombo and Galle ports were also started by this Government, the Minister said.

Central Bank of Sri Lanka Assistant Governor P.N. Weerasinghe who was also associated with the Minister said the country’s financial reserves were sound and investments in foreign banks have been made by the Central Bank. Therefore, our foreign currency reserves would increase with the interests paid in foreign currency.

He said Lanka’s balance of payments position was also sound and if there is an unfavourable balance of payment position that could arise at any future day, we will be in a position to make payments from our foreign reserves to normalise the balance of payment.

There is an increased demand for Treasury bonds and Treasury bills and there are signs that foreign remittances during the current year will improve.

Our reserves could be developed to a higher level than before, he said.

Financial Policy Division Director General S.R. Atigala said the economic growth rate recorded 1.8 percent in the first quarter while in the second quarter we recorded a growth rate of 2.1 percent in 2009. This was while most developed countries did not show any positive economic growth due to the global economic downturn. He said though there was a natural slow-down of the economy due to the global recession, Government revenues and expenditure would come to a break even point as revenue were gradually increasing in the current year.

 

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