No discussion on trimming Sri Lanka’s state sector but limiting recruitment: minister | Sinhala News

Sri lanka News – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has not discussed any plans to trim the existing workforce of the state sector but to limit non-essential recruitment, cabinet spokesman Ramesh Pathirana said.

Minister Pathirana told reporters on Tuesday September 13 that a committee headed by the secretary to the prime minister will study proposals to “create a balance” in the state sector by halting non-essential recruitment.

Sri Lanka has more than 1.5 million public sector employees at present, the size having doubled over the past 15 years, according to official data. Efficiency in the “bloated” public service is lower compared to that of Sri Lanka’s peers in Asia, despite there being a public servant for every 14 citizens.

Most state owned enterprises (SOEs) have become a dumping yard for politicians to recruit their supporters, resulting in more employees with very little do in spite of a monthly payments and pension scheme. Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said in June that there are 26,000 employees working in the state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) alone, an institution that can be run with just 5,000 employees.

In 2021, the government paid 86 cents as salaries and pension payment to public servants from every rupee it earned as tax revenue, leaving little for other public investments like health and education.

Many multilateral finance organisations including the IMF, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have advised Sri Lanka to reform the public sector and to keep it tight and efficient bu political leaders have been stubborn in their reluctance to heed the advice fearing political repercussions including electoral defeats.

However, the ongoing financial crisis has forced the government to look into alternatives, such as allowing state workers to go on leave for other jobs both locally and abroad.

Related:

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka finally starts to deal with bloated public sector

(Colombo/Sep13/2022)

 

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