The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) has contributed a total of Rs.07 billion to the NTreasury this year, with a formal presentation of a Rs.04 billion cheque was presented to President Ranil Wickremesinghe by the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment, Mr. Manusha Nanayakkara, yesterday afternoon (29) at the Presidential Secretariat.
In light of the prevailing economic conditions in the country, this substantial amount has been allocated from the operating surplus received by the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau. The funds are earmarked for crucial activities, including the procurement of essential medicines and the disbursement of government employee salaries.
A significant portion of the Rs. 07 billion, specifically Rs.03 billion were handed over directly to the President earlier this year. Concurrently, an additional allocation of Rs.100 million has been designated for Apeksha Hospital Maharagama for medicine procurement.
This marks a historic milestone as the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau has, on various occasions, contributed substantial amount of Rs.3382 million to the Treasury. Notably, the current
Rs. 07 billion contribution stands as a remarkable milestone, representing the Bureau’s highest annual contribution within a single year to date.
Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment, Mr. R. P. Wimalaweera, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, Hilmi Aziz and a delegation of senior officials graced the occasion.
Following this, a comprehensive review of the progress made by the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment in the year 2023 was undertaken.
Minister Manusha Nanayakkara apprised the President of the key on-going initiatives spearheaded by the Ministry. He highlighted the initiation of the “Garu Saru” program, aimed at conferring dignity upon individuals engaged in the informal sector in Sri Lanka with a focus on social security programs. Moreover, Minister Nanayakkara emphasized the strategic integration of these individuals into the information system pertaining to the labour market.
To enhance the inflow of foreign remittances into Sri Lanka, the Minister highlighted challenges associated with the professional guidance activities conducted under the smart club program of Expatriate Workers’ Associations and about the implementation of a licensing system for the import of electric cars.
Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, citing a notable achievement of receiving US $ 7.5 billion in remittances over the past 18 months, updated the President on initiatives such as the introduction of a pension system for expatriate workers and the establishment of a dedicated terminal for departing workers at the airport.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe underscored the pivotal role of expatriate workers’ remittances as a primary source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. He commended the Ministry, led by Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, for its proactive program and applauded the efforts in reforming labour laws through the introduction of the new Employment Security Act.