Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Sri Lanka’s current crisis exerts severe impact on BOI enterprises 

Sri Lanka Board of  Investment (BOI) managed15 free trade zones are facing threat of halting manufacturing process owing to the current crisis situation in the country triggered by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa led government’s blunders  making the lives of around 150,000 employees in 300 large enterprises miserable as their jobs are now at stake. 

Cash strapped government’s ad-hoc policy changes, lengthy line agency approvals, obsolete labour laws and high utility costs were identified as impacting investor confidence and the down fall of enterprises 

The present situation of unrest triggered by economic hardships created by the government has exerted severe impact on BOI employees which will soon prompt them to take to streets agitating against the present rulers,several trade union leaders said. 

 This will result in workers uprising if no action is being taken  to address some of the procedural impediments in a number of key departments within the BOI.

Further  the government also made interventionist policies to arrest the ongoing economic fallout from COVID-19. But this in turn has altered the field of foreign direct investment towards manufacturing intended to the domestic market.

Under these circumstances the Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association (FTZMA) has written to the Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath raising concerns about the current situation and its impact on Board of Investment (BOI) approved export industries. 

FTZMA has made particular reference to the lack of continuous power supply, fuel and gas shortages, etc.

It was pointed out that BOI exporters are the ones who bring foreign exchange into the country and therefore we are much perturbed by the current uncertainty and unrest prevalent in the country due to the Government’s failure to provide basic necessities to the people and employees who are going through severe hardships. 

“We respect our valuable employees exercising their democratic rights in response to such hardships by expressing their resentment in a democratic and peaceful manner,” FTZMA said. 

“We as an industry collective have been always helping the economic wellbeing of the country. It is therefore we believe the responsibility of a government is to ensure smooth operations of the industry.

“The current situation of the country is not at all conducive to such. Considering this we shall express our disappointment at the way your Government is managing the situation as there is an imminent danger of major disruption due to employee unrest,” FTZMA letter signed by Chairman Jatinder Biala and Secretary Dhammika Fernando stated.

“Therefore, we urge and support establishing an urgent, solid recovery path back to sustainability and prosperity for the people of this great nation. We look forward to your urgent action to restore normalcy. This is the fervent hope of a hundred strong members of our association and their employees,” it added. 

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