Thursday, 30 November 2023 06:12

Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Contributes LKR 7 Billion to the National Treasury Featured

Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Contributes LKR 7 Billion to the National Treasury

In a landmark meeting today with President Ranil Wickramasinghe, Hon. Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment, presented an operational surplus cheque of LKR 4 billion to the Treasury. This significant contribution, part of a total LKR 7 billion amassed this year, underscores the remarkable success of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) under the Ministry's stewardship.

The meeting, held at the President's Secretariat, was attended by key ministry officials, including Mr. R P A Wimalaweera, Secretary of the Ministry, Hilme Azeez, Chairman of SLBFE, and other senior figures. The delegation reviewed the Ministry's achievements in line with its 2023 Key Result Areas.

Minister Nanayakkara briefed President Wickramasinghe on several pivotal initiatives, including the Dignity of Labour Program. This program seeks to integrate informal sector workers and non-wage earners into the National Labour Market Information System, ensuring social security and formal recognition. The Minister highlighted the success of the migrant worker societies, career guidance clubs under the smart club program, and the electric car permit scheme, which has significantly boosted remittances to Sri Lanka.

The SLBFE's contribution to the economy is further emphasized by the USD 7.5 billion remitted by foreign workers in the last 18 months, with an ambitious target of reaching USD 10 billion set by the Minister.
Several innovative steps the Ministry took were discussed, including implementing the "Manusavi Contributory Pension Scheme" for migrant workers, the operation of special channels at the airport for migrant workers, and various vocational training and language courses to enhance the skills of potential migrant workers. The introduction of a Diploma in International Migration Studies and a Certificate Course in Labour Migration and Office Management were also noted as critical developments.

The delegation also outlined the Ministry's extensive Key Results Areas 2023, focusing on law and policy reforms, digital transformation, social protection, dignity of work, national labor market information system, employability development, migrant worker welfare, labor market recovery and transformation strategy, and occupational health.

President Wickramasinghe acknowledged the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment's significant contribution under Minister Nanayakkara's leadership as a primary source of foreign currency for the country. He highlighted the Ministry's initiatives, such as labor law reforms, as a long-overdue effort by successive governments. The President praised Minister Nanayakkara and his team for their role and encouraged them to continue their efforts to increase remittances to the country. The President also inquired into the digitalization of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and advised the senior team to expedite it, given the strategic importance of foreign employment to the national economy.

This meeting marks a significant stride in the country's efforts to strengthen and uplift its labor and foreign employment sectors, with the SLBFE's impressive financial contribution being crucial in bolstering the national economy.

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