Skilled labour importation to be streamlined
By Ishara Gamage
Sri Lanka will soon introduce a fast and flexible labour import process to fulfil urgent skilled labour shortages in the private sector, State Minister of Finance and Mass Media Eran Wickramaratne said yesterday.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the Advocata Economic Freedom Summit in Colombo, Wickramaratne said that the Government had proposed the authority be given to the controller of immigration and emigration.
Advocata Institute is an independent think tank working to promote sound public policy ideas for a free and more prosperous Sri Lanka.
"Currently, there are lengthy approval processes for importing labour. But according to the proposed arrangement, the controller of immigration and emigration will have ultimate authority to approve requests without having to refer to relevant line ministries," he said.
State Minister Eran Wickremeratne also mentioned that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is to propose repeals to a controversial expropriation law and some changes to land ownership laws.
"The present Government does not agree on what happened and if it moves to acquire private property, bad signals go out; it will not attract FDI," he said.
The Minister also urged the country's 'economic freedom fighters' to come up with their economic reforms implementation strategies rather than reports.
The Minister also insisted that though there were inconsistencies in policies, the country is moving towards liberalized trading and a capital flow system.
"For every act of liberalization, there is an immediate impact and that has to be managed," he said.
The Minister also said that the Government is ready to implement labour market reforms, but downsizing of the extremely larger State sector is a difficult task.
"We are in a coalition government and we have a shared mandate. Within this scenario, we have to deal with a different kind of economic and business knowledge levels.
Therefore, expecting a 1977-type United National Party-led economic policy reform model is not a reality," the Minister said.
Eran Wickramaratne said that there was clearly a problem in some national assets and state-owned enterprises such as Sri Lankan Airlines.
"My question is what we should do with Sri Lankan Airlines. It doesn't matter who is in charge of it, or who the management team is. My personal view is that there isn't an economic proposition in the current context of the airline industry. So how much are we willing to pay? It will bring some kind of national pride to fly the Sri Lankan flag in the air; that is the question. That is a political question, neither economic nor financial; political questions demand political answers. A few years ago, France Airbus Company sold 8 long-flying A350-900 aircrafts to Sri Lankan Airlines. This didn't fit their strategy for a small country like us. So which party is responsible for this dummy deal? My opinion is that both buyer and seller share equal responsibility," he added.
He said, however, that within this post-war reconciliation and democracy-building era, the Government is slowly but steadily achieving their targets.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Anushka Wijesinha said that reducing over 1.6 million state sector employees is a challenge in a short time.
He also said the Government can reduce its negative impacts by avoiding military involvement in businesses and introducing a citizen participatory budget process for state sector organizations.
Anushka also mentioned that some professional bodies remain reluctant to open their profession to international markets, but the upcoming Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) should prove helpful to attract international talent to the country.
Fraser Institute, Canada Resident Fellow Fred McMahon and Research Chair in Economic Freedom Dr. Michael A. Walker, said that the overcrowded state sector is a major curse to the country and military involvement in it is a disaster.
He said that Sri Lanka could gain economic prosperity and poverty reduction in freeing the economy.
- Quo Vadis, China?
- Why Americans are no longer dynamic
- Pardon and release the 158 Tamil remand prisoners
- Workshops to develop tourism in the East
- SWOAD promotes rights of migrant workers
- PAFFREL seeks Gazetting of Elections Amendment Bill
- CMB Port City: Work will be completed by 2019– Sagala Ratnayaka
- AKD’s RTI request from TRC pending a reply
- Alliance Française gets new library & information corner
- Give more women & youth a chance – March 12 Movt
- SL and Pakistan to consolidate bilateral relations
- Missing girls surrender to Police Three charged with abduction
- Amaraweera claims life in danger
- For energy security SL to enter into agreement with Qatar
- Sex spray puts 3 girls in hospital
- JVP to sue Johnnie for Rs 500 M
- Hosting SAARC Summit Pakistan assured of SL’s support
- International Conventions and Debasement of Legislative Process Part II
- Developing education sector Will take tough decisions – Akila Viraj
- Guangzhou looking for investment opportunities – Tu Hongze
- Three women go missing in Orugodawatte
- Awareness on violence against women Mahela and Kumar address students
- Foreign Secretary’s visit to Sri Lanka Pakistan commits to stronger ties
- Sashi to take Ranjan to Court
- allegedly defrauded more than Rs 100mn Employment fraudster remanded
- Kusal Perera ruled out from Pakistan T20Is
- De Villiers hits thrilling century
- Sri Lanka ‘A’ tour of West Indies 2nd Four day match starts today
- Sluggish Sri Lanka move slowly
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Schools Cricket St. John’s Jaffna create major upset
- SL women’s tour of WIndies T20 matches start today
- Sri Lanka approaching Pakistan visit cautiously
- Wattala Antonian Sixes 2017 this weekend
- Golf ‘really healthy’ even without Tiger, says Rose
- Lanka Lions Tag Rugby Sevens Trinity wins cup for fifth time in UAE
- TTSC Softball Cricket ‘Sixes’ 2017 51 Men’s, 7 Women’s teams battle for honours
- Kuldeep cements place in Indian attack
- SL out to save series Batsmen aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities - Managers and Coach Kapugedera likely to play today
- Gunathilaka’s ban revised - SLC Ex-Co
- Sadeera to be included in ODI team
- 130 SRI LANKA AMATEUR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 at NUWARA ELIYA Chalitha Pushpika topples indian top seed Sri Lanka 3 out of 4 in SEMI-FINAL
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Schools Cricket Kamindu Mendis scores third ton
- Royal regain E.F.C. Pereira Challenge Trophy
- DSI Supersport Schools Volleyball Championship 2017 Finals just around the corner
- All Blacks coach backs Sonny Bill Williams
- SL remains too protectionist
- Govt. aims $1.6B FDI next year, $2B in 2019
- 70% growth from consumption and investment
- ADB debuts risk sharing to support trade in developing Asia
- SL GDP to grow 7% from 2020 - Mangala
- Retail sector asks for Govt support to boost retail tourism
- Dr. coom in for good times!
- ‘Excon 2017’ Road Show to highlight SL construction sector
- Sri Lanka impresses investors in New York
- West Coast beach front soaring in value
- Asia markets tread water Investors scrutinize China’s Party Congress
- SL among Asia’s fastest adopters of cloud computing
- Hosted by Sri Lanka-China Business Cooperation Council
- Toyota Lanka contributes Hybrid Learning Centre to AETI
- Value of social networking yet to be determined
- Sri Lanka to inaugurate performance art center for tourists
- Guangzhou Govt representatives positive about investing
- Lanka Hospitals & Sri Lanka Heart Association to mark World Heart Day
- BBDO Lanka strikes gold at Effies
- Sampath Bank celebrates ‘Thrift Month’ with eco-friendly gifts
- Implications of Provincial Police Departments
- Cairo: Most dangerous megacity for women
- Proxy Waiting
- Shortage of Science Graduates
- Rice Revolution Simply a Catalyst or more…?
- Fall of Raqqa
- UN urges B’desh to move Rohingya refugees
- Flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in the history of the world
- Sucking it up
- Ahikuntika community of Sri Lanka Diminishing cultural traits
- Even the PM should be in Prison for the frauds
- Would like more Pradeshiya Sabhas for N’Eliya-Radhakrishnan
- Skills mismatch a massive economic cost Education system must be reformed
- Federalism is the antithesis of separatism Wiggy
- Kiriella has no right to ask me not to speak-Handunnetti
- UNHRC Resolution 30/1 Implications for Sri Lanka (Part II) (Based on a presentation to the OPA)
- Electoral Reforms are for People’s Benefit
- Managing perception with international community
- Salient points of horoscope Assessment
- KARMIC CONNECTIONS IN THE BIRTH CHARTS 2
- Dream of travelling abroad?
- Mystery behind Osama bin Laden explained
- Three poses to relieve trauma
- Socio-economic developments from critical perspective
- KAZUO ISHIGURO – THE NEW NOBEL LAUREATE
- The Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018 –Internationally acclaimed authors to take part
- Portrayal of country and nature
- Resonant Field Imaging - a Marvel in Technology
- Shankar’s International Children’s Competition 2018
- Hindustani Violin recital
- Classical rendering of a masterly-crafted musical
- Kite Surfing Lanka Kalpitiya An experience of a lifetime
- Ella and mini Adam’s Peak
- A cave of history -Ravana Cave
- Making plus-sized clothing trendy
- Pyjamas go viral as well - Sharmila Srikumar
- Giving back to Society
- Double treat at Pinnawala
- Mental illness a health issue Replacing stigma with compassion
- Studying to be ahead