Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday instructed officials to prepare a method for providing compensation through the Agrahara Insurance Fund to Government employees infected with COVID-19 and are being treated at their homes.
The Prime Minister announced this during a discussion held at Temple Trees with representatives of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Trade Unions and affiliated Trade Unions on Wednesday.
Previously, the Prime Minister as the then Finance Minister had taken action to implement through the 2021 Budget proposals a method to pay the Agrahara Insurance compensation when Government employees lost their lives due to COVID-19 and when they were hospitalized for treatment.
The Trade Unions pointed out the need to make the Public Service more effective. They also explained how problems and disputes between top officials at institutional level and employees have affected activities at Government organizations.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that performance and productivity should be improved within the Government service, adding that the responsible officials need to act on this.
The Prime Minister also noted that local and foreign training opportunities should be increased for Government employees for this purpose.
The Trade Union representatives expressed their views about regaining pensions, which the previous Government deprived of for employees who joined the government service after 2016. Responding to this request, the Prime Minister informed the Public Administration Ministry Secretary to immediately inquire into this.
Increasing pensions in relation to the increasing Cost of Living was also subject to discussion on this occasion. The Trade Union representatives also informed the Prime Minister about certain irregularities that exist in purchases of the Railways Department.
The Prime Minister assured an inquiry into those, adding that awareness has been raised in connection with limiting expenses within Government institutions as the country’s economy has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ministers Gamini Lokuge, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry Secretary J. J. Rathnasiri, Labour Ministry Secretary U. K. Mapa Pathirana, Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister Chaminda Kularatne, Health Ministry Additional Secretary Kumari Attanayake, National Budget Department Director General Jude Nilukshan together with a group of representatives of the Progressive Trade Unions National Centre, Trade Unions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Trade Unions Joint Bala Mandala were present.
(Source: Daily News)