Sri Lanka has been in news for months dealing with the political crisis during the Rajapaksa’s reign. The economic crisis has dealt Sri Lanka with many crises. The economic crisis of Sri Lanka has hit badly to the people of the country. The soaring prices of the day-to-day commodities have brought a huge revolt in the citizens. Public sector employees are also encouraged to find work overseas and send money home amid unprecedented economic crisis.
To deal with the crisis the government of Sri Lanka issued a statement, that an extra day off would be a “solution to the food shortage that is expected to occur in the future’. The Sri Lankan government approved on Tuesday a four-day workweek for public sector employees to help them cope with a chronic lack of fuel and encourage them to grow food at home, as the country struggles with the worst shortages of basic commodities in decades.
“It seems appropriate to grant government officials leave for one working day of the week and provide them with the necessary facilities to engage in agricultural activities in their backyards,” said a cabinet statement.
Good call today with new Sri Lankan Prime Minister @RW_UNP Wickremesinghe. During these economically and politically challenging times, the U.S. stands ready to work with Sri Lanka, in close coordination with the International Monetary Fund and the international community.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) June 13, 2022
Sri Lanka is struggling to pay for critical imports such as food, fuel, and medicine as it faces a severe shortage of foreign currencies. Late on Monday, the government approved a proposal for public sector workers to be given leave every Friday for the next three months. It said the decision was partly to help workers who are facing difficulties getting to work due to fuel shortages as well as to encourage them to grow fruit and vegetables to help feed themselves and their families.
The extra day off would be a “solution to the food shortage that is expected to occur in the future”, the statement read, adding that cutting down on civil servant commutes would also help reduce fuel consumption. The United Nations last week warned of a “dire humanitarian crisis” and said four out of five people in the nation of 22 million were forced to skip meals as it planned to provide $47m to help more than a million vulnerable people.
The government said any of its 1.5 million public sector workers who wanted to travel abroad to find work would be given up to five years of unpaid leave without affecting their seniority or pension. The move is aimed at encouraging more people to get foreign jobs and send money back to the island, which is laboring under a critical shortage of foreign currency to buy imports.
Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s agriculture minister called on all citizens to start growing food in their home gardens, as the country is expecting shortages of rice — a staple source of food. Local rice production has dropped in Sri Lanka after a government decision last year to ban all chemical fertilizers. Although the ban has been lifted, the country was unable to secure fertilizer imports for the current cultivation season.
Sri Lanka needs at least $3 billion in emergency funds this year and its leaders have been trying to negotiate a deal with the International Monetary Fund. At the same time, the government raised taxes to help shore up its finances.
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