The government is likely to review the decision granting public sector employees to work abroad for a five-year period, with the best performing employees in the public service leaving the country under the scheme potentially weakening the public service, according to a senior state official.

In the public service, the best officers are leaving. If they are performing better, there’s more likelihood of them leaving. So, we are going to reconsider this,” Sectary to the Ministry of Environment Dr. Anil Jasinghe said.

He shared these remarks during a joint press conference organised by the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) and Postgraduate Institute of Management Alumni (PIMA) in Colombo last Friday. At the height of foreign exchange crisis, the government allowed public sector employees to work abroad for five years with no-pay leave while assuring their seniority or pension rights upon their return. Although, this decision seemed sensible one year ago as a way to reduce fiscal expenditure and to increase forex inflows, Dr. Jasinghe pointed out that in practice, this has resulted in most efficient and most qualified employees leaving the public service for foreign employment. 
Hence, he highlighted that the public service could be left with less productive and less qualified employees. 

So far over 2,000 public sector employees have secured necessary approvals to obtain extended leave for a five-year period to travel overseas for employment. 

Under the scheme, public sector employees were allowed to utilize the no-pay leave to work abroad, receive vocational training, or improve their language and IT skills.

Sri Lanka has around 1.5 million employees in the public sector, which is characterised by low productivity.

source daily mirror

Dr. Anil Jasinghe - Vice President - Global Green Growth Institute