Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara says that although the Cabinet has approved the provision of a duty-free allowance in relation to the amount of money sent by migrant workers to Sri Lanka, the officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have not yet taken necessary measures for it.
Joining the International Migrants Day celebration held at the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), the minister mentioned that it’s been about 04 months since the cabinet approval was granted to provide a duty-free allowance for migrant workers compared to the amount of foreign exchange sent by them.
Minister Nanayakkara also stated that if the officials are not working to provide the relevant allowance for the Sri Lankan migrant workers, he will continue to do what he can do to speak out against it without hesitation.
Meanwhile, the minister further emphasized that a new program will be implemented within a few days which allows migrant workers to obtain housing loans, adding that discussions have been completed with the banking system and the central bank, regarding the matter.
Sri Lankans employed overseas can obtain housing loans at lower interest rates than other people, the Minister mentioned.
“Everyone’s attention is focused, and I saw that even the COPE committee is also focused on the fact that we have billions of reserves. After keeping these reserves, the treasury sometimes takes white elephants to maintain them whenever it needs”, he said.
“We can spend money according to the powers assigned to us under the Act for the welfare of migrant workers”, the minister pointed out.