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Labour Minister Addresses COYLE on Budgetary Relief Allowance

Addressing the COYLE (The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs) at a business conclave in Colombo, Minister of Labor and Trade Union Relations, John Seneviratne, presented an overview of the gazette notification on “Budgetary Relief Allowance Act”.

Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs Chairman Kasun Rajapaksa thanked Minister Seneviratne for his participation at the Forum. “The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs was established in 1999 with 17 members, as a platform to bridge the gap between fundamental business segments in the country. Today we have about 120 dynamic young entrepreneurs and our organisation has been a significant force in the country’s economic development for the period of its existence” he stated.

Minister Seneviratne thanked the COYLE members for organising such a significant event and said “The vision of our country lies in the hands of our Young Lankan Entrepreneurs   and they have the ability to create an identity for themselves and move the nation forward”.

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In his speech, Minister Seneviratne urged the private sector to comply with the “Budgetary Relief Allowance” law and to increase the salaries of their employees by Rs. 2,500.

Minister Seneviratne said all private sector employers had already been informed of the Budgetary Relief Allowance. The law had been passed retrospectively on 1 May 2015 and certified by the Speaker on 23 March 2016. Therefore, Rs. 1000 should be given to all employees with effect from 1 May 2015 to 31 December 2015 and another Rs. 1,000 should be added from 1 January 2016.

If the respective private company was in a loss situation, then they should inform the Commissioner of Labour and his officials would investigate the financial state of the company and they would be given 12 months relief to adjust to the law by improving their finances, the Minister said. But, after the relief period, the company would have to give the salary increments to the workers, Minister Seneviratne stressed.

The forum was followed by a Q&A session and offered the participants the opportunity to discuss matters pertaining to the specific areas of concern. One important point that the members raised was the low productivity of Sri Lankan youth choosing the career path of becoming three wheel drivers, and proposed that the government should impose a minimum age limit of 35 years.

The minister concluded the session by expressing optimism that the wage increase will contribute to sustainability of the economy and increased productivity.

The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) held their monthly General Meeting at Hilton Colombo on 5th May 2016.

Original Daily FT Article 

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