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Tuesday May 21st, 2024

Sri Lanka plantations minister moves to increase wages for tea, rubber estate workers

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) will request Labour Minister Manusha Nanayakkara to summon the Wages Board for an increase in tea and rubber plantation wages to reflect increased cost of living, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman said.

Thondaman tweeted Thursday February 09 morning that multiple efforts have been made to enter into a collective agreement with regional plantation companies (RPCs) but neither they nor the employers’ federation reciprocated their intent to enter into a productivity or attendance based wage scheme.

Therefore, with the rise in cost of living, a fair wage must be sought with government intervention, i.e Wages Board,” said Thondaman.

In a related development, the newly sworn in cabinet minister met US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung on Wednesday. The duo has discussed “ways to expand economic opportunities for Hill Country Tamils and steps the government is taking to address their needs.”

Sri Lanka’s commercial tea and rubber plantations in September called for a wage model in the style of small holders moving away from the fixed rates that is reducing output and worker earnings as collapse of the rupee slashes real wages.

Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered 1,000 rupees a day wage to workers who already have a collective agreement as part of promises made in the run up to the 2020 elections in a series of state interventions including a fertilizer ban.

Small holder farms have of late been practising a model where a group of workers have responsibility over a farm who are paid according to the volumes they pluck and also keep owners informed of the need for fertilizer and other inputs to boost leaf growth.

Some plantations companies have also tested other wage models. Until the flat rates was re-introduced by manifesto a partial productivity based model was in place.

Related:

Sri Lanka plantations call for new model as wage talks loom

(Colombo/Feb09/2023)

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  1. Chandana jayasekera says:

    Instead of a daily wage pay on kg basis . They can earn more.

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  1. Chandana jayasekera says:

    Instead of a daily wage pay on kg basis . They can earn more.

Sri Lanka declares May 21 as National Mourning day over Iranian President’s death

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka declared a national mourning day on Tuesday, May 21 in view of expressing its solidarity with Iran after sudden death of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi following a helicopter crash.

President Raisi and eight others including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were killed in the crash when the helicopter had a “hard landing” reportedly due to adverse weather conditions with heavy fog. However, President’s two convoy helicopters reached the destination safely.

“The Sri Lankan government has declared a national mourning day on tomorrow (May 21) on behalf of the sudden death of Iranian president Mr. Ebrahim Raisi,” the Department of Government Information said in a statement.

It also urged all the state institutions have to hoist the national flag half mast.

Raisi was in Sri Lanka on April 24 to launch the Uma Oya dam on a one-day official visit amid tight security. His helicopter crashed when he was returning to Iran after launching a dam in the Azerbaijan border.

President Raisi is seen as a hardliner and a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said the island nation will deal with Iran for investments and trade without being caught into the United States-led sanctions.

Sri Lanka was unable to receive $450 million from Iran for a recently opened Uma Oya multipurpose project started before the sanctions.

Sri Lanka now exports tea to Iran for no dollar payment. Instead, Sri Lanka tea producers are paid by the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in rupees for the pending crude oil import payments for Iran.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his condolences on the tragic incident.

“Sri Lanka is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and other senior Irani official,” he said in his official X-platform.

“I express my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the government and the people of Iran.”

Raisi, a Muslim jurist, served as the eighth president of Iran from 2021 until his death. (Colombo/May 20/2024)

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Sri Lanka helps launch Global Blended Finance Alliance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has joined a group of nations led by Indonesia which aims to mobilise capital to achieve carbon neutrality, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Jeevan Thondaman said.

The Global Blended Finance Alliance mooted by Indonesia in 2018, was formally launched at the World Water Forum in Bali today.

Among the other founding members are Fiji, France, UAE, Kenya, Luxembourg and Canada.

“Through our collective efforts, the Global Blended Finance Alliance aims to mobilise both public and private capital to help nations achieve carbon neutrality and the SDGs,” Thondaman said on social media platform X (twitter).

“The world has a USD 2.5 trillion funding gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,” he said.

Blended finance is the strategic use of development finance, such as public and/or philanthropic funds, for the mobilisation of additional commercial finance towards sustainable development in developing countries. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes slightly stronger at 299.60/75 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee appreciated slightly to close at 299.60/75 to the US dollar on Friday, from 299.70/80 the previous week, dealers said. Bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed up at 10.15/35 percent from 10.05/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed up at 10.45/55 percent from 10.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 10.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2030 closed at 11.70/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed up at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.85/12.00 percent. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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