ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has gazetted services provided by state institutions, local authorities and cooperative societies relating to ports, the supply and distribution of fuel, handling and discharge of oil from seafaring vessels, among others, as essential services.
The gazette, published June 17, declares the following as essential services:
- All services, works or labour of any description carried out or required to be carried out by or in connection with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority established by the Section 3 of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Act, No. 51 of 1979.
- The supply and distribution of all fuels, including petroleum products and liquefied gas.
- All services, works, labour of any description whatsoever, necessary or required to be carried out in connection with the discharge, carriage, landing, storage, delivery and removal of oil or fuel from vessels within any port, as defined as such, for the purposes of the Customs Ordinance.
- Freight transport by Sri Lanka Railway Department and all public transport services carried out by the Sri Lanka Transport Board for passenger transport.
- Maintenance, security and operational aspects that are essential to carry out such public services in line with service requirements.
- All type of services, works, or labour contributions which should be carried out or required to be carried out by District Secretariats, Divisional Secretariats, Grama Seva Officers, Samurdhi Development Officers, Agricultural Research Assistants including all field level officers of all District and Divisional Secretariats.
- All state banking and insurance services including the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
- Waste management services carried out by the Local Authorities.
- All services, works or labour of any description necessary or required to be carried out in connection with supply, storage, distribution and regulatory activities of food, beverages including all other essential consumable items to public which performed by Lanka Sathosa Ltd, Co-operative Wholesale Establishment, Food Commissioner Department, Department of Co-operative Development and Co-operative Societies.
- All services, work or labour of any description to be performed by or required by all government offices under the Provincial Councils.
On May 27, President Rajapaksa declared ports, petroleum, public transport including railway, services offered by district secretaries and Grama Niladhari officers, local government bodies, the central bank, and state bank and insurance services as essential services.
Sri Lanka is in an unofficial COVID-19 lockdown since May 21 with curfew-like movement restrictions imposed island wide.
Restrictions are to be lifted June 21, but with daily COVID-19 cases still over 2,000 despite a drop in PCR testing, it is unclear if the government will further extend the lockdown. (Colombo/June18/2021)