HomeBreakingFinance Ministry Officials are Working Without Any Understanding of Protecting Fishermen

    Finance Ministry Officials are Working Without Any Understanding of Protecting Fishermen

    Labor and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara has accused the officials of the Ministry of Finance of working without any understanding regarding the development of the fishing industry in this country.

    Accordingly, the Minister pointed out that the Ministry of Finance officials have not been able to prepare a program to take care of the fishermen.

    The Minister stated this in a meeting held at the Ministry of Labor and Foreign Employment yesterday (17) with the professionals employed in the fishing sector under the “Garu Saru” program initiated by the Ministry of Labor and Foreign Employment to provide professional dignity and pride to all those employed in the informal sector in Sri Lanka.

    Accordingly, the minister pointed out that as someone who grew up in Galle district, he has a good understanding of fishing professionals as well as the challenges they face while engaging in their profession.

    He said that in other countries of the world, whether it is a fisherman, a plumber, a doctor or an engineer, they are entitled to the same privileges in the society.

    However, the minister pointed out that there are divisions in this country in terms of races, religions, castes and professions and all of them are prepared to gain political advantages.

    Therefore, the Ministry of Labor and Foreign Employment has introduced the Garu Saru program to provide due respect and protection to all professions in this country, he said.

    The Minister also mentioned that the establishment of the Council for the development of the dignity and professionalism of all those working in the informal sector under Honorable Saru has been started.

    The minister also said:

    “The most important thing here is that this is not a trade union. This is a professional council. Here you are the fisherman who will decide that these are the matters to be satisfied in relation to that particular profession. As the minister, I have been authorized to gazette the regulations that you will make. The real story is that anyone can become a fisherman today. That means anyone can be put on the boat. But this is something that has a profession beyond that.

    There you propose the matter of what kind of professional standards should be taken and implement a related license system yourself. We are doing this work to create a system to take care of these people at a time when fishermen could not work; when they lost their jobs. We promised the cabinet to provide the relevant report to create a social security system for the entire workforce of the country within three months. Through that, we hope to implement a program that brings together all the working people by bringing together all the existing insurance schemes such as agricultural insurance, farmer insurance and various funds such as EPF, and ETF. The related proposal is being prepared by an expert committee.

    Also, we import salmon while having a sea around the country. Imported salmon is taxed at the rate of 100-200 rupees per kilo, which will be calculated after reducing the weight of the water. But if a factory is built inside the country, it will be taxed at 18%. The government enforces that tax. But this has been prepared and sent by the officials of the Ministry of Finance. They don’t know how to take care of the fishermen.”

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