Sri Lanka’­s middle-income status preserved by housemaids and unskilled labour
Posted on May 21st, 2017

by Sanath Nanayakkare Courtesy The Island

Migrant worker remittances have mainly contributed to the surplus in the nation’s secondary income account which is earned by unskilled and housemaid categories, the Central Bank’s Annual Report 2016 reveals.

CBSL Annual Report further notes that the surplus in the secondary income account mainly backed by these worker remittances have helped in cushioning the deficit in the trade and primary income accounts of the current account to a certain extent.

According to statistics housemaids and unskilled workers account for 56 per cent of total Sri Lankan expatriate workers. Worker remittances which account for the majority of inflows to the secondary income account as the key source of private transfers have grown at a modest rate of 3.7 per cent to US dollars7,242 million, as against the decline of 0.5 per cent observed in 2015.

The Central Bank, however, states that a shift in skill levels of migrant labour can be observed over the years due to the steps taken in a strategic direction by the authorities since 2008 towards the concept of “Safe, Skilled Migration”.

Still, according to 2016 foreign employment statistics only 2.7 per cent of worker departures were under the professional categories, which is a marginal improvement compared to 2.4 per cent recorded in 2015.

Meanwhile, middle level manpower categories have increased by 12.2 per cent although departures in all other categories recorded a decline in 2016 due to the global economic slowdown.

Although a notable increase in departures to South Korea was also observed in 2016, still 97 per cent of these departures were unskilled workers.

These developments reflect the scope for continued efforts towards encouraging and increasing ‘Safe, Skilled Migration’ of skilled categories pushing for a decline in housemaid and unskilled categories. Such efforts will lead to a healthy trend of inward remittances from skilled categories, the Central Bank states.

4 Responses to “Sri Lanka’­s middle-income status preserved by housemaids and unskilled labour”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    An ABSOLUTELY ASININE POLICY to EXPORT our people to other countries for low-skilled jobs, while IMPORTING equally low-skilled people from India and other poor countries to REPLACE them, settle in Sri Lanka gradually changing the DEMOGRAPHICS of the country!

    INSTEAD, we should train our people in high-value technical, scientific, healthcare and management fields, surround them with PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCING capital equipment such as computers, automated manufacturing equipment, medical and laboratory technologies, and REWARD and MOTIVATE THEM with HIGH-WAGES so they can live in, work in and help develop our own country. Given the CHOICE between living in COMFORT and SECURITY with ones own FAMILY in ones own Motherland …. Who would FLEE ABROAD? NO ONE!

    ASININE POLICIES that lose sight of the BASIC DUTY OF GOVERNMENT which is to protect and foster the well-being of our CURRENT citizens should NOT BE PURSUED instead of POLICIES that will in time DISPLACE THEM COMPLETELY from their Motherland!

    If the current SHORT-SIGHTED POLICIES are RELENTLESSLY PURSUED as they are NOW by the YAMAPALANAYA, Sri Lanka will CEASE being the HOMELAND of its majority Sinhala Buddhist Community!

    Be WARNED ….. This is HAPPENING RIGHT NOW …. Under our blind eyes!

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    We agree with Ananda. Importing large numbers of cheap labor from outside will finish off this relatively small country. This is where the real roots of trouble start.

    The Dutch & the British colonial powers started the trend of importing cheap labor from South India. Even after Independence in 1948, this trend has continued.

    It is far better to mechanise even the tea plucking as done in China, Japan, S. Africa, even in parts of INDIA. One machine can replace 4 tea pluckers. People other than Tamils can be employed to pluck tea with machines.

    Yes, Lanka be WARNED.

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Exporting women must stop by giving them gainful employment locally. However, the debt crisis doesn’t allow that to happen. Even this $7 billion is not sufficient to balance the balance of payment deficit and loan interest and principal repayment. Sri Lankan leaders must consider the plight of the nation’s women (particularly Sinhala Buddhist women) before borrowing in foreign currency. Wasting such borrowed foreign loans in the Tamil-only north and the east (where Sinhalese are oppressed) becomes an unforgivable crime for this reason.

    As a nation we should be ashamed of this situation and more investments are needed to change the situation, look after family members of these people and address their grievances.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    OPEN SESAME by ALI BABA Sirisena and his band of 40 THIEVES!

    Much Ado about Nothing: Same SET of UNPATRIOTIC CROOKS have been reassigned to different Portfolios, irrespective of experience in the subject portfolio area!

    As I had previously predicted, this is a GAME of Musical Chairs on a Party Basis: No change in the PORTFOLIOS or the NUMBER of Ministers assigned to each of the two SLFP and UNP Parties! The PARTIES OWN the PORTFOLIOS!

    The ill-fated ship Sri Lanka will CONTINUE to FOUNDER on the reefs of PRESIDENTIAL BUNGLING!

    Only WAY OUT is to OUST the ENTIRE Yamapalana KALLIYA and SEND them HOME!

    Sri Lanka President changes 9 ministerial portfolios in cabinet reshuffle

    Mon, May 22, 2017, 11:00 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    May 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has re-shuffled the cabinet today changing 9 ministerial portfolios and appointing a state minister to one of his ministries.

    “Nine Cabinet Ministers and a State Minister took oaths in their new portfolios a while ago,” President announced in a Twitter post.

    Most notable change in the reshuffle was the switch of ministerial portfolios of Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Ravi Karunanayake. In addition to the Finance portfolio, Minister Samaraweera was also given the Media Ministry.

    The new portfolios are:

    Mangala Samaraweera – Minister of Finance & Mass Media
    S.B. Dissanayake – Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare & Kandyan Heritage
    W.D.J. Seneviratne – Minister of Labour, Trade Union Relations & Sabaragamuwa Development
    Ravi Karunanayake – Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Mahinda Samarasinghe – Minister of Ports & Shipping
    Gayantha Karunatilake – Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms
    Arjuna Ranatunga – Minister of Petroleum Resources Development
    Chandima Weerakkody – Minister of Skills Development & Vocational Training
    Thilak Janaka Marapana – Minister of Development Assignments
    Mahinda Amaraweera – State Minister of Mahaweli Development in addition to Minister of Fisheries

    President Sirisena yesterday called a special meeting requesting all ministers to arrive at the Presidential Secretariat Monday morning at 8:30.

    Prior to today’s meeting the President and the Prime Minister held a discussion on Sunday regarding the cabinet reshuffle.

    According to party sources, the United National Party Ministers have agreed to the reshuffle provided that the party would retain the same portfolios and the same number of ministerial positions.

    Thilak Marapana, who earlier resigned from his Ministerial portfolio of Law and Order over the Avant Garde controversy has been given the portfolio of Development Assignments.

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