Plan B

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

The government has shelved plans to up Employee Trust Fund (ETF) payments by 0.5 percent, following the controversial compensation formula for laid off workers. The government has shelved plans to up Employee Trust Fund (ETF) payments by 0.5 percent, following the controversial compensation formula for laid off workers.

The 0.5 percent tagged on to ETF was to be used to fund an Unemployment Benefit Insurance Scheme providing a one year dole for workers laid off during restructuring.

“We have been informed that unemployment benefits might be funded by other sources. The 0.5 percent has been deferred if nothing else and the government will look for an alternate source,” Director General of the Employers Federation, Gotabaya Dassanayake said.

Under new plans, the scheme is to be funded by existing ETF monies alone. The increase would have added Rs. 800 mn to ETF this year and Rs. 1 bn next year.

“Do we need that kind of money to fund trust benefits? For the moment the government is looking at the Trust Fund as it is to fund those payments,” Dassanayake said.

The move comes after a controversial formula that was gazetted last month, which gives