Road Closed

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.

State owned Road Construction & Development Company (RCDC) has closed up, with all its employees sent on compulsory leave till end January.rn

A liquidator has not yet been appointed to dissolve the firm, but a retirement package to shed its 2000 workers, will be rolled out almost immediately, RCDC General Manager, Mr. Sumanaratne, said.rn

rnThe Treasury has agreed to fund the retirement package, for its 2000 employees, in the grades of drivers, mechanics, operators and engineers. rn

rnEmployees will get a final payout of between Rs. 600,000 endash Rs. 750,000 each. rn

rnThe state-run construction firm was set up in the early 1980s as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Road Development Authority (RDA).rn

rnThe firm was to bid competitively for large-scale construction projects, alongside the private sector.rn

rnBut a mix of uncompetitive prices, political meddling in procuring projects and persistent losses forced the government to shut down the firm.rn

rnHighway Ministry officials say tha