Sri Lanka president promises state worker salary hike

Jan 11, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa has promised a 2,500 rupee a month salary hike to state workers, from the next budget due in April, the government’s information office said. In Sri Lanka people outside the state have to bear most of the burden of handouts

Sri Lanka’s people have to pay large amounts of taxes to support a bloated state sector, which has also been freed from income taxes, in a bizarre apartheid-style move despite the island being a nominal democracy.

State workers and politicians are also given tax free and tax slashed cars, while ordinary citizens pay very high taxes in another apartheid-style move. Presidential polls are due on January 26.

Sri Lanka has 1.1 million government workers and a total public sector workforce of 1.3 million persons, in a move that could add 33 billion rupees to the wage bill.

On January 05, the government said salaries of teachers and principals will be increased by between 1005 to 2,685 rupees with effect from July 2008 with an additional allowance of 645 rupees.

From December 2009, taxes on various imported foodstuffs which were raised from late 2008 as global prices collapsed, were cut.

The opp