Sri Lanka state sector is heavy on poor: minister

May 27, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has the world’s biggest public sector which is too big a burden on the poor, and the public service must do more to drive economic growth, a senior minister has said. The recruitment to the public sector on an ad hoc basis and the availability of non-performance based benefits in the public sector discourage unemployed youth from joining the private sector, the bank also said.

The public sector expenses grew mainly because of hiring of unemployed graduates, new recruitments to the public sector, including the security forces, and payment of allowances.

Sri Lanka also has more than 100 ministers. Jayasuriya himself crossed over from the opposition and helped make the magic number.

Jayasuriya says that despite the overstaffing, the administrative sector in the public service has a dearth of 1,600 employees.

Jayasuriya appealed to sector heads to better utilize the public servants in sectors such as development, administration and auditing, to provide a responsible and a productive service for the citizens of the country.

“After 60 years of independence there should have been more development in the country – better roads, homes, hospitals, hig