Sri Lanka state worker growth flattens

Apr 17, 2011 (LBO) – The expansion of Sri Lanka state workers seen since 2004 has taken a breather in 2010 reducing a key form of tax banditry practised by rulers, the latest official data shows.

In 2010 however the state also froze wages helping bring down the budget deficit. However analysts say rather than freezing wages, the public sector should be trimmed as most government departments are overstaffed.

Unlike ordinary citizens, state worker and rulers do not pay income tax in Sri Lanka though promises have been made to end the oppressive law.

Sri Lanka’s state workers were reduced from the mid 1990s to 2003. But the past few years the cadre went back up to old levels.

Total state workers fell slightly to 1,299,102 2010 down just 1.1 percent from 1,313,584 in 2009. In 2009 despite falling tax revenues from the people, the state increased its total cadre to from 1,251,728 million to 1.313 million.

In 2010 workers in central government fell from 1,047,041 to 1,027,179 but those in so-called semi-government agencies which include state enterprises and authorities rose to 271,923 from 266,543.

Sri Lanka’s rulers started expand the state from 2004 partly due to milit