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Govt. vows to handle surplus workforce in public sector without layoffs

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By Sanath Nanayakkare

The Cabinet of Ministers has given the mandate to a committee to find the tricky balance between overstaffing and understaffing in the public service, and execute redeployments for optimum workforce productivity in state institutions, according to acting Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana.

“The Cabinet approved the redeployment of employees and effectively handle surplus workforce in public institutions, but didn’t discuss layoffs in whatsoever way”, he emphasised during the Cabinet decisions press briefing held on Tuesday.

According to the minister, the Cabinet has decided on the redeployment of state sector surplus staff in public institutions where vacant positions remain to be filled.

“However, this will be done after an evaluation of the number of employees in public institution and ascertaining which institution are overstaffed and which are understaffed, he said.

“Considering the current economic situation, the government has decided to temporarily suspend recruitment for public service. As a whole, there is a surplus of employees in the public service as a result of direct recruitment of graduates and other categories of employees into the public service from time to time under approved recruitment procedures and policy decisions of previous governments. And now, appropriate measures need to be taken to tackle this issue which has arisen in the public service due to different methods of recruitment,” he pointed out.

“Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal presented by the Prime Minister in his capacity as Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Government to appoint a committee of officers headed by the Secretary to the Prime Minister to review the above situation and make suitable recommendations to identify the priorities in essential recruitments and to recommend timelines for redeployment of employees while ensuring the efficient and effective continuation of public service,” he said

On June 13, the government approved five years of no-pay leave for public sector workers to go abroad or work with no reduction in their seniority or pension rights. An official of the Ministry of Public Administration told the media yesterday that the government circular which provides for five-year no pay leave for public servants would not apply for categories such as school teachers, health sector employees and technical services, and said that they are in the process of working out this circular.

Meanwhile, a circular was issued yesterday by the Secretary to the Ministry of Public administration for implementation of the 2022 Interim Budget proposal for retirement of government employees by 60 years of age.Delivering the interim budget speech in parliament on August 30, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the number of government employees should be rationalized as part of efficient expenditure management.



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‘Expolanka Holdings steadfast in posting stabilized Q3 results’

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Expolanka Holdings PLC recorded a steady 9-month performance as at December 31, 2022 amid declines in the overall global markets. Reflecting the underlying strength of its business and success in pursuing a consolidated strategy, the combined 9-month performance delivered a strong endorsement in overcoming challenges in the macro environment with Year-to-date Revenue of Rs. 491Bn, Gross Profit Rs. 85.9Bn and Net Profit Rs. 32Bn. International business continued to generate above 95% in contribution, demonstrating the robust earning potential of the company, an Expolanka Holdings press release said.

The release adds: ‘However, declines in international trade moderated Q3 FY 2022 earnings, recording a Revenue of Rs. 94.2Bn, Gross Profit of Rs. 20.6Bn and a Profit after Tax of Rs. 3.0Bn.

‘Contributing to company earnings was the logistics sector which navigated the challenging macro-economic environment and adopted longer-term strategies concentrating on business fundamentals. For Q3, the sector posted a Revenue of Rs. 92Bn, Gross Profit of Rs. 19.9Bn and Profit after Tax of Rs. 2.7Bn delivering a YTD Profit after tax of Rs. 30.1Bn.

‘Impacting revenues were a reduction in operating volumes across Air Freight and Ocean Freight products due to the overall slowdown in global trade volumes on grounds of high inventory levels, inflationary fears and the global energy crisis. The Air Freight business encountered a relatively larger impact due to challenging market conditions resulting in weakening demand and reduced volumes.

‘Focusing on increased customer penetration, developing partner networks and enhanced competencies, the company was successful in gaining cumulative progress in the Ocean Freight product.

‘The North American trade lane continues to remain the critical business driver for Expolanka, while the European and Intra-Asia companies remained resilient.

‘Reinforcing growth and sustaining improved margins was also due to the company’s focus on strengthening customer relationships, attracting selective new customers and engaging in proactive procurement strategies.

‘Key EFL origins also delivered strong results, reflecting the success of the infrastructure investments made into these markets.

‘The Group’s stabilized 9-month performance was also aided by the continued resurgence in the leisure sector. In Q3 the sector delivered a Revenue of Rs. 725Mn, Gross profit of Rs. 578Mn and Profit after tax of Rs. 202Mn by strengthening its market position focusing on efficient procurement and operational excellence.’

‘Recording a revenue of Rs. 1.6Bn and a Profit after Tax of Rs. 41Mn, the Group’s investment sector remained steady making progress across its business portfolios.

‘Despite the global macro environment remaining uncertain and challenging in the future, Expolanka aims to forge ahead, unwavering in its approach to deliver on earmarked strategic initiatives building on its strong performance. The company stands persistent towards generating accelerated growth and innovation while remaining true to its core values by reaffirming its long-term commitment and challenging the status quo to seize opportunities in the market that would predominantly secure its position as a market leader.’

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Sanasa Life Introduces “Pinsaru Vandana” – A Premium Insurance Policy for Buddhist Clergy

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Helping to elevate and protect the Buddha Sasana, Sanasa Life Insurance has introduced a very special and tailored insurance policy for Buddhist Monks. The “Pinsaru Vandana” insurance policy provides a specialized insurance scheme addressing the special needs of Buddhist Monks. An auspicious inauguration ceremony was held, in the presence of several senior members of the Buddhist Clergy on the 17th of January 2023, at the Sri Sambudhdhatva Jayanthi Mandiraya in Colombo. A total of 300 Buddhist Monks were in attendance at the event, and gave their blessings for this special insurance scheme. A group of dignitaries, including Wishawa Prasadini, Dr. P. A. Kirivandeniya and Piriwena Director, Venerable Watinapaha Somarathana Thero, were also present and played key roles during the event.

“Pinsaru Vandana” is an insurance scheme that provides relief and protection for junior monks, in the event of the death, serious illness or incapacitation of their patron/senior monk. In such an unfortunate event, junior monks can often become destitute and or marginalized. Thus, “Pinsaru Vandana” will help to protect these young monks as they pursue their journey and mission of elevating and sustaining the Buddha Sasana.

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Technocity hosts ‘Together We Win’ training programme in Thailand

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The team at the ‘Together We Win’ training programme in Thailand

The Technocity Pvt. Ltd., the leading Sri Lankan IT Distribution Company, recently held a three-day ‘Together We Win’ training programme at the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

The event, in partnership with HP, invited The Technocity’s top 10 Partners for training in gratitude for the continuous support they have shown towards helping the company develop its business.

The event featured esteemed speakers, including Gehan Thangappan (Business Head, The Technocity), Manish Gawri (Hp Inc., Notebook), T Natarajan (Hp Inc., Print) and M. Kalim (Sales Manager, The Technocity).

The sessions covered various pertinent topics while the invitees viewed a series of product videos during the training to further understand the complexities of the products.

Addressing the invitees, Gehan Thangappan said, “We started small, as all new businesses do, but we’ve grown beyond our borders. This is all thanks to our valued partners and customers who have helped us achieve newer and higher ground. Grateful as we are, we also look forward to providing our diverse clientele with the best products and top-notch service as always.”

The Technocity also conducted a F2F discussion with the partners, briefing them on the way forward and announcing the channel incentive schemes in place targeting Ink Tank Printers. Prior to the conclusion of the event, the attending partners partook in a quiz segment and were treated to exciting giveaways.

“We are very happy with the success of this programme. The training had a very good impact, especially as it was held out of the country and it motivated partners. It was also significant for us as it was the first event we had held overseas after Covid,” Thangappan added.

The Technocity Pvt Ltd is one of the leading distributors in Sri Lanka for IT products and services. In the nearly three decades since its establishment, The Technocity has grown to become one of the most trusted names in the industry. The company is also the first local distributor for HP in Sri Lanka and boasts a portfolio of representation for notable brands like Asus, Lenovo, MSI, Logitech and Viewsonic.

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