Taking a cue from the success of the smallholder sector, Sri Lanka’s Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) handed over fresh proposals aimed at radically increasing worker earnings during a recently concluded meeting with the Minister of Labour and Trade Unions leaders.
The newly introduced proposal provides for a hybrid between the daily wage model and the productivity-linked earning systems implemented with great success in the smallholder sector. Adding a productivity based component will ensure that worker earnings are expanded, and workers have more flexibility and control over their monthly earnings.
Under the new proposals, RPCs will continue to offer a fixed daily wage with the re-introduction of attendance and productivity incentives. In a notable departure from previous years, the RPCs have proposed a mix of 3 days of daily wage and 3 days of productivity-based earnings, where workers will have the capacity to expand their earnings based on their output.
The first alternative under the productivity-linked proposal is a system where workers are paid Rs. 50 for every kilo of green tea leaf plucked (inclusive of EPF/ETF). Where a high plucking average of between 30-40kgs a day is attained (over and above the existing norm), workers have the potential of expanding their earnings exponentially. In the case of the Rs. 50 rate, a worker who plucks 20 kg will receive Rs. 1,000 per day, and monthly pay of Rs. 25,000.
Current annual plucking averages among RPC companies are between 20-22kgs a day. However, a majority of the best harvesters have plucking averages between 30-40kgs, this means that earnings can now be expanded to over Rs. 37,500-62,000 per month.
The next alternative is that workers are remunerated based on a share of the National Sales Average (NSA) ratio of 35%.
Furthermore, under the new daily-wage component of the proposal, workers will be paid a total Rs. 1,025 for a day’s work. The breakdown is as follows: Basic Wage – Rs. 700, EPF/ETF – Rs. 105, Attendance Incentive – Rs. 70, Production Incentive – Rs. 75 and Price Share Supplement – Rs. 75. If workers are to be compensated purely on this model, they will see an increase in their monthly earnings by Rs. 4,250. If workers exceed the plucking norm, they will receive a higher compensation.
In pilot projects conducted on RPC estates and according to studies conducted by the Tea Research Institute, such productivity-linked models have been proven time and again to tremendously increase worker productivity and earnings.
The RPC proposal also recommends that discretion be given to companies to choose between the implementation of either model.
“We urge all stakeholders to carefully consider the extremely valuable benefits that our proposals offer. We must move away from the traditional wage system and look towards the sustainability of the industry, where workers can become empowered entrepreneurs. Once productivity models are implemented, workers will have the benefit of flexi-hours, and worker mobility where other family members can contribute towards the earning process as well. Our workers will have a say in when and how they work, and drastically improve their earnings in the process,” Planters’ Association of Ceylon Chairman, Bhathiya Bulumulla asserted.
HNB promotes cashless transactions; joins CBSL’s ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign
Chief Guest for the event Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal, CBSL Deputy Governor and National Payments Council chairperson Yvette Fernando, and CBSL Payments and Settlements Director D. Kumaratunge with HNB Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dilshan Rodrigo as he completes a transaction via HNB SOLO at a merchant stall
HNB PLC, partnered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to promote the Colombo-leg of ‘Rata Purama LANKA QR’ campaign at Diyatha Uyana, to raise awareness and encourage the public towards cashless payments.
Having already linked LANKA QR to its digital payment app HNB SOLO, the bank was among other financial institutions and telecommunication partners in joining efforts to make cashless QR-code based payments the standard for mobile phones and digital payments countrywide, in moving towards a cashless and digitally-savvy Sri Lanka.
“We are entering a new era of financial technology, where almost all of our daily transactions will require no physical banknotes, but just a smartphone and internet connection with our bank account integrated to a digital payment app.
The Central Bank’s national directive for banks and financial institutions to adopt and integrate LANKA QR into their existing digital payment solutions has prompted an aggressive onboarding of merchants to the new payment solution across the country. With our extensive customer base, SOLO is no doubt a significant contributor to this innovative initiative,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.
The Colombo-leg of the ‘Rata Purama LANKA QR’ campaign raised awareness regarding SOLO’s many facilities, including zero human interaction, efficiency, and eliminated risks that influenced many vendors to come on board.
Bank of Ceylon empowering nation with Lanka Q
The Bank of Ceylon in its mission to assist the government initiative to empower Sri Lanka through digital technology is joining the customer awareness campaign of Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s Lanka QR digital platform.
Bank of Ceylon had its most recent major awareness programs in Borella and Maharagama along with the other branches in Colombo District in line with the Central Bank’s main program held in “Diyatha Uyana” with the participation of all Lanka QR certified banks on the same day.
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has organized a series of awareness and promotion campaigns for popularizing Lanka QR with the participation of all Lanka QR certified financial institutions throughout the country with the aim of speeding up the customer adaptation process towards digital banking.
Sri Lanka Insurance posts a staggering revenue of Rs. 55.2 billion during 2020
Amidst the turbulent and challenging year Sri Lanka Insurance has closed year 2020 on a positive note recording phenomenal revenue growth with exceptional service innovations.
Sri Lanka Insurance the premier insurer to the nation recorded stellar performance in 2020 to record Rs. 55.2 billion revenue for the year, a marked improvement on the Rs.48.6 billion in the year 2019, a press release said.
It adds – In the year of 2020 Sri Lanka Insurance reported 30 % growth in life insurance premium increasing to Rs.19.2 billion whilst general insurance reported 7% growth in premium grew to Rs. 20.1 billion. The company achieved a combined Gross Written Premium (GWP) growth rate of 17 % during the year. General insurance contributed 51% towards the total GWP whilst Life Insurance contributed 49 %.
‘In continuing with its tradition of leadership, Sri Lanka Insurance in 2020 surpassed its own record to declare a sum of Rs.8.2 billion as bonus to policyholders. The cumulative life insurance bonus paid out during the past 10 years tops a massive Rs.54 billion making the SLIC bonus payout unmatchable.
‘As the national insurer we have witnessed yet another challenging year and the consequences brought out by pandemic outbreak urged us to conduct our business operations in a more empathetic manner. SLIC has always taken the lead to protect the nation and during this difficult time Sri Lanka Insurance launched many initiatives to sustain country’s health defenses while ensuring our customers receive uninterrupted insurance service.
‘As the pioneering insurance company in Sri Lanka we are in the forefront to inculcate the importance of insurance to the masses as a national responsibility on our shoulders. We will further strengthen internal capabilities to serve the nation through innovative and affordable insurance solutions which cater to all Sri Lankans under the ‘Insurance for All” concept. Even though the times are defining we will continue protecting our nation turning obstacles into opportunities.’ noted .Jagath Wellawatta, chairman of SLIC.
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