Deputy Minister for National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr.Harsha de Silva, speaking at a seminar on US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) organized by the Sri Lanka-USA Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, has said that apparel industry in Sri Lanka is seeking government concessions to import labour from regional economies, such as Nepal and Bangladesh, to tackle shortage of skilled labour.
He has said thousands of jobs are vacant in the apparel sector in the industrial zones but Sri Lankans are not keen to take up low-level jobs in the apparel industry.
He has also said other sectors, such as shipbuilding, construction and plantations too have also shown interest in importing labour.
The UNP Deputy Minister’s view could be to promote the Indo-Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement better known as ETCA (formerly CEPA), a trade agreement that the government is set to sign with India so that Indian labour would be free to invade Sri Lankan employment sector creating a crisis for the unemployed in Sri Lanka. Political analysts have expressed fears that Si Lanka will soon see a mass exodus of Indian workers coming and competing with our unemployed for jobs.
Dr. Harsha de Silva, who was a member of the infamous ‘footnote gang’ recently said he was disgusted with politics in Sri Lanka.