Three-wheeled vehicles wait for refueling in a long line in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, which is experiencing severe economic hardship on the 17th (local time). [이미지출처=연합뉴스]湲 蹂肄
[아시아경제 황수미 기자] The Sri Lankan government has taken measures to overcome the worst economic crisis. In addition to giving paid holidays to civil servants who are having difficulty commuting to work due to severe fuel shortages, they have also ordered telecommuting.
According to major foreign media on the 18th (local time), Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs announced that it had decided to close all government offices, including schools, for two weeks from the 20th. Public sector workers were instructed to work from home, allowing only a minimum number of employees to go to work. The administration said that the measure would allow only those in essential service fields, such as medical care, to work in offices among about 1 million civil servants.
This is a measure taking into account the limited fuel supply in Sri Lanka and the weak public transport system. Earlier, Sri Lanka’s external debt surged as its main industry, its tourism sector, collapsed. In addition, it faced the worst economic crisis as the government failed economic policies such as excessive tax cuts.
Foreign currency reserves have bottomed out, and imports of fuel and other daily necessities such as food and medicine have virtually stopped. At a gas station in Sri Lanka, long lines to buy oil have been lining up, and circular power outages are continuing. In particular, in the case of agricultural products, the yield of agricultural products was greatly reduced due to the ban on the use and import of pesticides last year, saying that organic farming methods would be fully introduced.
Under these circumstances, the Sri Lankan government introduced the oil quota system on the 12th to overcome the fuel shortage. In addition, on the 14th, he said that he would give a paid holiday every Friday to public officials to farm. The measure is aimed at increasing agricultural production and helping public officials who have difficulty commuting to and from work due to fuel shortages.
He also promised to give up to five years of unpaid leave to public sector workers who went abroad for work. This is interpreted as the intention of earning even a penny of foreign currency by encouraging overseas employment.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka, which declared default (default) worth $51 billion (about 66 trillion won) in April, is currently negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for bailout assistance. It is also receiving emergency support from India, China, and the World Bank (WB).
Reporter Hwang Su-mi [email protected]
Source: 아시아경제신문 실시간 속보 by www.asiae.co.kr.
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