Malnutrition in Sri Lanka: Crisis-stricken Sri Lanka has asked government employees to take extra weekly leave to grow crops behind their homes to overcome food shortages in the country. The extraordinary economic slowdown in the country has led to severe shortages of petrol and medicines as well as many important food items. Massive inflation is destroying the household budget.
The cabinet said in a statement on Tuesday that it was “appropriate” that government officials be given one week’s work leave and the necessary facilities to engage in agricultural activities behind their homes.
The statement said the extra day off would be a “solution to future food shortages” and that reducing the mobility of government employees would also help reduce fuel consumption.
Additional leave will be available for the next three months.
According to the cabinet decision, government employees will get leave every Friday for the next three months without any pay cut. However, this arrangement will not be applicable to the employees of essential services.
The government also said that 1.5 million members of the public sector who want to travel abroad in search of work will be given five years unpaid leave without affecting their seniority or pension. The initiative aims to encourage more people to seek foreign employment so that they can work abroad and send money back home. Let me tell you that Sri Lanka is facing a severe shortage of foreign exchange to buy imports.
Debt-ridden Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is in default on its 51 51 billion foreign debt and is in talks with the International Monetary Fund for assistance. Large numbers of people are protesting in the streets and demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Raja Pakse due to mismanagement of the country’s economy and severe hardships facing the people.
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