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Whopping loss of Rs.150 million

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Minister of Foreign Employment probes into

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) had suffered a staggering operational loss of Rs.150 million during the past year, Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorale said. A report, which is being compiled by an eight-member committee appointed by the Minister last week to probe the irregularities that had allegedly occurred at the SLBFE, is due this week. The Minister had requested the report be handed over in 10 days time.

According to Minister Thalatha Athukorale, she had appointed the committee due to large number of irregularities discovered by her after assuming duties as the Minister of Foreign Employment. “The main reason for the probe is because the bureau had suffered an operational loss of Rs.150 million rupees recently,” she said adding that there were also major concerns regarding the appointment process of officials in the institution. She also went on to say that funds spent on propaganda campaigns will also be looked into while ensuring better transparency at the Foreign Employment Bureau.

The committee appointed is comprised six lawyers, an accountant and a computer engineer.  Speaking to The Nation, Minister Athukorale said while corruption at the Ministry is one of the main concerns, she will also focus mainly on officials attached to the Ministry who are currently posted in Sri Lankan Embassies around the world. “There are many complaints of such officials not providing support and assistance to migrant workers at times of distress,” she said adding that therefore she hopes to probe in to these complaints ensuring the welfare of 1.7 million Sri Lankan workers employed abroad.

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