BOI monitoring, promotion functions to cease
by Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Board of Investment (BOI) management is said to have taken an arbitrary decision to cease two important departments such as promotion and monitoring units involved in promoting both foreign and local investments and monitoring the overall activities of local and foreign companies registered in the BOI,Organisation for the Protection of BOI (OPBOI) sources revealed.

President OPBOI T.Subasinghe told The Island Financial Review that the monitoring and promotion departments of the BOI had been functioning in promoting business investments while the monitoring department checked on contraventions of the labour rules and other regulations. The monitoring department was solely responsible for taking appropriate action against companies which were in violation of non-payment of salaries and wages on time to employees,failure to contribute employee trust fund (ETF) and employee provident fund (EPF) benefits.

He said that the objective of the BOI management was strange because these two vital departments had been the backbone of the BOI which had made rapid progress through business promotion and constant supervision of the overall activities of all BOI registered companies in the country.

It had been found that some BOI registered companies were in violation of employee entitlements and the monitoring unit had intervened to resolve a number of work related problems of employees.

Subasinghe added that the BOI management had decided to merge all departments into one department and the most important departments such as the promotion and monitoring departments would gradually cease to exist.

This action would have serious repercussions on the BOI operation because there would be no monitoring unit in the BOI to investigate into the large scale violations, if any, carried out by companies.

Referring to the importance of the monitoring department,Subasinghe revealed that it had been found that some companies were found to be involved in contravention of the terms of BOI approval. Some companies were alleged to have violated the labour rules and regulations.Some others were not making ETF and EPF contributions on time while a few had asked workers to work more than 8-hour shifts without paying overtime.

The monitoring department had,on several occasions,instituted legal proceedings against the defaulting companies and had settled a number of problems between the employer and the employee.

"Flagrant violations of contractual obligations of investors had been going on unabated.When the monitoring department is non-existant the racketeers will have an opportunity to engage in business frauds," Subasinghe noted.


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