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
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.