Minister bemoans lack of talent in govt. institutions


by Sanath Nanayakkare

There aren't enough people with talent in the government service and it has become an issue in implementing projects of the government, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis Development said while delivering the keynote address at the Italy -Sri Lanka Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at Hilton Colombo Residencies, on Monday.

"I know this personally as I experienced this when I was the minister of power and energy. There had been a significant number of qualified engineers in the CEB some years ago, but when I took over I found that there were only a few engineers as all others had migrated for jobs overseas. In fact, one of the objectives of the government's megapolis plan is to retain talent and curb migration for skilled jobs".

"Today, what we have is an issue of professionals and the middle class. You have worries about car permits. And then there's the traffic congestion problem in the city in getting to work as well as getting your kids to and from school. Another social issue is; enrolling your children to popular national schools. All these are middle class problems. The portion of problems of the poor is relatively low."

"Another one in the problems basket is; disposal of garbage. The Colombo Municipal Council collects 1,200 tons of garbage on a daily basis. And then you ask why the government doesn't recycle garbage in environmentally friendly ways. True. We take the point. But it costs money. If the government proposes an environmental services tax to provide this service effectively, then the people will protest and say, 'Do away with the tax on garbage.' That is the attitude of our country at large, the minister said.

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