July 13, Colombo: A private sector trade union in Sri Lanka says the government needs to take measures to formulate a pension plan for the private sector.
The Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) affiliated Inter Company Employees' Union (ICEU) said the private sector workers that constitute the major portion of the country's working population has continuously called on the government for a pension scheme for the private sector.
ICEU Head, Wasantha Samarasinghe observed that the private sector workers have been requesting for a pension scheme for many years and that the government has failed to formulate such a plan.
He charged that the government under the guise of introducing a private sector pension scheme last year had tried to pilfer the monies in Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees Trust Fund (ETF).
"The private sector employees opposed the proposed pension scheme since it was an effort to pilfer the EPF and ETF monies. The workers opposed and the government had to withdraw its plan," Samarasinghe said.
However, he added that the private sector workers have not said no to a pension scheme.
"The government needs to address this issue," he said.
The government last year withdrew the proposed private section pension bill amid massive public protests. However, the government said it retains the right to re-introduce it with amendments and suggestions of all stakeholders.