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* Sri Lanka to set up new authority to regulate foreign employment sector
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 09:03 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 24, Colombo: The government of Sri Lanka plans to set up an Employment Migration Authority to regulate the foreign employment sector, the highest foreign exchange earner for the country.

A new law setting up this Authority will replace the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Act, which has been in force since 1985, the local Sunday Times reported.

Foreign Employment Promotion Minister Dilan Perera has said that the number of Sri Lankans employed abroad had risen from 14,456 in 1986 to 282,331 in 2012 during this 28 year period.

The proposed new law will have eight different bodies to regulate the foreign employment sector.

A National Advisory Council on Employment Migration, Sri Lanka Employment Migration Authority, Sri Lanka Rata Viruwo Foundation, Overseas Sri Lanka Foundation, Worker's Welfare Fund, Foreign Employment Promotion Fund, National Chamber of Foreign Employment Agencies and a Board of Review to hear appeals against decisions of the Sri Lanka Employment Migration Authority are the eight institutions.

In a memorandum to the Cabinet the Minister has pointed out the need for new laws as more than 10,000 sub agents and many migration consultants who are not regulated by any Act of Parliament have emerged in the sector. The presence of nearly 30,000 foreign workers in Sri Lanka is another serious concern, the Minister has noted.

According to the Central Bank data, the foreign employment sector had contributed US$ 6.76 billion last year which is 45 percent of the country's total foreign exchange earnings.

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