Apr 19, Colombo: Plans are afoot to set up all institutions under the Ministry of Ports and Shipping in one location by year 2020, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said.
Minister Ranatunga expressed these views while speaking at a gathering held in the Merchant Shipping Secretariat, on Tuesday to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
The Minister praising the staff of the institution said contribution of the port workers immensely helped to pave the way for its achievements during the last year.
He stressed that his methodology is to move forward with active and skillful workers.
The Minister, recalling that the Director General of the Merchant Shipping Secretariat often complains about not having a regular building for the institution, said the government has planned to construct a new building for the Ministry of Ports and Shipping.
"We have planned to bring all these institutions, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Ceylon Shipping Corporation, and Merchant Shipping Secretariat to a one location," the Minister said.
While acknowledging that facilities are limited at the current location for the Secretariat, the Minister said he carefully considers spending public money on projects and provide facilities when needed.
Minister Rantunga said the Ministry was able to reduce expenditure of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority by two billion rupees in the last year.
"We have empowered the officials. We gave them the opportunity to do their work freely. We reduced thefts and corruptions. Through that we were able to save two billion rupees for Sri Lanka Ports Authority. This procedure had not been implemented during the past 20 years. Through this practice we were able to earn a profit of eleven billion rupees," Minister Rantunga said.
The Minister commending the employees said his policy is to protect the hardworking employees. "We should bring skillful and hardworking employees, forward. They are the employees who think about the country," he said.
Secretary of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping L.P. Jayampathy, Director General of the Merchant Shipping Secretariat Ajith Seneviratne, captains and engineers of the Merchant Shipping Secretariat, officials, and minister's staff participated in the event.