Foreign employment agents seek Govt. backing | Sunday Observer

Foreign employment agents seek Govt. backing

17 May, 2020

The Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) recently requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Government to grant them a relief package similar to the one given to the tourism sector.

Sri Lanka annually earns about USD 8.9 billion worth of foreign exchange as salary remittances, and USD 3 billion from ALFEA members as a service tax to the Government.

Covid-19 has put the industry at risk, mainly due to the suspension of foreign employment requests and quarantine curfew in Sri Lanka. 

Immediately after the identification of the first Covid-19 patient in Sri Lanka, ALFEA had a discussion with the Working Director of the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) on March 13. As a result, sending workers for foreign employment has been suspended until further notice.

“We came to this decision because people from different parts of the country come to the capital and other major cities in search of foreign employment. If such public circulation happened, Covid-19 would have spread throughout the country,” Secretary-General of ALFEA, F. M. Arshad said.

ALFEA, a government registered organisation approved by a parliamentary act, is the main body for leading foreign employment agencies of the country. “The ALFEA has forwarded a series of proposals to the Chairman of FEB, Minister in charge of the subject and the Prime Minister to revive the foreign employment sector which is facing a downturn under the prevailing situation,” Arshad said.