In his speech the minister also said the poor housemaids who were toiling in the oil-rich Middle-East earn the country as much as Rs. six billion US dollars annually while the girls from rural villages working in the garment factories earn 2.5 billion US dollars for the country annually and labourers in the plantation-most of them women-earn 1.5 billion US dollars annually for our country. He said others were fighting to share this money among themselves. He also said ministries and public institutions were using or wasting most of this hard- earned money and only a few state institutions were earning any money for the country.
Mr. Amunugama said the main obstacle to increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings was the inefficiency in state institutions including departments and corporations. The minister asked the government to give top priority to improve the efficiency of the state institutions.
“To do this severe punishments should be meted out to those officials or institutions which were wasting, abusing or plundering public funds".
The Sri Lankan Public Service was established in the 19th century mainly for the collection of tax revenue and for the maintenance of law and order for the benefit of the colonial masters. But like in most third-world countries our public sector had also degenerated into inefficiency with rampant bribery and corruption making things worse. Starting from minor workers such as attendants in a public hospital, a bribe has to be given even to get a little thing done. This is clearly seen in the large number of bribery complaints and the inquiries pending before the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption. But the Commission itself has been made ineffective or inefficient because of beaurocratic procedure and political interference though it has for obvious reasons acted with lightening speed in the case involving the indictment of Chief Justice 43 Shirani Bandaranayake. Last week Dr. Bandaranayake was summoned to the Commission to record a statement but no officials were present there. It was certainly not the way to treat a Chief Justice and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has passed a resolution condemning what it sees as the political harassment of the CJ 43 because she dared to defy a regime that appears to be dragging Sri Lanka away from democracy, accountability, transparency and rule of law.