Leading local business leaders representing a number of sectors said lackadaisical nature of some employees is among several key issues they are facing right now, which impede business progress.
This was mentioned when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met with a cross section of business leaders in the country recently to obtain their views on how to accelerate the country’s economic journey during current difficult times and beyond.
Lower employee productivity has been a key issue faced by both the private and public sectors, which has impeded the country’s economic growth for decades.
Poor attitude, insufficient training, lack of progressive thinking, highly unionised workforce, irrationally bloated public sector and lack of enterprise spirit have been identified as key factors for Sri Lanka’s labour force to underperform.
Among the other issue cited at the meeting impeding business and economic progress were lack of skilled manpower, institutional inefficiency, shortage of building materials, and difficulty in finding new markets.
The meeting was attended by key executives in sectors representing tourism, building and road construction, communication technology, hotel and hospitality, herbal products, livestock, diary, salt production, agro products, minor export crops and organic farming.
Successive governments have failed in addressing the issue of labour productivity and in fact they worsened it by bloating the public sector as part of their election promises to create more jobs. This has created a class of workers with State provided pensions, who are highly unionised and often fight for their rights while not fulfilling their duties.
While President Rajapaksa appears to have recognised the problem and the need to fix it, so far the government has been unsuccessful in tackling the issue. His unannounced visits to State institutions have produced little results.