Sri Lanka announces four-day working week to prevent food and fuel crisis

but in Troubled Sri Lanka The concept is more about dealing with crippled food and fuel shortages.

The South Asian country, which is facing shortages amid its worst economic crisis in decades, announced on Tuesday that public sector workers would be given Friday leave without pay cuts for the next three months to give them time to grow their crops. So to receive. ,

“It seems appropriate to grant one working day off to government officials to engage in agricultural activities in their backyards or elsewhere,” the government information department said on Tuesday.

It said workers affected by the short week-long power cut and the disruption in transportation due to lack of food and gas would also benefit.

It is believed that there are 10 lakh public sector employees in the country. However, the four-day week will not apply to employees of “essential services” working in hospitals and ports or the power and water sectors.

The government, which is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package this month, is also keen to encourage people to take up jobs abroad so that they can send money back.

It said that if the public sector employees decide to take up employment abroad, they would be granted leave without pay for up to five years without prejudice.

chaos and uncertainty

The island nation with a population of 22 million is in the middle of Worst financial and political crisis in decades, Public anger boiled in April, when protest turned violent and upset the government. Many government officials, including Prime Ministerstepped down.

For many Sri Lankans, daily life has become an endless cycle of chaos and uncertainty since the crisis began.

Snakes queue up across the country for basic supplies like food and gas on a daily basis, and many shops have been forced to close because they can’t run fridges, air conditioners or fans.

Naval officers guard a closed fuel station in Colombo, Sri Lanka on June 12.

Soldiers are often stationed at gas stations to pacify frustrated customers, who line up for hours in the sweltering heat to fill up their tanks. Some customers have reportedly even died while waiting.

Critics of the government have questioned how much of a difference the four-day week would make, saying state sector workers usually living far away from Colombo use public transport for their commute.

They also say that most are relatively poor and do not have land of their own, so are unlikely to farm their own food.