President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that his government will constantly act to secure the rights of the working class of the country.
He said it is not the policy of his government to close down the loss making public institutions or to remove employees from such institutions. Instead, the government has taken measures and even introduced new legislation to operate those efficiently for the benefit of the citizens.
The President made these remarks addressing a ceremony at the Temple Trees Tuesday to award pension gratuities to the employees of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB).
The President noted that the government is maintaining institutions such as the Sri Lanka Transport Board, the Railways and the airlines even at a loss in order to fulfill the people's requirements.
He pointed out that the government has increased the work force of the state service up to 1.3 million and expressed confidence that the working class always remain with the government.
The President symbolically presented checks to 300 employees of the SLTB. Nearly 4,000 SLTB employees are to receive the gratuities within this month.
The government has allocated over 2.5 billion rupees for the award scheme organized by the ministries of Labor and Transport Services.
The President said despite many obstacles, his government has strengthened the underperforming state sector to an efficient service and every worker has the right to receive the benefits they have been denied for years.
Senior Minister A. H. M. Fowzie, Ministers Gamini Lokuge, Rauf Hakeem, Kumara Welgama and C. B. Ratnayake, Deputy Minister Rohana Kumara Dissanayaka, and Chairman of SLTB Sashi Welgama also participated in the occasion.