Sri Lanka's unemployment rate has gone down to an unprecedented level of 4.2 percent which is on par with the unemployment rate in many developed countries, Investment Promotions Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said.
The minister said there were more than 15,000 vacancies in the Katunayake, Seethawaka, Koggala and Biyagama Free Trade Zones. "There are many reasons for this situation. Many graduates who were working in these Free Trade Zones have been benefited by the graduate employment scheme of the government," the minister said.
"The establishment of new industrial parks at village level was made possible due to the massive infrastructure development drive launched by the government in all parts of the country," Minister Abeywardene said.
In a bid to strengthen the economy and well being of the family unit, the government has planned to set up more than seven industrial parks centering on villages in addition to what has already been set up in Katunayake, Biyagama and many other areas.
"These industrial parks include the Suriyawewa Export Zone and Mirijjawila Export processing zone, Bollagaswewa industrial park in the Hambantota district, Mawarala and Hakmana Industrial Zones in the Matara district and the proposed Industrial Zone in Puttalam," he said.
Lands have already been allocated for ICT villages, universities, hotels, a conference hall, vehicle parking area and shopping malls coming up in the Suriyawewa Export Zone.
This zone comprises a cricket ground, training school, swimming pool complex, rugby and hockey grounds.
According to Minister Abeywardena, the government will provide infrastructure facilities to industrialists after selecting suitable lands in these parks, and provide tax concessions granted by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.
"This move will ensure more employment avenues to the rural community and employees need not lodge in boarding houses or company quarters," he said.