Most government hospitals across the country have suspended their Out Patient Department (OPD) services as doctors, nurses and other staff are on strike. Railways also operated fewer trains.
Employees of Sri Lanka’s health, railways, ports and other government departments are on a one-day strike on Wednesday to protest against hikes in income tax and electricity charges. The island nation is awaiting approval of a $2.9 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help its troubled economy. Most government hospitals across the country have suspended their Out Patient Department (OPD) services as doctors, nurses and other staff are on strike. Railways also operated fewer trains.
Armed soldiers were seen guarding the stations to prevent any untoward incident. Labor unions say the hike in taxes and electricity duty has added to their woes amid hardships arising from the country’s worst-ever economic crisis. They warned that they would go on an indefinite strike if the government did not heed their demands. At the same time, the government says that it is forced to increase the taxes as well as make electricity expensive to increase revenue.
Debt-ridden Sri Lanka has taken steps such as increasing the rate of tax and public utility services as part of the tax reforms suggested by the IMF, which has increased the burden on the public. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said last week that the board would meet on March 20 to consider final approval of Sri Lanka’s bailout package after China made significant debt restructuring assurances.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.