Minister of Investment Promotion Dhammika Perera says the Matara, Vavuniya, and Kandy offices of the Department of Immigration and Emigration will facilitate one-day service for passports from next week.
Speaking during a media briefing in Colombo today, Minister Perera said long queues were witnessed due to services being limited to the main office of the Immigration Department in Battaramulla.
He said queues are expected to reduce once the one-day service is implemented in three districts and urged individuals to visit the nearest office over visiting the main office in Battaramulla.
The Minister claimed the public will not have to suffer in queues if necessary steps were taken earlier.
Minister Perera said the country’s image will be tarnished with tourists being discouraged to visit if they witness the public sleeping in queues.
He claimed that as a nation, everyone must come together to overcome the prevailing crisis.
Meanwhile, Minister Dhammika Perera said a special counter will be set up at the Battaramulla office to obtain a new passport under the one-day service for those who wish to leave overseas for employment.
The Minister said individuals with necessary documentation will be able to obtain services through these counters.
He said the main responsibilities of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka is to bring in investments.
Minister Perera added the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment are tasked with looking in to resolving issues related to issuing passports adding the Investment Promotion Ministry will extend its assistance in every possible manner.
The Minister also stated that the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment will be obsolete if individuals cannot obtain passports in order to bring in foreign investments.
Furthermore, Minister Perera claimed the government’s digital strategy will be introduced in three months.
On a separate note, he said he is already engaged in his duties even though he hasn’t officially taken over duties in his portfolio.