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Multi-lingual call centre in Sri Lanka for accessing govt services

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By dialing 1919 from any phone, Sri Lankans now have access to all services offered by the government through a multi-lingual government call centre.

The Government Information Centre is expected to make it faster and easier for a broad cross section of its citizens to access government services. Now citizens may be able to find out how to get their ID cards back or how to get a loan facility from a government bank by calling the hotline.

The service is available in Sinhala, Tamil and English, bridging the language gap for Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans who sometimes find it difficult to get services from government due to poor language skills.

The project has grown from an initial 20 government institutions using the service, to 120 institutions and more than 2500 services available to date. The hotline is available 365 days a year from 8am to 8pm, including major festival seasons.

Government institutions hope to benefit from this service by fielding fewer unsolicited calls from the public. Also, citizens who use the hotline before visiting the relevant government institutes will be better prepared with the required documentation and will know whom to meet.

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