Home / Business/ Amending People’s Bank Act privatisation attempt: SLPP

Amending People’s Bank Act privatisation attempt: SLPP

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:46

  • Bill to amend People’s Bank Act to be taken up by Parliament today
  • SLPP calls on Bank employees to oppose the Amendment

By Nuwan Senarathna

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) yesterday criticised amendments proposed to the People’s Bank Act, which is expected to be taken up in Parliament today, as an attempt to eventually allow outside investors to buy shares of the Bank, which could ultimately lead to a transfer of ownership and privatisation.

Speaking to media at the SLPP head office, Parliamentarian Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the Bill to amend the People’s Bank Act No. 29 of 1961 will be debated today in Parliament.

“This is not the first attempt by this Government to privatise crucial public assets. This is a very smart move that even employees might not notice. Even they may struggle to understand the negative impact of this amendment,” Abeywardena told reporters. 

He argued the new Act will enable employees and depositors to buy securities of the Bank, which according to Abeywardena, could eventually be sold to non-bank entities. He insisted enabling Bank employees to own shares was an attempt to pave the way for the private sector to own shares of the Bank.

“How can we be sure that employees will keep all those shares? What if they sell those securities to a third party with the expectation of earning profit? These are just cover-up stories to disguise their attempt to privatise the Bank,” he charged.

Abeywardena requested employees of the People’s Bank to stand against the Government’s decision to amend the People’s Bank Act, which he claimed could put their jobs and customers savings at risk.

“All State Bank employees must fight for this if not the Government will not stop at the People’s Bank. If we cannot prevent this right now, the People’s Bank will have to face what happened to other banks like DFCC.”

Abeywardena claimed under the proposed Bill, the Minister-in-Charge will be able to directly become involved in the operations of the Bank. He argued under such a situation the Board of Directors of the Bank will not be able to function independently.

“They are just trying to fulfil their personal agendas. The Government knows their terms will end soon. Therefore they are attempting to privatise public assets and profit from that,” he claimed.

However, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, issuing a statement on 26 July, stated the proposed amendment to the People’s Bank Act No. 29 of 1961 would enable the Bank to increase the authorised capital and the debentures to strengthen the financial stability and effectiveness of its operations.

The statement further stated once the Amendment is passed, only employees and depositors would be able to own securities, and outsiders would not be able to obtain securities. 

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Economy vs. environment – What you see in the mirror

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Do we buy organic vegetables? Or are we cost conscious and buy the regular vegetables? Would we rather live in United States or United Kingdom which have higher air pollution levels, or would we live in Myanmar or....

Seven Kartajaya mantras for Sri Lankan marketers

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Hermawan Kartajaya is the former President of the World Marketing Association and one of the top 50 marketing gurus who has shaped the world of marketing. His insight has made many companies change their business strategies....

When the saints go masquerading in

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

So that saintly MP has thrown a spanner in government’s works again. The pious member lashed out against a battery of citizens from journalists and lawyers to members of his own estate. Last week, much of his grievance was about the silence of the

So Sri Lanka; more like, so where are all the women in the hotel industry?

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

The tourism industry is a key service export of Sri Lanka. It is currently the third-largest export earner after foreign worker remittances and textiles and apparel and brought in $ 4.4 billion in 2018 alone, equivalent to 4.9% of the country’s GDP

Columnists More