SLFP opposes alleged privatisation of SLT and SriLankan

Wednesday, 16 November 2022 00:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says Govt. has not revealed plans for loss-making state ventures in the Budget 
  • Claims instead it is attempting to sell SLT and SriLankan Airlines that can generate revenue
  • Calls on Govt. to stop the process and focus on its loss-making enterprises instead 

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party yesterday accused the Government of attempting to privatise its most profit-making ventures including Sri Lanka Telecom. 

Speaking at a press conference held yesterday, SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said the Government has failed to reveal its plan for loss-making state enterprises. “The Government today has 52 enterprises which are making a collective loss of Rs. 86 billion annually. No mention was made in the Budget about these institutions and any plan to either turn them profitable or restructure them. The Government must reveal this information,” he said.

Jayasekara said instead the Government is now preparing to privatise Sri Lanka Telecom, the highest profit-making Government venture in which the state has 42 per cent of shares. “Last year SLT paid Rs. 1.8 billion in dividends to the treasury. It made a profit of Rs. 11.5 billion before taxes between 1 Jan - Sep 30 this year.” he said. 

Noting that SLT has 13 other subsidiary companies, Jayasekara said they too are profit-making businesses. “The country will lose one of its most valuable and economically important assets if SLT is sold. The importance of the SLT in the country’s security apparatus must also be noted,” he added.  While admitting Sri Lankan Airlines is making a loss of Rs. 302 billion annually, Jayasekara said 95% of the loss is due to lease installments for the planes it has purchased. “If not, SriLankan Airlines is making an operational profit,” he said. Jayasekara proposed the Government should explore a method to eliminate the lease payments and retain the airline. 

Jayasekara said the SLFP is against the Government’s attempt to sell profitable businesses and called on it to halt the process immediately. 

“We have serious concerns about these decisions and therefore the Government must stop this move. It appears the economic policies of the Government, the President and the Central Bank have many disparities. This will only end in chaos,” he said.


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