From Left: CIMA Sri Lanka Chairman Vipula Gunatilleka, CIMA Middle East, South Asia and North Africa Regional Director Bradley Emerson, CIMA Chairman Myriam Madden, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and CIMA CEO Charles Tilley
Pic by Nisal Baduge
By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
A Temasek model government holding company will be created to improve all public enterprises, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
“We will be making public enterprises viable. Like Temasek in Singapore which has thousands of companies under it, we will set up one holding company responsible for all state enterprises,” he said at the CIMA 50th Anniversary event this week.
Temasek has become one of the world’s largest investment vehicles with a portfolio of S$266 billion, and Wickremesinghe had spoken of the Temasek model during the 2001 UNP regime as well.
However, the special gazette this week broke up all state enterprises into different ministries. For instance, the 5 sugar companies were divided among 3 ministries.
Wickremesinghe said that a Public Wealth Trust would be created to be the main shareholder of the holding company.
“We will go one step further than Temasek and make the public the owners by creating a Public Wealth Trust. All these companies will pay taxes,” Wickremesinghe inferred of the state enterprises turning in profits and being transparent.
Currently most state institutions are running at a loss and Wickremesinghe had said in the past that the state-sector is bloated. Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe said that Councils would be created to oversee the public funds such as the Public Wealth Trust
and the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).
Good governance & economic strategy
CIMA Chairman Myriam Madden said that she was impressed by the good governance principles of the new government.
“It’s so impressive that the government has good governance within its party name and clearly has that as a part of its definition and its aims for the next 60 months,” she said.
In her opinion, Sri Lanka’s aspirations have been clearly communicated to the world.
“I’m very struck by the aim of your government. I do like the use of clean English. We had a campaign in the UK, where in terms of communication, they were affected to say very simply and very clearly, what we aimed to achieve,” she said.
Madden added that she and British High Commissioner James Dauris share the view that Sri Lanka has new opportunities in terms of both political and economic progress.
She said that Wickremesinghe has a great economic strategy for Sri Lanka’s future.
“He has a lot of fantastic ideas and strong plans in terms of progressing Sri Lanka on the world stage economically,” she said and went on to add that making the public sector productive will benefit any economy in the world.
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