The government is weighing the possibility of merging the Pelawatte and Sevanagala Sugar factories which were taken over under the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act which was passed in Parliament last year.
Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara told the Daily Mirror that the government is waiting for the recommendations of the cabinet sub committee that had been appointed to look into the 37 enterprises that was acquired by the government under the over mentioned Act to make the final decision on the merger.
Dr. Jayasundara said the future of the two companies depends on the recommendations made by the cabinet sub committee. He said the decision of the sub committee would be made known soon. He however did not rule out a merger.
The government appointed a Cabinet sub committee headed by Minister of Environment Anura Priyadarashana Yapa to monitor the assents taken over earlier this year. Other members of the Cabinet sub committee are Ministers Dilan Perera, Reginald Cooray, Lakshman Seneviratne and Deputy Finance Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena.
The Treasury Secretary was responding to a comment made by UNP National Organiser and former Chairman of Sevanagala Sugar Industries Ltd Daya Gamage who alleged that the government is planning to merge the two leading sugar factories shortly. Mr. Gamage told journalists yesterday that Rs 1.5 billion had been allocated for the merger.
Mr. Gamage said this exercise would not be economically viable considering what is going on at the Sevanagala factory. He therefore alleged that the machinery at the factory has been sold as scrap metal by the pro government Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya officials in the area.
He said he was not allowed to remove vehicles and other assets which were not taken over by the government. Mr. Gamage said vehicles of the factory still belong to him as the government only acquired land and the buildings under the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act. (Yohan Perera )