President Maithripala Sirisena unveiling a plaque to declare open the new CFS 1 warehouse at the Colombo Port. Ports and Shipping Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama and Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dammika Ranatunga are also in the picture
President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday pledged that none of the profit-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs) would be privatised.
He said this during the opening of the new CFS 1 warehouse constructed at a cost of Rs.95 million at the Colombo Port.
President Sirisena said he would never agree to a policy, which advocates the sale of profit-making SOEs. He further said he had seen many views being expressed about the sale of SOEs in the media.
“If an SOE is making losses, we have to take measures to rectify it. Sometimes we may have to do it with the help of the private sector. But I want to clearly establish that I will never agree to sell profit-making SOEs to the private sector,” he averred.
President Sirisena’s remarks come at a time when International Trade and Development Strategies Minister Malik Samarawickrama last week maintained that the government was looking at “public-private partnerships for non-strategic SOEs, including some profit-making enterprises.”
“It is true some of the SOEs make profits but I believe they are still not run efficiently and they do not show the true potential,” he told a forum in Colombo, last week.
He also said, in the next few months the government expects to dispose state-owned hotels, Lanka Hospitals and a prime commercial property in Colombo’s business district via Colombo Stock Exchange or RFPs (request for proposals).
“The prime minister in his forthcoming presentation of the five-year plan will set out a road map for SOE reform and the disposal of non-strategic state assets,” he added.