JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti today alleged that the government was planning to handover the Sewanagala and Pelwatte sugar factories to Minister Daya Gamage through the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises or Underutilised Assets (repeal) Bill.
He told parliament that the two factories had assets amounting to Rs. 1,257 million and that 10,000 people would lose their livelihoods if they were privatised again.
He said the two factories were brought under the treasury secretary so that they could be privatised later on. "We wonder why these two companies owned by the government were taken over by the government again.
If there were no plans to privatise, let them be as they are now," he said. He said Sewanagala and Pelwatte sugar factories were profit-making companies and that they were paying millions of rupees to the Treasury as tax every year.
He alleged that the UNP was planning to handover the two factories to Mr. Gamage as a gratitude to his maintaining UNP headquarters Sirikotha. "Daya Gamage is paying the electricity bills and maintaining the Sirikotha. The UNP should find other ways to collect money for elections and to cover maintenance cost of Sirikotha without putting people in danger," he said.
Mr. Handunnetti proposed to introduce an amendment and exclude the Sewanagala and Pelwatte sugar factories from the Bill. He said they would take to the streets against this move even if the two factories were privatised. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)