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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Sri Lanka state entities making losses; ruined by political meddling: report

(LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state entities have been badly hit by the appointment of unqualified persons to top positions and while annual accounts were not available for some, a media report said.   “The appointment of unqualified people to top management posts on political grounds and the lack of financial and administrative disciplines had ruined many of the public enterprises,” Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror newspaper quoted minister D E W Gunasekara as saying.

“One of our strong recommendations will be to appoint educated and professionally qualified people to the top management at these institutions.”

No Accounts

Minister Gunasekara chairs a parliamentary committee on public enterprises (COPE) which has examined 249 entities. There were 19 billion rupees in losses in key institutions

Losses were in Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the State Timber Corporation (STC), Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Lankaputhra Bank and Mihin Lanka among others, the newspaper said.

Some entities had not presented accounts for two or three years.

“We expect to make a few recommendations to prevent or minimise losses at public enterprises and a series of guidelines on financial and administrative guidelines,” the minister was quoted as saying.

“The presentation of the annual report before the second half of the following year will be mandatory for all public enterprises from next year.”

However there are already regulations to cover both state departments and enterprises.

Not Cricket

The public enterprise department of the Treasury in an earlier report said many state entities were flouting existing regulations.

An earlier report in the same newspaper this week said a former mayor of Kandy who had been convicted of misappropriating 1.9 million rupees had been given a presidential pardon.

The newspaper said Sri Lanka Cricket, which administers the sport in the island, had lost 2.0 billion rupees and audit queries were not answered.

Current Sri Lanka Cricket officials who were summoned to COPE “had no clue as to how payments had been made for foreign trips by top SLC officials, misappropriations of Cricket World Cup funds and of the many contracts,” the newspaper said.


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