A strategic fund to rescue State enterprises should be set up if strategically important State-owned enterprises are going to be privatised, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader, MP Udaya Gammanpila suggested.
He said many argue that privatising strategically important State-owned enterprises endangers national security and energy security, and that having a fund like this will protect these institutions.
Speaking to the media yesterday (31), Gammanpila claimed that while the Interim Budget that mentions restructuring of State-owned enterprises was presented to Parliament, it does not specify how it will be accomplished.
“There are numerous options for that. Businesses that aren’t strategically important and continue to lose money can be privatised. In addition, the Government can generate revenue by selling 25 per cent of the stock in profit-making State institutions. The Government can then earn a lot of money while maintaining its authority,” he explained.
Further, he said if this is done, instead of generating revenue by minting money and increasing inflation, the Government can generate revenue without burdening anyone. According to Gammanpila, there is an opportunity to develop public businesses through the public-private partnership (PPP) strategy.
“Some argue that privatising strategically important institutions endangers national security and energy security. When we transfer a business to the private sector, we sell it for a set period of time rather than selling it permanently. After a predetermined time period, it should be resold to the Government at a predetermined price. If we give that institution to the private sector for twenty years and those people develop it, the Government should be able to buy it after that time. For that, a ‘Strategic State Enterprise Redemption Fund’ must be set up by allocating a portion of the Budget each year,” he said.
By Thameenah Razeek