Last Stage

Nov 16, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) is to sell a 226 perch land which National Savings Bank has already paid in 500 million rupees in advance, to settle loans worth 5.1 billion rupees to the banks. Last year, commerce minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle said the ministry was hoping to sell 226 perch block through an open bidding process, using the facilities of the Colombo Stock Exchange to raise 1.2 billion rupees.

The money raised, would be used to pay compensation to 2,300 employees of Sathosa including the employees of Sathosa Retail, a subsidiary that failed after an unsuccessful privatization attempt, trade secretary R M K Rathnayake said.

The 226 perch prime land in Union Place belonging to the CWE will be used by NSB to build a luxury apartment complex.

NSB officials say the Bank plans to enter in to the real estate business following the acquisition. An offer worth 1.4 billion rupees by the telecom giant Dialog Telekom was turned down by the ministry, since selling government land to private developers is contrary to the current policy framework.