Sri Lanka PM to halt privatisation

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will immediately abandon the major privatisation undertaken by the current government if elected president next month, his economic affairs advisor said Thursday. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will immediately abandon the major privatisation undertaken by the current government if elected president next month, his economic affairs advisor said Thursday. Premier Rajapakse will totally stop plans to divest ownership in state enterprises and completely halt a privatisation undertaken by outgoing president Chandrika Kumaratunga, advisor Nivard Cabraal told reporters here.

“A Mahinda Rajapakse government will not be for privatisation,” Cabraal said. “The problem with state enterprises is not ownership, but management. We will improve management in a transparent manner.”

He said the government will also not divest its remaining holdings in companies such as Sri Lanka Telecom and hotels which have already been partly privatised by president Kumaratunga.

The government had been in negotiations to sell a substantial stake in SLT, which is fully managed and partly-owned by NTT of Japan and the company which owns the Colombo Hilton operation.

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