Sri Lanka state textile trader; no accounts

June 9, 2011 (LBO) – Lanka Salusala, a Sri Lankan state textile trading firm has not released audited accounts from 2004, had excess staff, unsettled loans and its performance could not be measured, a finance ministry report said.

In a related development Sri Lanka’s Daily FT newspaper reported that the trade ministry has requested the country’s President to write off 1.8 billion rupees due to co-operatives.

In Sri Lanka co-operatives and politics have a close connection.

In the 1970s, in an era of import controls and licensing, co-operatives thrived as they were used a means to distribute goods which were often rationed or under price control.

Sri Lanka’s ruling administration now has a policy of not privatizing state enterprises, but some officials are attempting to bring outside management and capital through indirect means.

A review by the Treasury said Lanka Salusala had pending court cases, and there was not enough management interest in strategic planning, implementation and performance evaluation.

According to a 2009 report, the firm had 274 workers.

Critics say state enterprises are a key way for rulers to engage in tax banditry. Many state enterprises now need money collected from the