People’s Bank will not be privatized: Finance Minister

Jun 26, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister says that the recent news report in the media quoting an opposition Parliamentarian to the effect that the People’s Bank is to be privatized is completely false and misleading.

Certain political parties and the Trade Union affiliated to those parties had alleged the government is to privatize the people’s Bank citing financial difficulties to infuse capital.

“But there is no truth in these allegations and the government categorically dismisses this claim of privatization as false and misleading the people made with ulterior motives,” the minister said.

“It is understood that this baseless allegation is made following the proposal made by the Ministry of Finance to amend the People’s Bank Act enabling the Bank to increase the authorized capital and the debentures to strengthen the financial stability and effectiveness of its operations.”

Once this amendment is passed in Parliament the employees and depositors can get these securities and there is no intention to issue equity securities to outsiders.

“The Budget 2019 speech made by me as the Minister of Finance in Parliament proposed the need to develop capital markets beyond bank financing,” he said.

“Therefore, I wish to emphasize that the attempts on the part of political parties to portray that the government is trying to privatize the People’s Bank is a malicious attempt to hide their political bankruptcy,”

“There is no attempt on the part of the government or the Ministry of Finance to privatize the People’s Bank as stated in the media statements.”