Rough Ride

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The government was earlier planning to sell the bus companies on the Colombo bourse on Wednesday.

rnrnPolicy Planning Ministry Advisor R Paskaralingam told Lanka Business Online that the sale would however go through as planned, but prospective bidders have sought extra time to arrange finances.

rnrnldblquote By extending the deadline, we will also advertise for more investors to put in their bids,
dblquote he said.

rnrnEarlier fifteen parties had put in bids for 13 regional bus companies on a 50:50 private sector government ownership basis.

rnrnBut the government through the Public Enterprise Reform Commission (PERC) that was handling the issue, changed the rules of the deal, opting instead to hold a 51 percent stake.

rnPERC offered investors a minority 39 percent stake with management control, with the balance 10 percent being distributed to the employees.

rnPaskeralingam said the government expects investors to infuse around Rs. 3 bn by way of fresh investments into the bus companies.