Sri Lanka's Central Bank releasing the monetary policy review yesterday said based on the current developments and outlook for key macroeconomic variables, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank was of the view that the continuation of the current monetary stance is appropriate.
The Finance Ministry announced that a price revision quoted in a circular issued by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will be subject to approval by the Cabinet of Ministers before new rates come into effect.
The Small and Medium Enterprise Board (SME Board) will be an important complement to the Enterprise Sri Lanka initiative that was launched recently with the aim of developing entrepreneurs and the SME sector of the country, said Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera, at the launching of ‘Empower the Small and Medium Enterprise’ (SME) Board at the BMICH yesterday.
We cannot pass on the cost of inefficiency on to the consumer or the general public and therefore it is essential that SOEs eliminate management inefficiencies prior to the implementation of fully cost reflective pricing Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera said this morning.
Addressing the Conference for the Heads of the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) at the Hilton Colombo held today (5th July) the Minister added that as the key players in our national ventures, you may have to relook at your operations seriously to achieve reasonable management improvements in the interest of our fellow citizens.
The text of the Ministers speech is as follows:
Let me at the outset thank the Department of Public Enterprises for organizing this timely conference for the Heads of State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) to equip them with the operational aspects on certain financial and administrative instruments.
Many of you present here are managing vital economic activities in Sri Lanka such as public transport, public utilities and services. Today I was told there are heads of 55 important SOEs present here from strategically important public ventures. I need to emphasize that your conduct of business plays an essential role in the daily life of our fellow citizens, as well as the productive performance of our national economy.
Last year, in the Vision 2025 document, we outlined our government’s policy on the management of public enterprises that proposes to eliminate unproductive expenditure. In V 2025, we made a pledge to restructure SOEs to enable them to operate as commercially viable ventures with accountability.
During 2017, your 55 public ventures alone have recorded a total turnover of nearly Rs. 1800 billion which was almost 13.22 percent of the GDP. Out of the 55 SOBs 39 recorded a net profit amounted to Rs. 136 billion while 16 made net losses amounted to Rs. 87 billion in 2017. The total asset base of SOBs grew by 13.6 percent in 2017 over 2016 and it accounted for almost 56.8 percent of the GDP. However, despite their strategic importance, SOEs have not achieved full potential, which is reflected by its low Return Over Assets (ROA) ratio at 0.64 percent. The reasons for such underperformance ranges from lack of good governance practices, including lack of a clear accountability mechanism, policy and legal framework, to a weak supervisory role. I encourage you to address those difficult, but serious issues at your deliberations today.
Moreover, in recent years the performance of some SOEs has been a source of concern for the fiscal balance. In 2017, total government revenue declined from 14.2 percent to 13.8 percent, influenced by a drop of revenue from SOEs reaching a 50 percent decline in dividends and levies as compared to 2016. In 2017, four of the main loss making SOEs i.e. Ceylon Electricity Board, Sri Lankan Airlines, Sathosa and Agriculture and Agrarian Insurance Board combined in losses amounting to Rs. 84 billion. I may say this as a dismal performance that creates public outcry over the mismanagement of our national resources.
Given the importance of the SOE’s, the government’s strategy is to encourage and facilitate you to be self-sufficient through improved corporate practices, management reforms, innovative financing, strong and prudent financial management, exposure to competitiveness and international best-practices and effective human resource management, while enhancing public accountability. It is pertinent that 2018 Budget allocated funds to operationalize the National Agency for Public Private Partnership (NAPPP), which will be the single facilitation point for all stakeholders in designing and implementing PPPs. You must now make efforts to closely work with the NAPPP in compliance with our PPP initiatives to gain the strength of the private sector to remain viable business operations.
The Department of Public Enterprises (PED) has adopted a new approach with the introduction of the Statements of Corporate Intents (SCIs) to support your entities. The SCI is a statement that contains key performance indicators targeting the core activities of the entity which will be reflected in improved financial and non-financial performance. During 2017, five key SOEs became party to the SCI, having signed tripartite agreements. I encourage all of you to follow suit without any delay.
We cannot pass on the cost of inefficiency on to the consumer or the general public and therefore it is essential that SOEs eliminate management inefficiencies prior to the implementation of fully cost reflective pricing. As the key players in our national ventures, you may have to relook at your operations seriously to achieve reasonable management improvements in the interest of our fellow citizens.
A national survey on Women’s Wellbeing would begin in October, this year, in a bid to quantify the status of women in the country. Cabinet approval for the above proposal was received this week. The Cabinet paper, submitted by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, said the Department of Census and Statistics, together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), would conduct the survey. The UNFPA Ninth Country Programme Action Plan 2018-2022 (CPAP 2018-2022), which would also fund the programme, had agreed to provide a grant of Rs 26,978,109 for the survey. The survey report would be published in June, 2019.
The total number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka during June 2018 was 146,828. In comparison to June last year, there is a growth of 19.0 % when the arrivals were 123,351. This month, the largest source market for tourists was India, followed by China and United Kingdom.
Heavy rains across the country had resulted in increasing Hydro Power generation by 87.6% to 650 GWh during the first quarter of the year 2018 compared to a year earlier, the latest government data highlights.
The price of a 5kg domestic gas cylinder had been reduced by Rs. 55, while the price of a 2.3kg cylinder had been reduced by Rs. 25, effective June 29, Industry and Commerce Ministry, announced today.The price of the 12.5 kg LP gas cylinder had was reduced by Rs. 138. Accordingly, the price of a 12.5 kg gas cylinder-both Litro and Laugfs- would be reduced to Rs. 1,538.
The garden farm, maintained around the ‘Laksenpaya' official bungalow for VIPs in the 11 Division premises in Pallekele, Kandy was adjudged the best (first place) in the Central Province’s Department of Agriculture - conducted ‘Nagarayata Uyanwathu’ competition, across the Central Province in the year 2017.
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) yesterday started selling more environment-friendly and less polluting Euro IV standard fuel. The official launch took place at the at the C.F De Mel & Sons Filling Station, Colombo 2 in the presence of Minister of Petroleum Resource Development Arjuna Ranatunga and Deputy Minister of Petroleum Resource Development Anoma Gamage.