By Prasanna Athukorala
The performance and future of Sri Lanka’s state owned enterprises (SOEs) continues to be a subject of public conversation. The ‘State Enterprises Management Policy’ described in the SLPP Manifesto (Chapter 2, page 08) for instance, pledges to “…develop State Enterprises and to make them profitable” and further to “…ensure that all State Enterprises are free from political interference”. Both the acknowledgement of the shortcomings and the intention to effect reforms are welcome.
However, the burning question is, will the reforms be meaningful enough? This article will attempt to explore ways to ensure the required reforms are effective, permanent and become a landmark turning point in the management of public finances. The proposals outlined below build on the State Enterprises Management Policy of the SLPP Manifesto and seek to enhance them further. The writer proposes that a new legal entity, encompassing global