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Sri Lanka President orders loss-making sea salt SOE to show profits

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered a state-run sea salt producing company to make profits within a year, after it ran losses for two years in a row, his office said.

Lanka Salt had earned profits of 70 million rupees in 2016, 32 million in 2017, but had lost 2.9 million rupees in 2019 which had increased to a loss of 10.91 million in 2019.

President Rajapaksa had met the top officials of the firm for a progress meeting.

“President emphasized the Chairman and the Board of Directors should take the responsibility of investigating causes for loss occurred during these three years and to transform the entity into a profit earning one,” the President’s office said.

“He instructed the officials to devise separate strategies for the next 6 months and the following year that would render profits,”

“President went on to note that excuses for losses are irrelevant and he is more interested in strategies that would lead to profit,” his office said.

President Rajapaksa said salt imports should be halted and Lanka Salt should export salt as it had done at one time.

Lanka Salt which was listed for privatization in 1998 had been taken over by the Employees Trust Fund, when President’s brother Mahinda Rajapaksa was labour minister. The ETF now owned 90 percent of the stock and employees 10 percent.

ETF Chairman Sriyan De Silva Wijayaratna, Lanka Salt Limited charman Nishantha Sandhabarana members of the board of directors were at the meeting. (Colombo/June25/2020)