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Sri Lanka’s COPE in oversight battle over listed Lanka Hospitals

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises has sought oversight over Lanka Hospital Corporation Plc, a publicly listed company that went to state hands after the ownership of its parent reverted to the state on a court order.

“Although the Committee recommended that the account activities of this institution be subjected to the supervision of the Auditor General, the institution did not provide the information necessary for supervision activities,” the COPE said in its latest report released in October.

COPE is pushing for the state Auditor General to audit Lanka Hospitals Plc on the basis that over 50 percent of its stock is effectively state-owned through its parent, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Plc.

Control of Lanka Hospitals, built by Apollo Hospitals of India, was taken by SLIC with a 54 percent stake, when it was under businessman Harry Jayewardene’s Distilleries group.

But a court order reversed the privatization of SLIC.

The COPE said Lanka Hospitals had resisted giving information to the Auditor General and in March 2018, it was summoned but is chairman did not come.

In April it was again asked to give documents to the state auditor.

The COPE has recommended that a Treasury director be appointed to the Board and the Secretary to the ministry be responsible for co ordinating with its Board.

The COPE has also recommended that the Attorney General resolve any legal issue and inform the parliament. (Colombo/Oct26/2019)

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