We turned Rajapaksa white elephants into viable enterprises – Mangala
The present Government has already taken steps to turn the loss-making white elephants of the Rajapaksa government into profitable and viable enterprises, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
Addressing the media at the Finance Ministry last evening (03), Samaraweera accused the previous Government of destroying the country’s economy.
“Most of the time, commercial loans were taken to build white elephants. We remember how they went around the world to make Namal Rajapaksa’s dream of having the Commonwealth Games in Sri Lanka a reality. Even at present, we do not know how much money was wasted for that. For Mattala Airport itself, they spent Rs. 50 billion, but Forbes magazine in 2017 revealed that it was the world’s emptiest airport. Had not they spent money on such white elephants how much more could they have spent on education and health sectors?” Samaraweera said.
“For the sake of the country we have to make these white elephants viable institutions,” he added.
Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama who also spoke at the event explained the Government’s initiative to convert the loss-making institutions to profitable enterprises.
“Hambantota port is already viable. As a result of the development undertaken now by the Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) which is a joint venture with China merchants and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), we are getting a lot of investments, particularly in the refinery area. As far as Mattala airport is concerned, we are negotiating with the Government of India. We have a joint venture to ensure that Mattala airport could also be operated profitably,” Samarawickrama said.