Sri Lanka President asks state enterprises to improve profits, service levels

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addressing chairpersons and directors of state-owned businesses and institutions. Source: Presidential Media Unit

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ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called on heads of state owned enterprises (SOEs) to grow their profits while non-profit institutions have been asked to improve service levels to uplift the economy.

“Sri Lanka topped the Asian region in terms of economic growth rate during 2005 to 2014. The economy faced a downturn during the past few years,” he was quoted saying by the state information office.

President Rajapaksa, speaking to top officials at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on Friday, said the government faced an uphill task of reviving the economy which suffered a setback during the past few years.

He called on chairpersons and directors of corporations and statutory bodies directly contributing to the economy and public service to improve their performance.

SOEs such as Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, SriLankan Airlines and the Ceylon Electricity Board lose billions of rupees annually, while the state-owned financial firms make profits.

The state tourism offices and the Board of Investment will have to play a leading role in Sri Lanka’s future, President Rajapaksa said.

Investors should be encouraged to set up businesses outside Colombo and its suburbs as a solution for congestion in the city, he said.

He said technology should be used for the economy’s benefit.

“Skilled labour and changes in the education system will help strengthen the economy,” he also added.

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