Ranil questions the CSE as a platform for the privatization of public companies

Despite a good record of privatizations or restructuring of public companies via the Colombo stock exchange in the past, the new president Ranil Wickremesinghe ruffled many feathers on Friday by questioning the neutrality and the beneficiaries of the CSE.

Speaking at the Advocata Forum on Reforms, the President, after acknowledging that there is a lot to be done in the restructuring of SOEs, questioned where it should be done and what is the best platform. form.

“A lot of you say, send it to the Stock Exchange. I have my questions about that. The Stock Exchange today is not identified with the London Stock Exchange. There are a lot of questions about the Stock Exchange. Let a few people control it and a few people rig it. Now can I put any state-owned enterprise on it to help a few people?” the President said at the inauguration of the Advocata Forum.

In the audience were at least two former CSE chairs, Ajit Gunewardene and Krishan Balendra, and former CSE board member Murtaza Jafferjee, who is also chairman of Advocata.

“Either you all have to change, or we are setting up a new institution. I don’t want any more arguments on this. If you are to use the current Stock Exchange, we must all be convinced that it is neutral and beneficial to all,” insisted President Wickremesinghe.

He insisted on the latter saying that Sri Lanka must be a country from which everyone must benefit because “everyone is suffering, especially the lower end who will suffer the most. They must know that their suffering was not in vain. That he worked for the benefit of all”.

During his speech, Wickremesinghe also mentioned a possible wealth tax. “Today we need a social market economy. Just as we make money and bigger profits, there needs to be more money available to people,” the president said.

“The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening. It has not decreased over the past 10 to 15 years. Disadvantaged groups being pushed away, and this is one of the reasons for the Aragalaya. How can we restore it and ensure that we close the gap between haves and have-nots? We must resort to higher taxation on wealth, first to make economic recovery and social stability work,” the president reiterated.

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