Claiming that the government is planning to privatize state-owned enterprises such as the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) in accordance with the IMF conditions, National People's Power (NPP) MP Vijitha Herath today said that similar move to privatize the CEB on IMF conditions were thwarted by the JVP in 2005.
He told Parliament that there were moves in 2005 to privatize the CEB on IMF conditions when the JVP was in the Cabinet during the Chandrika Bandaranaike government and that the move was annulled due to the intervention of the JVP.
“The CEB would have been privatized in 2005 if not for JVP's intervention. We warned to withdraw from the Cabinet if the CEB was prioritised and the proposal was then withdrawn,” he said.
The MP said Article 4 report issued by the IMF Director Board in March 2, 2022 clearly stated four conditions such as cutting down tax concessions and imposing new taxes, reforming state-owned enterprises, introducing cost recovery energy prices and fight against corruption and that four out of the IMF conditions except for fight against corruption had been implemented.
He said fuel, gas prices and electricity tariffs were increased as per the conditions laid down by the IMF and said the government should tell the actual facts behind these increases without hiding them.
He said the reasons that led to the losses of the CEB should be ascertained and provided solutions instead of privatizing the institution. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)