Joint foreign partnership a must to develop ECT | Daily News

Joint foreign partnership a must to develop ECT

Colombo Dockyard previously a part of the port commission was owned by Sri Lanka Ports Authority which was offered to a Japanese company called Onomichi Dockyard where 51 % ownership was transferred lot stock and barrel with two docks and fully equipped and skilled workforce with fully-fledged workshops in the eighties to a close to 3.5 million dollars by then UNP government.

When the share transfer took place, there was no lease agreement for the 13-acre portland with assets which was later given at Rs 2 million per month by the government of CBK when Ashcroft was the Minister, for 30 years extendable to 60 years.

It was a real bargain for the Japanese investor but Sri Lanka benefited by having a pioneer shipbuilding industry developed to an unprecedented scale under Sri Lankan Top management with Japanese overseeing the operations

The property belonging to SLPA was never sold neither ownership transferred to Japanese but a simple lease agreement with the port is in place

Similarly, the Government should first form a private-public partnership for ECT and offer shares to port workers like the same way Colombo Dockyard did during the tenure of DBW as the President when the writer was the CEO /MD who met him personally with the leader of UNP led trade union Similarly, the Adani group can be given 49% with a management contract like Onomichi which is charging around $400,000 per month to pay salaries of Japanese staff -four in full

During DBW’s time, the writer met him personally and convinced that the 10% of the shares of the Dockyard shall be vested to workers as stipulated in the investment agreement which was carried out using shares owned by banks.

Today Dockyard has become an internationally known efficiently run shipbuilding yard placing them in an envious position in Asia

As far as I know, there were no irregular transactions underhand though there were speculations 700 million dollars to be paid by Adani Group to be transferred which can be called either a Premium or Key Money to the Treasury for national needs during this difficult times where 10% shares can be offered to port workers free and some more to local investors.

Adani can manage like dockyard does and take away their 49% profit without deducting initial 700,000 $ investment but they can bring much-needed transhipment business from India SAGT and CICT are run in the same way but Port workers are protesting against ECT privatization because they will lose additional income usually earn by underhand methods like the way they carry out every operation in the port today wherein 10 or more locations where containers of goods pass-thru at the checking points, the drawer of side cupboard of the tally clerk or security is left open where they expect Rs. 100 to be dropped by clearing agents.

TV stations should spend more time and money to run programmes for people to enjoy rather than show press conferences by monks and trade unions.

The writer is the ex CEO Colombo Dockyard and CEO Walkers Colombo Shipyard.