JEDB turns tables from Rs 2.1 bn loss to Rs 56 mn profit | Daily News

JEDB turns tables from Rs 2.1 bn loss to Rs 56 mn profit

Government-owned Janatha Estates Development Board” (JEDB) which was making over Rs. 2.1 billion loss five years ago has made an amazing turn around and made a profit of Rs. 56 million up to August 2022.

The company hopes to make a profit in the excess of Rs. 100 million this year, said Chairman, JEDB, Rtd. Wg. Cmdr. Buwaneka D. Abeysuriya was appointed in January 2020. He said that the JEDB which was set up in 1976 was ‘living’ on government treasury handouts which were around Rs. 400 million per annum for many years mainly to pay the staff salaries and from last year this was stopped.

“We are now in a sound financial position and have converted ourselves as a profit making State Owned enterprise.” He said this profit was made while battleling out negative consequences of the C-19 pandemic, Lockdowns, fertilizer issues, additional transport costs, increase of Rs.1,000 wages for employees and many other negative factors.

However, with prudent economic management systems and initiating several other initiatives JEDB was successful in moving out of taking the ‘Treasury dole’ of Rs. 400 million for staff from the in 2020. “One of our success stories was also the introduction of tea nurseries which enables several bear lands to be planted with tea again.”

He identified one of the biggest revenue losses were due to non-performing estates/factories and we have reinvested to provide them fertilizer, replanting material and other needed infrastructure to correct these on requests made by Estate heads whose mindsets have now changed from ‘lethargic’ to ‘positive thinking’.

Successive managements of the JEDB had defaulted on EPF/ETF payments and there was a huge Rs. 1.8 billion payment due and there also were shocking 1,700 plus cases against JEDB Chairman from former employees. In addition, JEDB also was in debt for nearly Rs. 700 million for State banks, Tea Board, Mineral Sands, Fertilizer Corporation and several other institutions.

One of the other biggest challenges was the non-finalizing of annual accounts for eight years which was also finally corrected last year. He also said that during the last three years they made several diversifications for mini hydro power, manufacturing of fertilizer, wear housing, Property Management Arm*and also tourism.

Bulk tea to ME & Eastern countries

Chairman, JEDB, Rtd. Wg. Cmdr. Buwaneka D. Abeysuriya said that for the first time they are planning to earn foreign exchange to the country. This is by exporting bulk tea to Middle East and Eastern countries.

“We have recently launched a replanting drive and we expect additional crops from the end of the year and we plan to export a part of this to bring the much needed dollars to the country.”

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