Restructuring SriLankan, SLT, SLIC move to strengthen reserves | Daily News
USD could be brought down to Rs. 100 and bring down inflation

Restructuring SriLankan, SLT, SLIC move to strengthen reserves

Ronald C. Perera assuming duties. Also pictured are  General Manager Russel Fonseka, other staff,  and well-wishers. Picture by Nissanka Wijeratne.
Ronald C. Perera assuming duties. Also pictured are General Manager Russel Fonseka, other staff, and well-wishers. Picture by Nissanka Wijeratne.

The government has looked at restricting SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka Telecom and Sri Lanka Insurance mainly to strengthen its reserve positions, said new Bank of Ceylon Chairman Ronald Perera after assuming office on Friday.

The restructuring process will result in bringing FDI to these entities and they will go to strengthen Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves by adding around US$ 3 billion. “This will firstly help to strengthen the country’s foreign reserve position which will also have a major positive impact on the US dollar.

“When the restructuring is complete, the expected revenue coming in the current USD which stands at around Rs. 370 plus will come down by nearly Rs. 100.”

The Chairman explained that this in turn will result in reducing the import bill of Sri Lanka and will have a direct positive impact on the cost of living which in turn will lower the inflation by a huge amount.”

He also said that the government believes that it should move out some of the businesses that are currently involved and let the private sector run them. “Instead the government must look at consolidation in the financial sector and for this state banks should remain with the government.”

Sri Lanka went through its worst economic crisis in the last two years and is still not fully out of it and any politician which came to power will follow the current procedure as this is the right way to go.

“People had to wait several days in long queues to buy petrol, diesel and gas and there were very long power cuts as well. This resulted in an Aragalaya which led to an appointment of a new President, Prime Minister and a new government and President Ranil Wickremesinghe were legally elected by the Parliament.”

He said that President Wickremesinghe had to ‘bite the bullet’ to turn around the economy which he successfully did by first ending these long queues and power cuts and then taking several meaningful and productive steps towards economic consolidation.

Speaking to Daily News Business he said that since the bank’s overseas branches (Male Chennai and Seychelles) are performing above expectations they are looking to expand and open a branch in Bangalore and are awaiting approvals.”

“The current interest rates are high but they should come down which will allow people to borrow and engage in businesses again. The Bank of Ceylon is like the right arm of the government and should also help in economic revival.”

“For this, the BOC should work with NPL customers and even advance them more loans and help to make them revive again through the bank’s business revival unit. We must not look at new customers seeking credit as criminals/suspects and treat them with respect and must expedite their loan applications in quick time.”

Perera who assumed duties as the 28th Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon Head Office for this third tenure was welcomed by the Bank’s newly appointed General Manager Russel Fonseka, members of the Corporate Management, bank staff and other well-wishers.

He has wide experience in Civil and Criminal litigation, negotiation and drafting of commercial and transport contracts and agreements. He has specialized in Commercial Law, Banking Law, Industrial Law, Injunctions, Defamation, Election Petitions, Civil Appeals, Revision Applications, Writ Applications, and Fundamental Rights Cases. Additionally, he has appeared in several Commercial Arbitrations.

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