The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) will soon summon officials of Ceylinco Group and the Central Bank to explain how they have divested some of the member companies of the group in a bid to settle the Golden Key depositors who were cheated to the tune of Rs. 26 billion.
COPE will summon the Central Bank officials to explain why the proposed Hyatt Regency Hotel property in Colpetty was divested only for Rs. 4.2 billion when there were offers for Rs. 7.8 billion and which had a valuation for Rs. 9.2 billion which was sufficient to pay back the Ceylinco Shriram depositors.
UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake, contacted for comment, told The Island on Friday night that those divestitures had been carried out in a questionable manner. He added that Fingara Town and Country Club had been divested only for Rs. 126 million when there was an offer of over Rs. 900 million. The offer for Seylan Bank was only Rs. 2.5 billion though the actual worth was between Rs. 6-7 billion, Karunanayake said.
"This is an absurd state of affairs," said Karunanayake, charging the Central Bank and the Ceylinco officials had divested those enterprises on cost free capital much to the detriment of the depositors’ interests.
The divestiture of those enterprises was meant to pay back the depositors, but what had actually been done ran counter to that objective, MP Karunanayake said.
It is learnt that the decision makers of SriLankan airlines will also be asked to explain why it had sponsored some mega sports at a massive cost in spite of being saddled with a crippling loss of Rs. 23 billion.
Others to be summoned before the COPE are the officials of the Ceylon Electricity Board, according to sources. They will be questioned on power cuts imposed on the public due to the CEB’s sheer mismanagement and lack of proper planning.