It is reported that Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank have agreed to render assistance to SriLankan Airlines to pay its debts.
The two state-run banks will provide Rs.13.5 billion to SriLankan Airlines.
Public Enterprise Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella had submitted the Cabinet paper regarding this.
SriLankan Airlines lost USD 105 million last year alone. International Monetary Fund (IMF) had earlier recommended Sri Lanka to restructure SriLankan Airlines.
When Minster Lakshman Kiriella submitted the above cabinet paper, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera emphasized several important facts. He stated that it is extremely important to restructure SriLankan Airlines and thereafter it will be convenient to find an appropriate investor to improve its status. He had further stated that this would be the last time state banks provide financial assistance to SriLankan Airlines.
This situation did not arise overnight. Many incidents of corruption were frequently reported during the Rajapaksa era such as improper administration and arbitrarily appointing unqualified persons for the board of directors based on political connections. Investigations are being conducted with regard to some of the allegations. Previously, discussions were held to determine whether SriLankan Airlines should be combined with foreign airlines. By investing an enormous amount of money to save SriLankan Airlines, People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon have performed a national service.