* 5 transferred to UDA and 4 for public purposes
The contentious acquisition of two dozen enterprises and assets either underperforming or underutilised under the Revival Act last year have since being put to productive use or firmed up for regeneration of economic value.
According to Finance Ministry sources, 12 enterprises have been released to investors, both new and former owners, based on new business plans, whilst several have been transferred to the Urban Development Authority or for public purposes.
Enterprises or assets released to investors were: Sinotex (Lanka) Ltd., Jaqalanka Ltd., Plymouth Industries (Pvt) Ltd., D.C. Apparel (Pvt) Ltd., Hy Fashion Garments (Pvt) Ltd., Adamjee Extractions (Pvt) Ltd., Tendon Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Rican Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Composite Tower Solutions (Pvt) Ltd., Health Food Products (Pvt) Ltd., Sri Chirag (Pvt) Ltd., and Continental Vanaspathi (Pvt) Ltd. Some investors said the progress was satisfactory whilst others noted there were some snags remaining to be resolved.
Assets transferred to the UDA to be developed under the overall Urban Development Plan were Chalmers Granaries Ltd., Intertrade Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. (which owns Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre), Lanka Tractors Ltd., Suchir Neb Projects (Pvt) Ltd., and former Cashew Corporation.
Assets released to be used for a public purpose were Macfa Apparel (Pvt) Ltd., Collins Garment (Pvt) Ltd., Needle Crafts (Pvt) Ltd., and Colombo Commercial Badulla Properties.
Hilton Colombo owning company Hotel Developers (Lanka) Plc has been revitalised with a new management contract signed with Hilton International Worldwide on terms more favourable to the Government.
The Finance Ministry said payment of compensation was being finalised with the assistance of the Government Chief Valuer.
The State land leased to HDLL with the hotel block has been leased for 99 years and the pool block for five years.
Ceylinco Leisure Properties Ltd. at Colombo 3 has been reactivated with a project to convert it into a multi-faceted hotel complex, through a consortium of private/public entities. Payment of compensation is being finalised with the assistance of the Government Chief Valuer.
Takeover of Sevanagala and Pelwatte Sugar Industries under the Act, which also raised much controversy since the latter is also a listed entity, has been merged and formed as a new company under the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007, to be fully owned/administered by the Government.
The new Board of Directors is progressing with the management towards commercial viability, the Finance Ministry said.
Distilleries Company, which owns control stake of Pelwatte Sugar, has raised issues over the legality of the takeover and is awaiting a clearer response from the Treasury.
The 2011 Budget referred to the importance of taking appropriate measures to revive certain enterprises that have continuously failed in its operations or underperformed, warranting intervention at the highest level, in order to maximise growth and economic activity in the public interest.
Revival of Underperforming Enterprises or Underutilised Assets Act No. 43 of 2011 was introduced in November 2011, vesting with the State one underperforming enterprise and 37 underutilised assets, listed in its Schedules.
As approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, a Competent Authority either by name or by office, were appointed in respect of one or more of such enterprise or asset. The Competent Authority is required to control, administer and manage or ensure the revival of such enterprise or asset through alternate utilisation.
In the exercise of its powers, functions and duties, the Competent Authority is subject to general and special directions of the Cabinet of Ministers, to ensure effective management and administration, etc.
A dedicated Compensation Tribunal was appointed, comprising of the Chief Valuer and two other persons who have wide experience and who have shown capacity in commercial valuation, to ensure the payment of prompt, adequate, and effective compensation.
The Compensation Tribunal is required, after inquiry as may be necessary, to make its award on such claim within a period of 12 months from the date on which the claim was received by it.
Compensation is to be charged to a special account to be operated by the Government with a Licensed Commercial Bank. This account was opened by the Treasury. Any party aggrieved in relation to compensation may appeal within 14 days from the date of such award to the Court of Appeal.