But there are some areas where the state need not be involved, and doing so only takes away income generating opportunities from a number of segments such as private businesses, home businesses and others. If the government gets involved, it becomes unfair competition, and that is what has been taking place. There is a crowding out effect.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have come under harsh criticism in the recent past for their poor performance, productivity and profitability, and it is the public that paid the price.
With the change of government, and the appointments of fresh leaders, it is hoped the troubled entities would rectify their dismal performances and stop enlarging the hole in taxpayer’s pocket.
In an attempt to get a clear picture as to what the fate of these institutions will be, Mirror Business sat down with State Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne— a former banker and a highly respected figure in the private sector— this week for a comprehensive interview on what path the ministry would take to accomplish the strenuous task.
Following are the excerpts of the interview.