‘Move will roll back bad decisions of the past’ | Sunday Observer

‘Move will roll back bad decisions of the past’

The Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama has welcomed the Parliamentary approval granted last week to repeal the ‘Revival of Underperforming Enterprises or Underutilised Assets Act No. 43 of 2011’.

“This move is another step that our government has taken to rebuild investor confidence and roll back bad decisions taken in the past,” the Minister said, adding that the government recognises that as a country aiming to be an attractive destination for investment, protecting the property rights of investors is of paramount importance.

According to Samarawickrama, the draconian and invasive ‘expropriation law’ that was introduced hurriedly and surreptitiously by the previous Government, severely damaged confidence among private investors, and hurt the country’s standing as a business-friendly nation. “The Government arbitrarily took over 37 assets owned by private entrepreneurs in a high handed manner, and this should never have happened,” he said.

The Minister explained that after the expropriation, the enterprises were placed under the management of various Government bodies with hardly any competence to run them. “As a result, although the name of the Act referred to ‘revival’, instead many of these assets have significantly lost their value,” he said, adding that the repealing of this Act is a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to encourage the private sector while giving confidence to domestic and international investors.