The government has proposed to bring all State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) under a Public Wealth Trust (PWT), which will be a Government-owned holding company formed similar to that of the Temasek Holdings of Singapore. According to the government, this public company will operate based on sound financial principles and market economics.

“The shares of these enterprises will be passed onto a Public Wealth Trust (PWT), where the Secretary to the Treasury and the Governor of the Central Bank will be the custodians,” Minister Ravi Karunanayake said presenting the Budget proposals on Friday.

This Trust will be managed by a Board comprising of members from civil societies, trade chambers, and trade unions, who will be nominated by the Constitutional Council. The PWT is answerable to Parliament. A new Public Enterprise Act will be enacted to provide the necessary legal framework to this effect.

“The Boards of SOEs will be strengthened with the appointment of professionals. Key SOEs will be allowed to operate and be evaluated based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Key SOEs will also be encouraged to adopt a rating mechanism which will also facilitate the entities to access the domestic and foreign capital markets through various instruments for their capital requirements,” the Minister said.