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Sri Lanka in talks with India, Japan to build container terminal in Colombo

The government is looking to diversify away from dependence on the Chinese-operated port terminal in Colombo, and is in advanced talks with India and Japan. “A previous proposal for a terminal, with the state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) owning a 15% stake and the remainder held by a consortium of firms from Japan, India and Sri Lanka was scuttled last year after a backlash from trade unions. Trade unions protested against the privatisation of state assets including those being developed by Chinese firms, a dispute that led to President Maithripala Sirisena sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in October. Wickremesinghe was reinstated later after a court ruling.”

Source: TODAYonline

"The vulnerability to privatisation has increased"

Hindu Business Line reports that the although NDA government was unsuccessful in privatising a state-run firm, they “have sowed the seeds for a relatively trouble-free sale later on with the help of strategic divestment involving public sector undertaking (PSU) to PSU deals. (…) With its new owner not a PSU in the strict sense of the word, DCI has also lost its PSU and mini ratna status. This is not the case, though, with the other deals because ONGC, NBCC and PFC are owned by the government and hence HPCL, HSCC and REC will continue to be subjected to DPE norms. Yet, their vulnerability to privatisation has increased, government sources added.”

Source: @businessline

A New South Wales Upper House inquiry into the state's port privatisations

A New South Wales Upper House inquiry into the state's port privatisations finds that key aspects of the deals were kept secret from Parliament and the public. “Labor's Shadow Minister for Industry and Resources, Adam Searle, said the government had concealed the port deal “because they knew it would sell the Hunter [region] short. They knew people in the Hunter wouldn't like it, but they did it anyway because they wanted to maximise the sale price for the other ports which they privatised.”

Source: Newcastle Herald