The Leader of the Opposition queried in Parliament whether the government would be able to assure that the highly sensitive data network systems would be safe once the SLT is privatized.
Opposition Leader Premadasa said that once Sri Lanka Telecom is privatized, valuable assets belonging to the SLT would inevitably go into the hands of whoever the private investor is, and he queried whether the government could give an assurance for the safety of the sensitive data preserved there, including the country’s secret information system.
He asked whether the government could guarantee that the foreign ownership of this vital institution does not pose a threat to national security.
The government proposes to sell several profit-making enterprises, including SLT, its subsidiaries, and Lanka Hospitals, in their latest bid to privatize state-owned enterprises.
The opposition leader also asked for ways and means of recovering the annual remittances received by the Treasury in the form of profits earned by the SLT once this enterprise is privatized.
The question he raised is as follows:
It has been reported that the State Enterprise Reform Unit established under the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization, and National Policy has proposed to sell the government’s share of the Sri Lanka Telecom PLC held by the Treasury and Lanka Hospitals PLC, and that sale has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
I expect specific answers and explanations from the government, considering the following issues as matters of national importance:
Who has decided to sell the shares of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, in which the Treasury holds 49.50% of the issued share capital?
On what basis was that decision taken?
Will Sri Lanka Telecom plc present the annual profit after tax (profit after tax) obtained from the years 2012 to 2022 to this House?
During those 10 years, how much has Sri Lanka Telecom PLC paid annually as dividends to the exchequer for its share ownership?
Will you explain to this House how the revenue received from Telecom PLC will be received from now on?
How much tax has Sri Lanka Telecom PLC paid to the government in those 10 years?
Can the government confirm that the sale of the shares of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and its subsidiaries, which are in possession of assets related to highly sensitive data systems, including the secret information system of the country, would not pose a threat to national security in the event the ownership of those companies is transferred to foreign companies?
Who has decided to sell the shares of Lanka Hospitals PLC, in which Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation owns 51.34% of the share capital on behalf of the government?