Campaign against selling shares of state banks

Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU) President T.G.W. Gunawardena said yesterday that the Public Resources and Human Rights Protection Center, a combination of 19 trade unions representing the government, semi-government, private, banking and insurance sectors will launch a massive campaign against the 2018-budget proposal of selling shares of state banks in the stock market.

Representatives of 19 Trade Unions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday with the aim of defeating the budget proposal of selling shares of state banks in the Stock Market.

The MoU was signed at the Public Resources and Human Rights Protection Center yesterday.

Gunawardena said this budget has laid the foundation for selling the shares of state banks in the Colombo Stock Exchange. The aim of this proposal is to direct the state banks towards privatisation through the Public Private Partnership. If not for the state banks, people especially small scale entrepreneurs will have to obtain loans at 50 percent interest rate from other banks. This is very unfair,” he said.

CBEU Assistant Secretary Keshara Kottegoda said Budget 2018 has removed duty concessions on essential items while imposing several new taxes on various goods and services which will further burden the people.

“It has also placed emphasis on selling state properties to the private sector. However, no political party or politicians speak against this injustice. That is why 19 Trade Unions were getting together to raise their voices against these injustices. We will defeat the proposal of selling state bank shares by organising a massive protest and conducting public awareness campaigns in the future,” he said. 

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