On 4 June 2019, Divaina reported President Maithripala Sirisena making the above claim.
The Ministry of Finance Annual Report 2018 (MFAR), and the Central Bank Annual Report 2018 (CBAR) corroborate the claim with the following information:
- The CEB recorded Rs. 238.946 billion in revenue and Rs. 269.353 billion in expenditure (including interest payments of Rs. 13.037 billion) in 2018 (MFAR). This resulted in an operating loss of Rs. 30.407 billion (equivalent to 12.7% of revenue) and a loss before tax of 28.9 billion (CBAR). This means the CEB’s average loss per day, before tax, was over Rs. 79 million.
- The CPC recorded Rs. 535.236 billion in revenue and Rs. 639.273 billion in expenditure in 2018 (MFAR). This was a loss before tax of Rs. 104.037 billion (equivalent to 19.4% of revenue). This means the CPC’s average loss per day, before tax, was over Rs. 285 million.
The findings from the financial reports of 2018 show that the president was correct in his assessment that both the CEB and the CPC incur losses in the tens of millions of rupees per day.
Therefore, we classify the president’s claim as TRUE.
*FactCheck’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck will revisit the assessment.
- Ministry of Finance Annual Report 2018, p. 168, 170, Tables 7.6, 7.7, available at: http://www.treasury.gov.lk/documents/10181/12870/Finance+Ministry+Annual+Report+2018+English+updated.pdf/fa11483d-1999-448c-a825-cd170e207b45
- Central Bank of Sri Lanka Annual Report 2018, p. 93, available at: https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sites/default/files/cbslweb_documents/publications/annual_report/2018/en/7_Chapter_03.pdf