LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Tag Archives: privatization

Reform of state-owned enterprises and social safety nets

Usually, these are not subjects that are seen as connected. But I connected them at a talk I gave at the Colombo Club today. When the losses in one year from one SOE that serves a limited clientele are almost double the total spent on the social safety program that touches over one million families, […]

Keynote at MBA alumni conference

Yesterday I gave the keynote address at the University of Colombo MBA Alumni Association conference. I covered global value chains, need for trade agreements and the problem of state-owned enterprises. The slides are here. Here is some of the media coverage. “I believe that Samurdhi is an important infrastructure. I think that a country that […]

Reform of state-owned enterprises

It appears state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have risen in salience in Sri Lanka recently. I am giving a keynote address on this topic at the launch of the Advocata Institute. The slideset that I will be using is here. The day before yesterday, I was debating on a TV talk show what should be done with […]

Prescribing cures for ailing BSNL: Too late?

bsnl-broadband-logo12

BSNL is on life support courtesy of the Indian taxpayer, whatever fictitious paper profits it conjures up. The authors of a recent op ed in Hindu Businessline see through the fiction. The government firms had their own share of sops such as (i) year-ahead early start in the assignment of both 3G and Broadband Wireless […]

Yatanarpon privatized?

It has been reported that the CEO of Yatanarpon Teleport, until now believed to be 100% government owned, has stated that is company has been privatized, with the government now holding only 5 percent of the equity. However done (auction or negotiation), privatizations are not this secret. The fact that no one seems to know […]

Why telecom privatization is good

Sri Lanka and Pakistan partially privatized their incumbent fixed telecom operators more or less at the same time competition was introduced. India, Bangladesh and Nepal did not. Bad move. The lumbering monsters could not compete. The sad state of the Indian incumbents who have been fed more subsidies than it is possible to imagine is […]

What contributed most to the telecom efflorescence of the past two decades?

I had treated the claims by the Secretary General of the ITU that the ITU had facilitated the telecom boom with mild amusement. But in the context of the upcoming Dubai WCIT, amusement is not perhaps the best reaction. Let us begin with the actual claim on the ITU website, more nuanced than that of […]

Myanmar telecom thinking seems stuck in the 1980s

Reports are coming out about the Myanmar government’s plans for the telecom sector. Sadly, little seems to have been learned from the rich experience of the past two decades. Why otherwise would there be an interest in maintaining 51% ownership of the new operators? More interesting is the line about developing a national backbone. Are […]

Sri Lanka post: The sickly child atrophies further

When one only reforms only a part of an interconnected sector, the unreformed parts start to atrophy. Because of union resistance and the perception that the post was not that much of a money maker to start with, the hitherto conjoined posts and telecom were bifurcated and reform efforts focused on telecom. So 30 years […]

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