Jun 17 , 2023
Officials at the Ministry of Finance are on the move to amend the 34-year-old proclamation with hopes of boosting the role of state-owned enterprises in commercial affairs while serving the public. They plan to redefine the obligation of public service and give room for state-owned enterprises to become more efficient. The bill was in the making prior to the formation of the Investment Holding, which has 27 state-owned enterprises under its umbrella. The officials opt to understand the new structure and accommodate the changes, with experts doing a gap assessment on each state-owned enterprise before beginning the amendment. Last week, the Standing Committee of State-owned Enterprises Affairs called stakeholders to forward their comments. Established in 2021, the Liability & Asset Management Corporation absorbed the six state-owned enterprises' liabilities, including the Sugar Corporation, the Railway Corporation and the Ethiopian Electric Power, which amounted to 570 billion Br. "It was the country's budget a few years ago," said Hinjat Shamil, reform advisor at the Ministry of Finance. Getachew Wake, vice president of the Development Bank of Ethiopia, voiced his concern about the overlapping role of the holding company with the central bank, which has oversight of both private and public financial institutions. He recommended allowing enterprises to reinvest dividends for capital growth and help achieve the capital growth strategy. The Ethiopian Toll Roads Enterprise represented by Belay Beyene, observes the bill missed the groundwork for enterprises that prefer to reinvest their dividends without involving the government. The Legal Advisor at the Ministry, Habtamu Mengesha, responded that the dividends shared with the government usually go to financing the budget and such reinvestment requests will be treated with mutual consultation.
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