Financial Times

GK payment plan hangs in a balance

The plight of Golden Key Credit Card depositors worsened on Wednesday to unbearable heights after a meeting convened to devise a payment plan on a Supreme Court directive ended in a deadlock at the Attorney General’s Department in Colombo with lawyers representing the Golden Key directors expressing their inability to raise at least Rs 13 billion to settle part of the depositors capital amounting to staggering Rs. 26 billion.

When the case came up before the Court on September 1, all parties involved in the GK case agreed to formulate a proposal at a meeting presided over by the Attorney General. If the directors fail to obey the directive then they will be sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court, Justice Thilakawardane said, at the time, in court. All the parties were, during that court session, directed to meet and come up with a payment plan.

On Wednesday, counsels for Golden Key (GK) Chairman Lalith Kotelawala and the directors said they could bring in Rs. 2.5 billion initially to formulate a payment plan which was rejected by the lawyers of depositors, informed sources said.

Lawyers of depositors have brought to the notice of AG’s department that at least Rs 30 billioncould be raised by selling Kotelawala’s Ceylinco Group stakes in Seylan Bank and Ceylinco Insurance Company Ltd. Kotelawala’s stake in Seylan Bank may be 23-24 % or even more and worth around Rs. 8 billion, they said.

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