By Rajeewa Jayaweera –
National Carrier SriLankan Airlines held its last Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday, 25 September 2017.
As per Section 133 (1) of the Companies Act, “The Board of a company must call an annual general meeting of shareholders once every calendar year. The meeting must be held within six months of the balance sheet date of the company and not later than fifteen months after the previous meeting.”
Firstly, the full calendar year of 2018 has passed without an AGM being held. Secondly, 31 March 2018 was the last Balance Sheet date, and the stipulated six months period lapsed on 30 September 2018. Thirdly, the fifteen months period since last AGM expired on 25 December 2018.
As per Section 167 of the Companies Act, “The Board is required to prepare an annual report of the company’s affairs during the accounting period ending at the last balance sheet date. The report must be prepared within six months after the balance sheet date and must be sent to all shareholders not less than fifteen working days before the annual general meeting.”
Six months period after the balance sheet date 31 March 2018 passed on 30 September 2018. At the time of going to the Press, no notification of an AGM has been received by shareholders.
What is preventing the Chairman and Directors of the national carrier from publishing the annual accounts for 2017/18? Why are they acting in contravention of the Companies Act by not holding an AGM? If unable to even keep the legally required AGM within the stipulated period, are the Directors competent to direct the affairs of SriLankan Airlines?