The Land Reform (Amendment) Law which came into effect in 1975, vested all Company owned Plantation lands in the state. With this nationalization of the plantations, the management of Estates were somewhat broad based, as the lands vested were given over to several Managing Organizations. There was the “Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation” (SLSPC) which managed a few plantations prior to the nationalization and a new organization by the name “Janatha Estates Development Board” (JEDB) was created in 1976 under the State Agricultural Corporations Act No: 11 of 1972. In addition to these two organizations, new forms of organizations were created to manage some of the nationalized plantations. These included USAWASAMA (Up Country Co-operative Estates Development Board) JANAWASA and electoral co-operatives.
It has been argued that the allocation of land among several Managing Organizations resulted in a severe dislocation of the management in the tea crop sector, while it also resulted in several disadvantages such as a drop in output, wastage and inefficiency. The immediate impact of Land Reform was therefore not favorable to the tea industry.
In view of this situation, the Government that came to power in 1977 took several steps to unify the management structures and practices in the interest of the tea industry. This included the abolition of USAWASAMA, JANAWASA and Electoral Co-operatives and the handing over of all the properties managed by these organizations to the JEDB and SLSPC.
These two principal Managing Organizations were brought under two separate Ministries since 1980 and their management structures were also decentralized through a system of Regional Boards thus granting freedom and decision making powers to the Regions with a view of improving productivity.