The Sri Lankan government is open to Indian investment in the prestigious Colombo east terminal project but would prefer a best deal from any country that could offer it. The government is also not averse to domestic players Chairman of Sri lankan Port authority which owns the port General (Retd) Daya Ratnayuke said
The Sri Lankan government has constituted two committees to decide who should be the operator for the presgitious Colombo Port's east terminal.
The first committee to study the feasiblity of raising funds from domestic sources to fund the terminal and the other one will negotiate with India and other parties to get at the best deal on funding the project General (Retd) Daya Ratnayake said while replying to questions from newspersons at Colombo on December 22nd, according to Sri Lankan media reports
Of the two committees appointed by Cabinet, the second one to discuss with India and decide on the best solution
The latest situation is; the Cabinet has appointed two committees. One to study, review and report how to raise funds to build the East Terminal and how to start and operate it. The second committee is tasked with discussing with India and our other partner institutes and companies and decide on the best solution to get it off the ground at its fullest capacity. When these two reports come the government will take the next step regarding the development of East Container Terminal,” SLPA chairman said.
There is however no bar on domestic investors to fund the terminal he said adding a Lankan owned company South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) is operating a terminal without any foreign stakes in its business for the last few months, .
Domestic investors will get the pride of place to invest and operate the Colombo Port East Container terminal.
The Port Chairman was responding to a question posed by the media whether the government is not too keen to hand over the operations of the controversial East Container Terminal to a local investor.
. He went on to say that is exactly the thing the government would welcome as the policy of the government is to give lucrative investment opportunities to local investors above anyone else.
The government doesn’t have any plans to sell the country’s assets to another country
“The government doesn’t have any plans to sell the country’s assets to another country. Nothing like that is happening. The Sri Lankan Port Authority has built the East Container Terminal in Colombo Port to its present capacity.
The Colomobo East terminal was designed to be 1,300 meters long. By January 2015, 430 meters had been built and necessary equipment had been ordered. Somehow those approvals were removed by the last government and development of ECT stalled.
The previous Ranil Wickremesinghe government signed an MOU with India and Japan to operate the ECT. The current government’s policy is not to sell these assets. Last government had planned to obtain a loan from Japan and build it. The present administration has decided not to obtain any loans or to sell it to another country.