More revelations on the controversial oil refinery

More revelations on the controversial oil refinery

More revelations on the controversial oil refinery

Written by Staff Writer

29 Mar, 2019 | 10:53 pm

Colombo (News 1st):  The controversial US$ 3.85 billion oil refinery in Mirijjawila still raises questions. News 1st was informed about the affidavit that was put forward by Jagathrakshakan who is a politician in India, a controversial politician, who was also the leader of the DMK party. He notes that his assets are around INR 114.7 core.

Transparency International Sri Lanka also issued a warning of the controversy surrounding the funds for the proposed US$ 3.85 billion oil refinery in Mirijjawila, Hambantota. They noted that could have a negative impact on Sri Lanka’s efforts to remove itself from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF), ‘Grey List’.

The said company that is investing in our country through Singapore is a company that has not yet commenced full-fledged operation. News 1st also reported that Oman denied that they are investing in the country. It is clear that the money is not coming from Oman or from India.

Now yet another groundbreaking revelation was made by Reuters (Exclusive). Reuters had been able to contact the controversial businessmen and politician from India, S Jagatrakshakan.

S Jagatrakshakan, a former Indian government minister, told Reuters that he has submitted a preliminary proposal to the Sri Lankan government to invest in the project but had not finalized any terms of the deal.

“The project assessment and financial viability assessment will take at least a year. We have not sorted out any of the equity partners for the projects, but are in talks with investors from many countries,” he told Reuters over the phone from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

However, Jagatrakshakan had noted that he expected 70% of the project to be bankrolled by debt from financial institutions, adding that Silver Park would get more investors to fund the equity stake.

“We are looking at getting 20-30 investors on board for the 30% equity investment in the project. We expect 70% of the project to be bankrolled by debt from financial institutions,” he said to Reuters.

As of right now no one in the government has provided clear facts regarding this issue.

Parliament Debate Today

MP D.V. Chanaka noted that it was stated in parliament that the largest investment to Sri Lanka and to Hambantota was brought in by the present government. He noted that a minister from the Oman government even laid the foundation stone for this project, on the birthday of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

However, he noted that until date, they have not witnessed any representative from the government of Oman or any investor from Oman speak regarding any investment, or their intention to invest, or with regard to the 30% stake. He pointed out that Reuters has conducted an interview with the Chairman of India’s Accord Group S Jagatrakshakan.

Minister Malik Samarawickrama requested the Parliamentarian not to worry about the matter as he read the article referred to by MP Chanaka.

Responding to this MP D. V. Chanaka noted that the issue is with the Minister. The chairman of Accord says that it will take at least a year to find partners. He said even for the remaining 30 %, another 20 to 30 partners must be found and another year will be needed for that as well.

The parliamentarian noted that the chairman of Accord also says that the terms and conditions for this project have not been discussed as yet. He questioned; “What will happen when the foundations stone is laid prior to discussing the terms and conditions of this project?”

MP Chanaka noted that the foreign investors will know for sure that the project will not be awarded to anyone else and this will limit the Sri Lankan government’s capacity to negotiate the terms and conditions of the investment project.

Therefore, he requested the Minister to tell them, how the present government laid the foundation stone for an investment project that is yet to be finalized. He requested them to give the name of the Omani company that is planning to invest 30% of the stake of this project.

Responding to this Minister Samarawickrama noted that he previously mentioned that this proposal was revealed to everyone, in the manner in which it was received by the BOI. He said the director of this company and the minister from the government of Oman even laid the foundation stone for this project. The minister noted that now the Minister of Oman has invited Minister Kabir Hashim and Minister Malik Samarawickrema to Oman on the 4th of May.

MP Chanaka then noted that although the foundation stone has been laid, he (Samarawickrama) cannot reveal the name of the investor. He noted that this is a lie just like the talks about Volkswagen. Minister Malik Samarawickrama noted that the investment of the Volkswagen was brought in by a good friend of Namal Rajapaksa and lawyer Selvanayagam worked for Mahinda Rajapaksa during the previous election.

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