Supplementary estimate of Rs. 65,000 million presented in parliament

Supplementary estimate of Rs. 65,000 million presented in parliament

Supplementary estimate of Rs. 65,000 million presented in parliament

Written by Staff Writer

09 Jul, 2019 | 9:43 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Ministry of Highways and Road Development presented a supplementary estimate of Rs. 65,000 million to parliament today (July 9).

Rs. 57,131 million of the supplementary budget presented by Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella is allocated for the development of highways. Rs. 55,818 million will be allocated to settle the foreign debt obtained to construct the expressways and Rs. 6,044 million has been allocated for road development.

Meanwhile, approval was also sought from parliament to increase the limit to obtain foreign loans up to Rs. 480 billion of the Active Liability Management Act.

Speaking in Parliament today Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera said;

“I would first like to move a resolution under section 3 of the active liability management act number 8 of 2018, that this parliament resolves that a sum not exceeding four hundred and eighty billion may be raised by way of loans in or outside Sri Lanka, for such purpose as specified in the provisions of the active liability management act number 8 of 2018”.

The MCC compact has approved an amount of US$ 480 million, which is the equivalent of Rs. 85 billion.

Issuing a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Sean Cairncross of the Millenium Challenge Corporation has encouraged continued leadership of the Prime Minister to advance their shared goals of promoting growth and reducing poverty for the Sri Lankan people.

The letter which has been copied to US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz further says that MCC remains committed to advancing the proposed US$ 480 Million compact that their government has jointly developed to address major constraints in the Sri Lankan economy related to transport and land administration.

Whilst the American agency MCC has stated that this is to develop transportation and administer lands, Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister averse in parliament that Sri Lanka requires a whopping Rs. 480 billion.

The MCC compact has identified funding matters that are far less important than the pressing issues faced by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s agriculture, irrigation, water, sanitation, education, and healthcare sectors are in urgent need of development.

Sri Lanka’s exports and tourism industry requires urgent attention. Perhaps the MCC should make available this Rs. 85 billion to Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera, in order that the Rs. 480 billion borrowing requirement is reduced appropriately. That could be considered a real benefit.

Over to you Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara spoke regarding his stance on the objective of the Millenium Challenge Corporation.

He noted that this did not receive any cabinet approval. He added that the president brought in many amendments to this, however, on the 22nd of March 2019, this was published through a gazette disregarding these amendments.

MP Jayasekara said the second and sixth section of the agreements clearly states these conditions and after this act was approved, a part of the US$ 480 million was obtained from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, to measure and release lands. He noted that this agreement also includes a condition that requires joint ownership when the landowner transfers ownership to a third party and it adds that the measuring of land within the economic corridor should be done by external parties.

He noted that their question is, “why is the US government granting us US$ 480 million, supporting us to build an economic corridor and influencing the land act, facilitating the transfer of land ownership to the third party?” He adds that this is clearly the process of approving the orders of the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement in Parliament.

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