Cabraal defends Government decision on East Container Terminal

Ajith Nivard Cabraal

State Minister of Money and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal yesterday said that obtaining the assistance of India was the ideal option for Sri Lanka in developing the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port because the facility was expected mostly to be engaged in transshipment cargo to and from India.

Addressing the media at the Waters Edge in Battaramulla, the Minister said that India was the largest client obtaining the services of the ECT and most of the business of the terminal was destined to that country.

“There is no influence from India on our government in this regard. We can make use of this terminal working with Indians to their satisfaction.

“There are discussions on this issue even within our party. There could be different opinions. But we have to reach a compromise. It is difficult to work in a manner to accommodate each and every opinion. The government is ready and open to discuss any suggestion that would enable us to do this better.”

He said that as per the investment agreement Sri Lanka would have 51 percent control of it and there would be no selling or leasing of a part of the terminal. The government had to be realistic as to who should be allowed to invest in the project, the minister said in response to a question from a journalist.

Minister Cabraal said that the prevailing pressure on the rupee was a temporary phenomenon and that the situation would improve in the coming days.

(Source: The Island – By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte)