China’s loan delayed: Central Expressway at roadblock
A continuing delay by China’s Exim Bank to extend a loan of US$ 1.1 billion (Rs 158 billion) to Sri Lanka has put on hold the first phase of the Central Expressway project. The project covers 37.09 kilometres and links up to the rest of the Central Expressway from Mirigama.
“If we don’t receive the loan by February or March next year, we will have to look for other options,” Road Development Authority (RDA) Chairman Nihal Suriyaarachchi told the Sunday Times. He said the first phase of the project was to begin in June last year and completed in 2020.
The chairman said that if the loan was received, the Government would have to reach an agreement that the cost of the project would not be increased by trying to expedite the construction work. Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella confirmed that the loan was long overdue, thereby delaying the project.
“We have taken up the matter with the Chinese Ambassador in Colombo and hope to expedite the loan through diplomatic channels,” Mr Kiriella told the Sunday Times. He said the completion of the first phase was important to make maximum use of the project as the expressway had to link up with the next phase of the Mirigama-Kurunegala stretch.
An official of the External Resources Department (ERD), which is under the Prime Minster’s purview, said the issue of the loan was taken up during the visit of the Prime Minister to China and the Government hoped to take up the matter with the Chinese embassy in Colombo again.
He said the Government was keen on obtaining the loan as it had a fixed interest rate and was repayable in 20 years with a five year grace period.
The official said that negotiating of another loan could delay the entire process and the project itself.
(Source: The Sunday Times)
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Our policy makers ad bureaucrats feels that they can negotiate with the Chinese on equal terms financially at the same time politicize events. What is important is expediency. What other options that they seek. As it is delegations so far has failed to come up with anything tangible in spite of yapalanaya ledaership in the form of rani/sirisea has failed to garner any form of reconcialiation to the contrary has deepened the division. With the proposed provincial council elections looming ranil/sirisena hopes to split the sinhala vote for ranils party to exploit. This is too far fetched for the simple reason for the coalition has so far failed to come up a with a policy that would lead to resolve the economic crisis
The world does not know where it is heading (economically).
The US, under Trump regime, is sliding into economic disaster.
The Europe (except Germany) is a continent of beggars.
In SE Asia, the rich are exponentially richer while the poor are in the doldrums.
In Sri Lanka, the Lilly white leader is an economic illiterate. He should first tackle the bribery allegations against him in Australia and prove his innocence.
The Lilly white’s sidekick is relying on advisers who are outdated; Ajit Nivard Cabraal was a brilliant CB Gov compared with Grandpa Coomarasamee.
Our only hope is to have Hirunika breakaway from established political parties and become the next leader of this nation.