The government says it would sign the proposed US Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact after re-negotiating what was agreed upon during the previous Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration.
Information and Higher Education Minister, Bandula Gunawardena on Friday claimed that about 30 percent of the Compact, which pertained to a land project was harmful to Sri Lanka and the Cabinet of Ministers had decided not to proceed with the agreement in its present form.
It could be signed after negotiations, which would not be a difficult thing to do, he said.
Gunawardena also claimed that the outright development grant assistance of USD 480 million that the MCC Compact offered for transport and land projects was not a huge amount to be crying over.
The government appointed committee to review the MCC compact, headed by Professor Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, has said, in its supplementary report “there are features that may threaten the national, social and economic welfare of Sri Lanka, within certain projects proposed under this program, although the Millennium Challenge Cooperation proposal is capable of supplying financial resources required for investments that wipe out the fundamental economic constrains in Sri Lanka, suppressed due to lack of capital resources and being a debt-ridden nation, without increasing the foreign credit bondage.”
According to official statistics, Sri Lanka’s external debt is around 57 billion US dollars.
(Source: The Island – By Zacki Jabbar)