Sri Lanka appoints special commission on port city project

Rajitha Senaratne

The Sri Lankan government on Thursday said it has appointed a fresh committee to study the possibility of continuing a multi-million-dollar port city project in capital Colombo, an official said.

Cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne told journalists in a weekly cabinet briefing that a proposal had been made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to the cabinet this week to appoint a committee of high ranking officials to consider the ability of permitting the continuation of the project which has remained suspended since March.

“As per the recommendations of the committee appointed to review this project the construction work has currently been suspended. The proposal made by the prime minister, to appoint a committee of high ranking officials chaired by the secretary to the prime minister for considering the ability of permitting the continuation of this project after correcting the lapses and procedures was approved by the cabinet of ministers,” Senaratne said.

The $1.4-billion port city project funded by China Communications Construction Company was suspended by the new Sri Lankan government which took office in January after concerns were raised over some aspects of the project, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Highways Eran Wickramaratne recently said that there was no corruption involved in the Colombo Port City project and the only concern was if the proper procedures had been followed.

The project began construction in September 2014 and is expected to attract $20-25 billion of foreign investments once completed.