Cabinet approves Port City contract review committee


By Dasun Edirisinghe

The government has decided to appoint a committee to review the contract which the previous regime entered into with a Chinese company as regards the Colombo Port City Project.

Addressing the weekly post-cabinet press briefing yesterday at the Government Information Department, Government Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Cabinet had approved the proposal submitted by Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga to appoint a review committee.

He said the proposed committee would include the senior officials headed by the Secretary to the Prime Minister to review and make recommendations to the Ministerial Committee on Economic Management.

Minister Senaratne said the Cabinet had already approved the agreement for six months and the new committee would be appointed to evaluate the problems which had already arisen.

Soon after the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election on January 08, the new government suspended the project until a proper evaluation.

However, President Maithripala Sirisena told Chinese President Xi Jinping, when he met him in March, that the suspension of the project was a temporary measure.

Sirisena administration has ordered a review of the USD 1.4 bn project over allegations of wrongdoing.

Port and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga told Parliament in June that the project would re-commence soon in future after resolving some serious legal and environmental issues.

Chinese President Jinping inaugurated the Colombo Port city project in September 2014.

Environmentalists and the JVP have opposed the project.

UPFA MPs who were sitting in the opposition claimed that the country would lose nearly 100,000 job opportunities if the project was abandoned.

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