No Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant monies were ever transferred to, or spent by the Sri Lankan Government under the proposed USD 480 million grant, the US Embassy said today when asked about the final report of the MCC review committee.
The four-member MCC review committee appointed by the government handed over its final report to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday.
At the meeting held to handover the report, Committee Chairman Professor Lalithasiri Gunaruwan has said that two stages of the MCC had been signed in 2017 and 2018.
He also said although USD 7.4 million and 2.6 million had been granted under the two stages, no accounts details are to be found anywhere.
When asked for a comment, a spokesperson of the Embassy said, ‘No MCC grant monies were ever transferred to, or spent by the Sri Lankan Government under the proposed USD 480 million grant.”
They said it was disappointing to see the continued politicisation and spread of disinformation related to the proposed USD 480 million grant Sri Lanka requested from the US Government.
“The US-Sri Lanka bilateral relationship is based on US support for a strong, sovereign, inclusive Sri Lanka. With this objective in mind, the US has provided over USD 2 billion in grant assistance to Sri Lanka over the past 70 years. The Sri Lankan Government first requested an MCC grant in 2005 under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” the spokesperson said.
The Embassy said the US has successfully partnered and signed the same standard- language MCC development grant agreement 37 times with nearly 30 countries worldwide.
“Every country eligible for a second grant has requested one, including recipients in Asia. ‘MCC ranks No: 1 in transparency among US Government agencies and No: 1 amongst bilateral donors globally, according to the the 2020 Aid Transparency Index.
‘MCC-managed funding to support grant preparatory activities - nearly all of which have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed pending the Government’s decision on whether to proceed with the grant - was made available under the same highly transparent and accountable procedures used to enable other US development work.
The decision of whether or not to accept a $480 million dollar grant from the people of the US rests with the Government of Sri Lanka,” the Embassy said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)