The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal to shut down the National Agency for Public-Private Partnerships (NAPPP), which was formerly headed by Thilan Wijesinghe.
The NAPPP was a unit established under the Finance Ministry with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, under the previous regime in 2017.
The primary mandate of the NAPPP was to facilitate the line ministries and agencies in providing financial, legal and transaction structuring expertise during the process of soliciting and negotiating public-private partnership (PPP) investment projects.
The NAPPP was also tasked with divestment of non-strategic state-owned assets, such as Colombo Hilton Hotel and Grand Hyatt Colombo, to support the debt repayments of the government. However, these divestments were never realised.
The World Bank Group was providing funding support for ‘Framework Development and Infrastructure Financing’, which enabled the NAPPP to effectively facilitate with the preparation of PPP projects in Sri Lanka.
The NAPPP staffed around 20 persons, including the Treasury Secretary. However, several qualified employees had left the agency as the political environment slowed down the progress in facilitating such PPP initiatives.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet approval was also granted to shut down the Policy Development Office at the Prime Minister’s Office, as per the proposal submitted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
As the government has formulated a recruitment plan for state employment as per its policy document ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’, the prime minister has pointed out that there was no need for a policy development office.
The Policy Development Office was set up in 2015 by the former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.