At yesterday's Cabinet meeting, President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have sought time till January next year to approve the agreement with the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had insisted it should be signed as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz told journalists that it was a development assistance grant and that her country was hoping for the final approval to go ahead and sign this agreement.
“The MCC is a US government aid agency like the USAID. It does not operate quite the same way, though. The agreement has simple terms and conditions for the programmes we will be funding and has two components -- projects under the transportation and infrastructure segment and the other under the land administration segment,” she said.
Ms. Teplitz said Sri Lanka would receive US$480 million under this programme for development projects such as transport infrastructure and land administration. (Kelum Bandara)