Govt. won’t sign MCC in a hurry: Patali Champika

The Government will not sign the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in a hurry but will only do so after subjecting the agreement to a broad discussion, Megapolis and Western Region Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said today.

He told a news conference that the agreement would be signed only after obtaining the approval of parliament.

“The MCC agreement is not likely to be signed before the presidential election because the government has decided to follow democratic principles when it comes to signing this agreement and neither will we force it on the nation no matter how good it is. The government will not agree to everything which the US proposes,” the Minister said. “The MCC agreement is only about obtaining a grant to develop infrastructure facilities. Can anyone disagree with projects under which the Pellmadulla-Awissawela Road is widened and the environmental protection programmes which will be implemented through the MCC agreement."

He said the executive presidency would be further democratised under an administration led by New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa.

“We did so under the 19th Amendment in 2015. We will democratise the presidency further through the new parliament which will emerge in March 2020. If the need arises to abolish the executive presidency it will be done after a broad discussion with all parties on how to do it,” he said.

Non-Cabinet Ministers Harsha De Silva, Ajith P Perera and State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne who elaborated on Mr. Premadasa’s manifesto said a venture capital fund with Rs.10 billion, an innovation fund with the same amount, laws controlling hate speech and daycare centres in each workplace will be set up under the NDF President.

They said Mr. Premadasa would make changes to the education policy under which students will be taught all religions while the granting of new liquor licenses will be stopped by an administration under Mr. Premadasa.

The ministers assured that no one who has corruption allegations would be included in Mr. Premadasa’s Cabinet. (Yohan Perera)

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