While welcoming the cabinet decision to approve the MCC pact, the US today said it anticipates working toward grant signing and parliamentary approval with the Sri Lankan Government after November 16.
“With presidential elections approaching, the United States anticipates working toward grant signing and parliamentary approval with the Government of Sri Lanka after November 16, 2019,” the US Embassy said in a statement.
It said per the US policy – applied in all 29 partner countries - the Sri Lankan Parliament will have the opportunity to review and approve the grant.
“The United States looks forward to continuing our partnership with Sri Lanka and to supporting its efforts to reduce poverty through economic growth,” it said.
It said the US welcomed the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers to approve the $480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) development assistance grant.
“Sri Lanka requested this support, which is expected to benefit at least 11 million Sri Lankans through the funding of government- and private sector- identified needs,” it said.
The Embassy said the programmes supported by the grant will reduce traffic congestion, improve public transportation in Colombo, upgrade provincial roads, and expand existing Government of Sri Lanka initiatives to improve land administration and strengthen the land rights of Sri Lankans.
“The Government of Sri Lanka has posted the draft of the grant agreement on the Ministry of Finance website, where it is available for the people of Sri Lanka to review. The United States will not own or lease any land under this development assistance grant. Sri Lanka will oversee and manage all grant-funded projects throughout the implementation of the five-year grant assistance agreement,” it said.