President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stressed that the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port would not be sold or given on lease to any outside party.
He said the Sri Lankan government would own the 51 percent controlling stake in the ECT and the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) would carry out its operations.
President Rajapaksa said this during a meeting with the representatives of 23 Colombo Port’s trade unions, at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday (13).
He said the previous ‘good governance’ regime had agreed to sell the ECT to India. He revealed that according to that agreement, Sri Lanka was also to take a loan from Japan to procure the equipment required to operate the terminal.
President Rajapaksa said his government re-negotiated the deal with India and a new agreement was reached to retain 51 percent of the ownership of the ECT with Sri Lanka and allow the SLPA to carry out the terminal’s operations.
He noted that the ECT deal would be structured in a way that India’s Adani group and other investors can take part by investing in the balance 49 percent.
He pledged to the trade unions that the investments coming to the ECT wouldn’t compromise the country’s independence or sovereignty.
President Rajapaksa said 66 percent of the transhipments at the ECT would be for India, 9 percent for Bangladesh and the balance for several other countries.
Meanwhile, President Rajajapksa said he expects the operations of the West Container Terminal of the Colombo Port to be handed over to the SLPA.
President’s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Port Minister Rohitha Abeygunewardena, Ports Ministry Secretary, SLPA Chairman and several other key officials took part in the discussion.
Akaru Thursday, 14 January 2021 04:13 AM
Why does the ECT have to be handed over ???? Because the entire port operation is corrupt. !!!! Unlike other countries where people treasure their govt ventures, in SL the workers treasure their corrupt ways. To teach them a lesson it needs to be handed over 100 percent.
Ranaweera Thursday, 14 January 2021 09:03 AM
Previous government made so many shady deals to sell out Sri Lanka. President is trying to make a compromise here. These same people in the Previous regime who are now in the opposition now talk as if the initiative to sell was done by GOTA. What happened to MCC. Ranil was working to get it done but it has now been withdrawn by USA.
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