‘MCC agreement will be tabled in Parliament’ | Sunday Observer

‘MCC agreement will be tabled in Parliament’

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a bilateral United States Foreign Aid Agency set up by the United States Congress in 2004, applying a new philosophy towards foreign aid, a media release from the Ministry of Finance stated.

“It provides time limited grants and assistance to developing countries that meet rigorous standard for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights. On the request of the Government, the MCC undertook a ‘Constraints to economic growth analysis’ in 2016. The MCC and the Government subsequently decided to focus on the land and transport sectors, which were identified as binding constraints to growth.

The constraints analysis concluded that traffic congestion in the Colombo Metropolitan Region, poor transport connectivity between Provinces and weakness in land administration constrain economic growth. The MCC agreed to grant USD 480 million to finance the projects. “Final negotiations on the Compact were conducted in October last year between the MCC and a Cabinet approved Government delegation which consisted of officials from the relevant Ministries and Government Agencies for implementing the selected projects, including a representative from the Attorney General’s Department.

“The whole process and the final agreements were done under the guidance of the Attorney General and well within the legal framework. The Attorney General is of the opinion that Agreements are in order and there exists no legal impediment to execute the agreement. “A Cabinet Memorandum along with the final drafts of the Agreements was submitted on May 31, 2019 to the Cabinet of Ministers.

The Cabinet appointed a committee for further discussions of the matters in detail. Subsequently, the Ministry of Finance submitted the Cabinet Memorandum dated July 5, 2019 seeking the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers to sign the Compact Agreement and the Program Implementation Agreement.

The Cabinet of Ministers granted its approval for signing above Agreements on October 29, 2019. “The Compact Agreement and the Program Implementation Agreement will be submitted to and enacted by Parliament after it is signed and before it comes into force.

It will also be published in the Government Gazette before being submitted to Parliament,” the release further added.