‘Work on projects handled by Chinese to continue unabated’ | Sunday Observer

‘Work on projects handled by Chinese to continue unabated’

9 February, 2020

Despite the current challenges, work on the Colombo Port City project and all other mega development projects will continue unabated in line with the policy of the government to accelerate economic growth and pass on its benefits to the people, said Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

He said there is no reason why work on development projects should be stalled given the dire need to expedite work on them to achieve higher economic growth which is a long felt need. “The notion that work on the Port City project and others carried out by Chinese nationals will come to a halt due to the coronavirus, is speculation that is totally unfounded. The government will continue development programs despite all odds, to meet its development goals this year and in the years to come,” Cabraal said. The government expects to attract billions of dollars to the country following the opening of the Port City, which is also known as the financial city, for investors late last year. The investment on the port city is estimated to create over 80,000 jobs and transform the island into a business and financial hub.

“A major area of work with regard to the infrastructure of the project has been completed and when the project reaches full completion it will have tremendous potential for investments enabling the country to record over six percent economic growth in the coming years,” Cabraal said.

Regarding funds to continue work on new development, he said all funding options will be looked at carefully in line with the vision of the government and used accordingly to continue development work which will not be disrupted under any circumstances.

“The Central Bank and the Finance Ministry will examine all funding options to ensure they are in keeping with the priorities of the country,” Cabraal said.

On the tax concessions offered by the government whether they would be short lived and scrapped after the general elections, he said the policy of the government is to simplify the tax structure and make them affordable to people.

“The tax concessions are not election oriented but rather a growth oriented move to boost economic growth through a people and business friendly environment created in the country,” Cabraal said.

When asked about status of the forensic report on the bond scam he said it is time for a proper and impartial investigation on the issue and not the way the former government investigated with impunity which was a total sham.

He said that all the investigations into the Central Bank bond scam cannot be accepted as they were not conducted independently.