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Sri Lanka appoints committee to analyse MCC deal

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has appointed a committee to analyze the 480 million US dollar grant from the US Millenium Challenge Corporation, the cabinet spokesperson said.

Minister Bandula Gunawardana said Colombo University Economics Professor Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Former Transport Ministry Secretary D. S. Jayaweera, Architect Nalaka Jayaweera and President’s Counsel Nihal Jayawardena have been appointed as committee members.

“We have completely halted the previous cabinet decision to sign the agreement,” Gunawardana said.

He said a fresh decision will be made after the committee forwards its results.

The previous government had decided to sign the MCC grant, which plans to improve Sri Lanka’s transportation and land use.

The current government came into power with a campaign which had also opposed the MCC’s land project, alleging that the agreement would pave way for foreign firms to acquire land in Sri Lanka.

The MCC has denied such allegations, saying that foreign ownership of land in Sri Lanka is illegal, and local laws would not be broken with the agreement.

Meanwhile, reports had said that the MCC board had decided to postpone the grant until they had time to evaluate the performance of Sri Lanka’s new government, but Gunawardana denied the accuracy of such reports. (Colombo/Dec19/2019)

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