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Sri Lanka likely to call competitive bids for Northern Expressway: Deputy Minister

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka is likely to tender an expressway which is under review as it was awarded to contractors without competitive bids, Deputy Highways and Investment Promotion Minister Eran Wickramaratne said.

"We are reviewing the northern highway project," Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne told EconomyNext.

"WE haven’t come to a conclusion. The chances are we will have to re-bid it, for the reason that we need to establish a price. And you cannot establish a price apart from a competitive process."

Sri Lanka had awarded several sections of the expressway from Colombo to Jaffna to at least five contractors late in 2014 without calling for bids.

The project which was said to be in excess of 300 billion rupees, was to have been financed by domestic banks.

The new administration which had been critical of the cost and non-transparent way tenders have been awarded by the Rajapaksa regime especially to China, suspended the project.

Wickramaratne said any contractor from Sri Lanka or abroad, including China would be able to bid for the project provided the quality and price was right and they can come with finance.

"We will open wide the doors, so that other parties can get involved," he said.

"For example the Japanese have shown interest. The president has visited India, he has welcome d Indian companies to participate."

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