Sri Lanka ports minister probes corruption charges

EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s new Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga said the government has launched a probe into corruption allegations against the island’s port projects.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) employees should not engage in politics, he warned during a tour of the southern Hambantota port.

 “It is apparent that SLPA has spent large sums of money on certain projects and we are in doubt whether these expenses were meaningful or appropriate," he said.

"Presently, we are assessing the situation with a view to finding out where the responsibilities lie for any inappropriate handling of these projects as there are allegations."

The new government’s intention is to ensure transparency and develop the port sector in a way that will benefit the country, Ranatunga said.

"We will bring more Sri Lanka-friendly investors and introduce programmes that will increase the revenue and help the national economy."

Projects on which money had already been spent will be continued, Ranatunga was quoted as saying in a statement.

A special committee headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has been appointed to probe into financial and other allegations related to the port sector.

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