Sri Lanka President orders probe on crane purchases, Japan, India terminal deal

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ordered a probe on cranes purchased by Colombo port which and container terminal operation deal struck with India and Japan during the last administration, his office said.

The report should “recommend the way forward to develop the above mentioned two terminals to get the maximum benefits for Sri Lanka for the development in Trade, Shipping and both in domestic and foreign investments,” the President’s office said.

Earlier in the week, three cranes ordered from China arrived in Colombo, and workers staged dramatic protests and demanded that they be fixed at the half-build East Container Terminal, which has been involved in a deal with India and Japan.

The cranes were originally ordered to upgrade the Jaye Container Terminal complex owned by Sri Lanka Ports Authority during the last administration, but were fixed at the East Container Terminal, because a JCT (5) berth was no available, Chairman Daya Ratnayake said

The probe committee will be headed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, M M P K Mayadunne.

Secretaries to the Ministry of Industrial Export and Investment Promotion (M P D U K Mapa Pathirana), Ministry of Roads and Highways (R W R Pemasiri) Ministry of Power and Energy (Wasantha Perera) Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Gen. (Retd) R.M. Daya Rathnayake are members.

Sri Lanka has said earlier that new infrastructure projects should be built with equity rather than debt.

The Committee is required to look into the following.

1. Procurement procedure and related concerns with regard to the development of JCT(V)

2. Assessment of the compliance to the Cabinet Decision and the observation of the Minister of Finance connected with the Cabinet Decision dated 26th July 2017 on Enhancing deep berth capacity and modernization of Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

The committee has been asked to present a report within 45 days after consulting line ministries and submit their report within 45 days.

3. Examine as to why JCT (V) was not developed prior to ordering of required machinery.

4. Examine the cost implication of the unsolicited procurement actions and shipment of them prior to the building of the terminal.

5. Agreements entered by the Government of Sri Lanka with other Governments with regard to Colombo Port and in particular ECT.

6. Financial implications and cost – benefit analysis of ad-hoc decisions taken by Sri
Lanka Ports Authority, Line Ministry and the Government with regard to 1, 2 and 3 above.

7. Identify those who are responsible for the above and recommend actions against them.

8. Recommend the way forward to develop the above mentioned two terminals to get the maximum benefits for Sri Lanka for the development in Trade, Shipping and both in domestic and foreign investments.