ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan government is set up a Special Infrastructure Company (SIFCO) that will own existing expressways and help local and foreign investors raise funds to build new infrastructure, which requires $4 billion in the next four years, a spokesman said.
SIFCO will be able to borrow funds, but not come under the government’s borrowing programme, while having a Treasury guarantee on its loans, which will be repaid using revenue from assets like expressways.
SIFCO, to be set up under the Road Development Authority (RDA), will be used as a transitional vehicle to speed up the development of critical infrastructure like highways, such as the planned Central Expressway, and eventually open up local and foreign investments on a ‘Takeover, Operate and Transfer (TOT)’ basis.
The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal by Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake to establish SIFCO, and to transfer assets of existing and planned expressways.
Existing assets like the Southern Expressway, Outer Circular Expressway and Katunayake Expressway have been valued at $1.65 billion.
(COLOMBO, Feb 23, 2017)