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Sri Lanka willing to sign revised MCC deal addressing concerns: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had decided not to sign an agreement with the America’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, in its present form, cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane said.

However Sri Lanka would be willing to sign an agreement for the US$480 million grant if it is revised to remove unacceptable conditions, he said.

The agreement contains provisions which are against Sri Lanka’s constitution, national security and sovereignty, a committee that went into the agreement had decided, he said.

The agreement involved improving traffic and transport and also the land market.

Objections were mainly regarding the land market and registry, he said.

Gunawardane said the same projects could go ahead, provided the conditions were acceptable to the people of Sri Lanka.

A committee that went into the agreement had said that if a country was willing to give a grant with good intentions, Sri Lanka should not have problem with accepting the money.

Further negotiations could be conducted with the committee, he said.

Minister Gunewardane said the draft agreement was not devised by the United States but, the United National Party which ran the last administration following discussions with private sector and civil society. (Colombo/Feb28/2020)

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