An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday December 5th, 2023

Sri Lanka’s Adani-WCT terminal is a private deal without tender, not govt-to-govt: opposition

ECONOMYNEXT – Handing over the West Container Terminal of Sri Lanka’s Colombo port to Adani group is not a government-to-government contract but a private deal without competitive bidding as India had disclaimed all knowledge of it, opposition legislator Eran Wickramaratne said.

Sri Lanka had an official government-to-government agreement with India and Japan regarding the East Container Terminal struck by the last administration, he said.

This current administration said initially that they were going ahead with it due to geopolitical consideration but later said another terminal would be given after protests.

Sri Lanka had said that a letter of intent had been offered to India’s Adani group to develop the West Container Terminal.

“I would like to ask whether this is being give through government to government negotiations?” Wickramaratne who was a minister in told reporters in Colombo.

“No. India has said that the Indian government is not connected to this. Japan is silent. So what is this?”

Sri Lanka had told the media that the Adani investment had been approved by the Indian High Commission, however India disputed the claim.

“Our High Commission in Colombo had already conveyed to the government of Sri Lanka that their media release in so far as the reference to the approval of High Commission was confirmed is factually incorrect,” an India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said soon after.

“We understand that the Government of Sri Lanka has engaged directly with investors on this project.”

The investors would get an 85 percent stake in the WCT terminal compared to 49 percent planned in the ECT, which was partially built by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Sri Lanka said that in addition to Adani and publicly traded John Keells Holdings, other Si Lnakan investors were being sought.

Wickramaratne said open tenders should have been called to seek investors for the WCT, since it was no longer a government-to-government deal.

“There should be an open tender called and investors should be invited,” Wickramaratne said. “There should be a lease rental or a concession fee and royalties. None of this information is known.

“This is being done as a private deal. There may be cronies (gajamuthuru) involved. We have to keep an eye out.” (Colombo/Mar19/2021)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 327.40/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 327.40/90 to the US dollar on Tuesday, from 328.10/30 the previous day, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.60/70 percent from 13.70/14.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.00 percent from 13.90/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/15 percent from 14.00/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.10/20 percent from 14.20/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.20/35 percent, from 14.25/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.10/35 percent, from 14.05/40 percent. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down as investor sentiment dips

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Tuesday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was down 0.40 percent, or 43.50 points, at 10,700.09.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.43 percent, or 13.32 points, at 3,054.41.

Turnover was at 711 million. The capital goods sector contributed 172 million, the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 140 million, and banks 113 million of this.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were John Keells Holdings Plc (up at 193.00), Richard Pieris And Company Plc (up at 19.80), and Nation Lanka Finance Plc, (up at 0.40).

Negative contributors were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (down at 89.70), Sampath Bank Plc (down at 71.00), and Central Finance Company Plc, (down at 106.00). (Colombo/Dec5/2023).

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Sri Lanka plans to reduce number of school grades from 13 to 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ministry of Education proposes to reduce the number of school grades from 13 to 12, according to a government information department statement.

“Every child will be given the opportunity to finish school in 17 years through the proposed new education reforms,” education officials were quoted as saying after a discussion on budget allocations.

Under the proposed system, pre-school education will be at the age of 4 years, the primary section between grades 1-5, junior section between grades 6-8, and senior section between grades 9-12.

The General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Exam (GCE O/L) is proposed to be conducted in grade 10, and the Advanced Level Examination in grade 12.

It has also been decided to reduce the number of mandatory subjects at the GCE O/L Exam from 9 to 7.

Three new subjects, information and communication technology (ICT), technical and professional skills, and religion and values will be made mandatory and included in those 7 subjects. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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