Sri Lanka’s central expressway on hold as China delays USs1.1bn loan: report

ECONOMYNEXT – An expressway to central Sri Lanka’s based on a 1.1 billion US dollar loan promised by the Exim Bank of China has been delayed for over 2.5 years as funds had not yet come, a media report said.

Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Times newspaper said the loan negotiated with the Exim Bank for the project has not yet been disbursed.

"We understand the loan has been approved by the Exim Bank and put forward to China’s Ministry of Commerce for approval, but have not received a response so far," the newspaper quoted Priyantha Ratnayake, Director General of the External Resources Department of the Finance Ministry as saying.

China was supposed to build the first stage of an expressway leading from Colombo to Kandy via Mirigama.

Nihal Sooriyarachchi, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Road Development Authority said the agency had sought government intervention to expedite the loan.

Without the loan the expressway would not be completed by 2020, he said said.

The loan had been delayed for over two years.

In July 2015 Sri Lanka said the contract to build the expressway had been awarded to Metallurgical Corporation of China and part of the funding would come from excess cash from a trimmed down, beltway road.






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