Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva has refuted statements by several ports trade unions at a media briefing yesterday that the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port will be handed over to India’s Adani Group.
Speaking at a media briefing today, the Minister said steps have been taken to bring the East Terminal under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and to be maintained at the expense of the Authority.
The Minister said the contract to secure cranes for the Terminal requires USD 270 million, adding that USD 18 million of the sum has been vested with a Chinese company, after a competitive bidding process for the tender.
He also noted that the cranes will be completed in one and a half years adding that USD 39 million more needs to be paid to the company.
Meanwhile, Minister de Silva said former Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa should be held responsible for the government’s delay to seek the support of the International Monetary Fund.
The Minister said one and a half years ago he proposed that the government seek IMF support in order to gain the trust of the international community and restructure debt.
Minister de Silva said Basil Rajapaksa however was of the view that Sri Lanka could settle the debt.