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Analysis of the USD 67 Million Land Project under the MCC Agreement

Analysis of the USD 67 Million Land Project under the MCC Agreement

The Second Project agreed in the Millennium Challenge Corporation involves enhancing access to private and state land, providing more standardised land valuation, and helping the government improve the land policy and governance structure under which property is managed. It includes 5 main sub-projects:

  • Parcel Fabric Map and State Land Inventory: Proposal for the creation of a parcel fabric map for 28 per cent of Sri Lankan land region to help complete a state land inventory.
  • It is assisting the office of the Land Registrar to transform paper-based documents into a digitally linked data bank that is accessible to all state entities.
  • Focuses on scanning and digitising relevant data for properties in specific districts from valuation records.
  • It aims at enhancing tenure safety by promoting the conversion of State Lands to the private domain, establishing a marketable and bankable land title in the landowner’s name.
  • It aims to set up a land policy council that will guide policy studies and assist the attempts of the government to adopt a new land policy and, among other operations, to enact legislation.

The Sri Lankan government intends to implement these projects completely through a local MCA. Further, due to the MCC, grants from other sources to Sri Lanka are likely to decline in the next few years as the World Bank has lately categorised Sri Lanka as a ‘high-middle-income’ nation.

OSL Take:

The USD 480 million MCC compact is a grant instead of a loan borrowed at a fixed/floating interest rate. Further, it places no economical strain on the state or taxpayers of Sri Lanka as such. The MCC grant is a powerful sign of Sri Lanka’s strong bilateral relations with the US. The US continues to be Sri Lanka’s growth partner and has also extended to the island nation the US GSP trade concession.
Sri Lanka’s MCC compact has been directed at several main infrastructure initiatives that target the transportation and land management industries of the country. Foreign companies/investors that are interested in investing in Sri Lanka could therefore explore viable business/investment opportunities that are growing out of the sectors which the MCC grant funds.
Furthermore, US firms/investors could confidently explore possibilities in Sri Lanka and look to form joint ventures with local firms due to the close links between the two nations. Earlier this year, the MCC CEO, Sean Cairncross, pledged that the U.S. government agency is committed to implementing the USD 480 million grant to mitigate transportation and land management problems influencing the country’s economy.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/11102019/Z_T1

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