Sri Lankan government appoints committee to fast track 289 projects
Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Money, Capital Markets and Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal is to reportedly head a committee that is to conduct monthly reviews and fast-track the implementation of 289 development projects worth over Rs. 3.5 trillion.
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has told the media that the decision was taken after a quarterly review carried out by the country’s Finance Ministry into Budget-funded projects begun in 2020.
According to local media reports, the report has found 289 development projects each over Rs. 1 billion were implemented under 40 line ministries in 2020.
Approximately Rs. 710 billion had been allocated for these projects and financial progress was at 72%. An additional Rs. 2.9 trillion is to be allocated for the future activities of these development projects.
“However, the report found various issues and obstacles have arisen in the implementation of these projects and although about Rs. 8 billion has been spent on additional staff allocations for these projects, expected results have not been achieved within the approved cost and timeframe,” Rambukwella has been quoted as saying in the Daily FT.
A range of issues including ad hoc pre-preparations of some projects and delays in obtaining required approvals from state institutions had reportedly been highlighted as issues in the report.
Taking into consideration the information contained in the report presented to Cabinet by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister, the Cabinet of Minister had decided to appoint a committee chaired by State Minister Cabraal.
The Committee is to include senior secretaries to conduct monthly reviews on resolving issues arising out of large-scale Budget-funded projects and to obtain the necessary assistance from relevant parties in an optimal and timely manner, Rambukwella has added.
The government of Sri Lanka is committed to expediting the country’s development programme that had to be temporarily stopped last year due to the global Covid 19 pandemic. With the resumption of economic activities following last year’s lockdown, Sri Lankan authorities have expressed explicit commitment to recommencing and expediting the many development programmes earmarked to cover all key economic sectors. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it an attractive business hub in the South Asian region. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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