Sri Lankan government holds talks with US MCC to resume grant of US$ 480 million
Sri Lanka’s Minister for Economic Reform Harsha de Silva has said that the officials from the Sri Lankan government has had talks with the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to resume a grant that was halted during a political crisis that took place end of last year.
“Had a productive meeting with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells and US Ambassador to SriLanka Alaina Tiplitz with @MangalaLK. Spoke of greater cooperation on development, security and regional affairs. Very positive,” de Silva tweeted.
He has stated that Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Treasury Secretary R. H. S. Samaratunga had held talks were held with MCC Chief Executive Jonathan Nash.
De Silva has noted that the grant agreement was due to be signed on December 17 but was suspended amid a political crisis.
“Met Johnathan Nash COO of Millennium Challenge Corporation with @MangalaLK and ST to discuss the USD 480m compact (grant, not loan) that was ‘paused’ with the coup. What a shame! We were to sign on 17 December. Hopefully we can get it back soon for transport infrastructure,” de Silva tweeted.
The US MCC last year reached an agreement to offer a US$ 480 million grant to develop Sri Lanka’s transport infrastructure. However, it was put on hold during the 51 days of political instability in Sri Lanka during the latter part of last year. The Sri Lankan government has met with US MCC officials to recommence the process to receive the grant package. The US government has responded positively during the discussion. Receipt of the grant would open up a host of investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s transport sector in building infrastructure.
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