Big Cheque

Jan. 16 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Monday picked up its largest ever cheque from the World Bank for US$ 160 million to develop education and roads, officials said. Jan. 16 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Monday picked up its largest ever cheque from the World Bank for US$ 160 million to develop education and roads, officials said. “This assistance represents the largest investment credit and the largest grant that the World Bank has ever given to Sri Lanka,” Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara told reporters.

The Washington based bank makes a come back to assist the road sector after a five-year break, following government assurances to streamline procurement and follow up mechanisms, Jayasundara said.

“The US$ 100 million is a start,” the bank’s Sri Lanka country head, Peter Harrold said. “The government showed us commitment by setting up a Road Maintenance Trust Fund to ensure roads are regularly maintained and funds are disbursed in a proper manner.”

Seed capital for the Trust Fund was to have come from cess on fuel (50 cents on a litre of diesel and Rs. 1 on litre of petrol) over a two-year period. But, as there was a shortfall, the government’s 2005 national bud