Going Nowhere

August 02 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s first toll road is still on the shelf without funding, with the government saying they will even consider commercial loans just to get the project going.

The project was to go ahead with Chinese government funding lent on concessionary terms, built by a Chinese contractor.

The country’s Road Development Authority already signed an agreement with China Metallurgical Construction Corporation (MCC) in May to build the Colombo-Katunayake expressway.

But funding from the Chinese government is still to be negotiated. The construction contract to build the highway takes effect only when a loan agreement is signed.

We wrote to the Chinese Export and Import Bank recently, requesting for funding of 292.4 million dollars on concessionary terms. We have not yet heard from them,” a top official with the External Resources Department, told LBO on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka’s Treasury Secretary Dr. P B Jayasundera told businessmen last week that the project would have to go ahead and the government would even consider borrowing on commercial terms to get it going.

Land acquisition meanwhile is continuing for the project, already 39 yea