Privatization is not part of my mandate: New PPP chief

July 26, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will look at public-private partnerships (PPPs) in transport, utilities, ports, tourism, construction, housing, health care, financial services, information technology and mining and minerals sector, the new PPP chief said.

“We will look at PPPs in new projects in which the government has long term interests with the government opting for equity and land stakes,” Thilan Wijesinghe, appointed last week by the government to spearhead the PPPs, said.

“Projects in the pipeline include the elevated highway from the new Kelani bridge to Athurugiriya and the underground road to extend Marine Drive and connect with the port access road.”

Also inland water-based transport and inland air transport, light rail transit, utility projects in water, waste to energy, and industrial zones will be other projects in the piprline.

These projects will act as a catalyst of economic growth, he said. He was speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2017 in Colombo, Tuesday.

Power projects and toll roads are examples of new investments that would be looked at under this model.

“They will involve new investments and transfer of ownership or debt of unproductive government assets,” he said.

Privatization is not part of my mandate, he added.

Dead assets like the Hambantota port and the Hyatt will be transferred to the private sector under this model. However, he says the Colombo Hilton hotel would be privatized.