Shelving Plans

Donors say funds hang in the balance, if the government shelves long term plans such as electricity reforms lined up this year, as tsunami re-building takes centre stage. Donors say funds hang in the balance, if the government shelves long term plans such as electricity reforms lined up this year, as tsunami re-building takes centre stage.

Up to US$ 60 mn from the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Bank is due to expire this year, unless reforms to un-bundle the electricity sector go ahead on time.

The funds are in the balance, as plans to dismantle state owned Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) into independent companies for generation, distribution and transmission have been shelved time and again.

Last week, the Asian Development Bank cautioned against a tendency for government to divert attention as it necessarily focuses on more pressing needs.

“We will have to see if the attention of the government will shift from longer term plans to more immediate and pressing needs. It is critical that we don’t forget other priorities of the government and long term needs,” ADB Country director, Alessandro Pio said.

The Japanese loan is due to expire in March