Sri Lanka borrows US$275mn from ADB for roads, education

May 27, 2014 (LBO) – The Asian Development Bank said it would loan 175 million US dollars to build roads and boost the state university system to generate graduates that more employable. ADB will give 100 million US dollars for Sri Lanka government’s skills sector development program which plans to reduce a mismatch between the competencies of graduates and skills needed by employers.

“Targeted education for the workers of tomorrow is essential to economic growth but businesses and communities also need good connections to markets, jobs and services,” said ADB Country Director Sri Widowati said in a statement.

Sri Lanka’s youth employment was considered very high at 17.3 percent.

Critics say unemployable graduates from tax-payer funded universities have devised a successful scheme to protest in front of the island’s main railway station and get state jobs and become tax spenders for life at the expense of the rest of the working population.

Meanwhile ADB said it will also lend 75 million US dollars to improve 33.5 kilometres of national highways linked to the island’s Southern Expressway.

The loans agreements were signed with Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera.