Sri Lanka to trim own contribution to push multilateral projects: minister

Feb 18, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is hoping to push through foreign funded projects which have been held up due to lack of ‘counterparty funds’, with a lower contribution from the government, a senior minister said. Deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama said there were “a lot of projects” awaiting a 15 percent government contribution, and the Asian Development Bank, Sri Lanka’s top donor after Japan, had said “10 percent might do.”

Infrastructure

“Now we have to make sure that all those negotiated projects go ahead,” Amunugama told an economic forum organized by Sri Lanka’s Institute of Policy Studies.

“We have to find counterparty funds to unlock these projects.”

ADB is a key financier of the island’s highways, and has also been supporting the power sector, provided reforms are pushed through.

A new power regulation bill is due to presented in parliament this week Amunugama said. He is also the island’s public administration minister and held the finance portfolio before.

ADB is also funding a breakwater to expand Colombo port.

Sri Lanka has under-invested in infrastructure for years, resulting in badly maintained roads, a power grid dependent on expensive private g