Thrice Lucky

The Asian Development Bank says it is willing to stay on in the power sector, despite the government missing its second deadline for a US$ 60 million loan. The Asian Development Bank says it is willing to stay on in the power sector, despite the government missing its second deadline for a US$ 60 million loan. The Sri Lankan government has asked donors for a third extension to the loan to overhaul the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), which lapsed last December, Power Ministry officials say.

Both the ADB and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) had approved the funds, to dismantle the state utility into independent units of generation, distribution and transmission.

Donors say the request is being deliberated. Both ADB and JBIC have extended the loan twice to date, after trade union pressure derailed reform efforts.

But the Manila based ADB says it will consider staying on despite the repeated extensions, if the government can come up with a financially viable model.

“We are still willing to participate in the sector, if it is on a financially sustainable basis. We can offer to restructure the short term debt of the CEB and p