Sri Lanka state construction deals for local firms

Apr 26, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's government has agreed to reserve a proportion of construction contracts for local builders in a post-war building boom while banks have also loosened up lending to the sector, an official said.
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Rohan Karunaratne, president the Ceylon Institute of Builders (COIB), said the construction industry had been lobbying the government for a share of the construction contracts after seeing many deals go to foreign companies.

The government had maintained foreign firms got the deals in projects funded by foreign governments and agencies, he explained.

But, he said, local banks had now begun lending more to the sector and the government had also agreed to allocate part of the work to local contractors while also giving a guarantee for the loans.

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"The government has decided to give 30-40 percent of the construction work to local companies," Karunaratne told a news conference held to announce an industry exhibition, 'Construction Expo 2012'.

"This is very good news for the local construction industry which is going through a major growth period with an annual turnover of 500 billion rupees and contributing 8.3 percent to gross domestic product."

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