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* Japan grants US$ 510 million loan to Sri Lanka for social and economic development
Wed, Mar 28, 2012, 11:45 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 28, Colombo: The government of Japan today announced that it has provided Sri Lanka with a loan package of approximately Rs. 66 billion rupees (42.477 billion Yen) for three projects to aimed to facilitate the social and economic development initiatives in the country.

Ambassador of Japan Nobuhito Hobo on behalf of the Government of Japan and Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning Dr. P.B. Jayasundera on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka signed the loan agreement Wednesday, March 28th at the Ministry of a Finance and Planning in Colombo.

Under the Phase 2 of the Bandaranaike International Airport Development Project approximately Rs. 45 billion of the loan will be provided to improve and modernize the facilities of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and construct a second passenger terminal in order to cope with the increased air traffic and transform the airport as a main commercial and business hub in the region, a press release by the Embassy of Japan in Colombo said.

In the earlier phase Japan provided Rs. 19 billion to improve the facilities of the airport including among others the construction of a modern departure passenger terminal that is currently in use.

Approximately Rs. 6 billion) will be provided to improve the health facilities in the country under the 'Project for Improvement of Basic Social Services Targeting Emerging Regions'.

This portion of the loan is to be used to strengthen the drug production capacity of the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC), upgrade facilities of secondary hospitals in Central, Sabaragamuwa, North Western and Eastern Provinces to function as core hospitals and to provide around 125 ambulances to rural hospitals.

Under this project a building will be constructed and refurnished modern machinery will be installed to locally manufacture drugs to alleviate the drug shortages in state hospitals.

The third project will receive approximately Rs. 15 billion to construct the 220 KV Transmission Line from Habarana to Veyangoda to improve the stability and reliability of the transmission system, to cater to the growing demand of electricity in the country, and to increase efficiency in the power sector.

The three projects are in line with the needs identified by the Sri Lankan government, Japan said.

The loans under this scheme are offered on highly concessionary terms and conditions and are administered by Japan's International Cooperation Agency.

"This year Japan and Sri Lanka commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and these projects are symbolic in terms of Japanís long-term cooperation in Sri Lanka's overall development process and strengthening the bonds of goodwill between our two countries, " the Embassy said in its statement.



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