Oct 08, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government, considering to restart the controversial China-funded Colombo Port City Project, has received approval from the Cabinet of Ministers to appoint a new committee to review the agreement with Chinese agencies on the project.
The Cabinet last month granted approval to extend the agreement between Colombo Port City Development Project Company and the Government of Sri Lanka for another six months.
Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga proposed the appointment of a new ten-member committee consisting of senior officials and headed by the Secretary to the Prime Minister to review the agreement and make recommendations to the Ministerial Committee on Economic Management.
Cabinet spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne at the weekly cabinet news briefing today said the Cabinet has already approved the extension of agreement signed between the Government and the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for another six months from 15 September 2015 to 15 March 2016.
Minister Senaratne said the Extension Agreement will enable negotiations between the government and the Project Company and also allow time to review the agreement and introduce the necessary amendments to the agreement.
The current government on 6th of March 2015 temporarily suspended the US$ 1.4 billion project launched by the previous government in partnership with China in September last year. The project was funded by the China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC).
The government said it was reviewing the award of the project to China Communications Construction Co Ltd over the allegations that the previous administration breached local laws and sidestepped environmental requirements for the deal.
However the government said recently that the project would continue and be part of its megapolis development in order to transform the country into a "smart and technologically advanced nation" in the coming five years.