Apr 18, Colombo: This year will be the most decisive year for Sri Lanka Port Authority, the authority of the state-owned ports, as the agency will be faced with many challenges this year, Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga said.
"Sri Lanka Port Authority faced many challenges last year. The Port Authority has had to deal with questions of privatization of key factors. Similarly, this year also we have many challenges to face," the Minister said.
Minister Ranatunga expressed these concerns while speaking at a ceremony held on Monday to extend New Year greetings to the employees of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping.
He said as the Authority of Sri Lanka Ports the employees have a responsibility to protect the institution and his responsibility is to make the Cabinet and the public aware about the environment needed to protect the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
The Minister noted that more than the past two years, this year would be the most decisive year for the Port Authority as on one hand the port is losing business due to the absence of a deeper terminal and on the other hand the authority has to face issues due to privatization of port.
"There are many controversial discussions on the development of the Eastern terminal. Conflicts regarding the Hambantota Port have increased. Therefore we should have energy to face these challenges. You should also take the responsibility," the Minister said.
Minister Ranatunga said he wants to implement the Hambantota Port development project in such a way, that the state owns a higher percentage. "If we were to bring investors we need to give less to the investor and keep more for us," he said.