Lankapage Logo CP 18 YEARS
Go Home Home Serving the Sri Lankan community globally since 2000
go to LankaPage.com

Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Ports Minister against opening shipping services sector to foreign companies
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 12:35 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe said he is not in agreement with the 2018 budget proposal to open the shipping agency services to foreign companies and it has been included in the budget proposal without discussions with his ministry.

Speaking at the Budget 2018 committee stage debate of his ministry on Tuesday, Minister Samarasinghe said he will not allow to open the sector to foreign companies without an investment guarantee since such a move will affect the local shipping agents.

"Our policy is not to destroy the local businessman," he said.

The Minister suggested to set a condition of at least $100 million investment for foreign companies if they want to enter in to shipping services.

He said there has been good progress in the port sector and steps have been taken to give priority to implement a number of delayed proposals.

He said in 2017, SLPA made a profit of 11 billion rupees in 2017 and the Ministry will commence the fifth stage of Jaya Container Terminal development.

The Minister further said that the existence of the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLAP) depends on the development of the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port.

The Minister pointed out that at present large ships can only enter the CICT terminal of the Colombo Port operated by a Chinese company and if the East Terminal facility is developed the SLPA could boost its revenue.

Minister Samarasinghe noted that the main challenge was the Hambantota port. The last government has taken a large amount of commercial loans to build the port.

He said the under the joint venture agreement, the Treasury had agreed to allocate money for settling the port's debt.

"USD 1500 million was borrowed to construct the Hambantota Port. Last year, Rs. 10 billion out of the SLPA profit was spent on debt servicing. As a result last year our profit dropped to Rs. 1 billion. This year Rs. 12 billion is needed to service debt. The Treasury took over the debt payment following the joint venture agreement. Therefore, we have been able to raise our profit to Rs 11 billion this year."

He stressed that the existence of SLPA depends on the East Container Terminal and Cabinet approval is expected for the development of the terminal and also the west and north sections.

The Minister observed that if the Trincomalee Port can be connected to tourism, then tourism can be developed. A large development plan is in progress now to develop the Trincomalee Port, he added.

Minister Samarasinghe said a national action plan for the shipping sector will be formulated and draft bills in the sector will be amended accordingly.

 

ColomboPage - Recent 10 Stories ::
Sri Lanka government ministries, UNICEF propose increased investment in Early Childhood Development
-- [18 minutes ago]
World Bank, Sexual Violence Research Initiative launch 2018 call for proposals for innovation in addressing gender-based violence
-- [40 minutes ago]
EU joins Canada and Norway to oppose Sri Lankan government's decision to reinstate death penalty
-- [57 minutes ago]
Police arrest five people in Trincomalee with a high-powered metal scanner
-- [8 hours ago]
Law will be strictly enforced against errant traders arbitrarily raising prices - Finance Minister
-- [9 hours ago]
Sri Lanka BOI says investment projects worth over $16 bn under discussion with Singapore
-- [9 hours ago]
Sri Lanka to launch National Export Strategy this week to strengthen exports
Fisheries Ministry provides over Rs. 440,000 to bring Sindur-2 fishermen back
Sri Lanka President arrives in Rome to attend the 24th COFO & 6th World Forest Week
Rs. 17 million worth Heroin found in Serunuwara

Copyright © 2000, 2016 by LankaPage.com (LLC) :
The news and other contents on ColomboPage are copyrighted property of LankaPage.com, LLC. Any unauthorized use of any information on ColomboPage may constitute a violation of copyright laws. You need written permission to reproduce, republish, post, transmit, broadcast or distribute, material from this site from LankaPage.com, LLC. However, news organizations or broadcasters in Sri Lanka may republish the news items in ColomboPage with proper acknowledgment to ColomboPage.