The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has paid China Rs 47 billion so far for constructing the Hambantota port, Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.
The Minister said the money was paid back using funds collected by the SLPA through ports operations in the country.
“SLPA has been paying back the loan since 2011. All this was paid from SLPA funds. Nothing was taken from the treasury,” the Minister said.
He also said that the Hambantota port was constructed at the wrong time but yet now with the new agreement with China, the Government hopes to convert the port from a loss making venture to a profitable venture.
Under the agreement the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and China Merchant Port Holdings Company Ltd will establish the Hambantota International Port Services Co. (Pvt) Ltd – with a capital of USD 606 million and 50.7% shares to SLPA and 49.3% to CMPort.
The Hambantota International Port Group (Pvt) Ltd – with a capital of USD 794 million and 15% shares to SLPA and 85% to CMPort as in SAGT terminal and CICT terminal will also be established.
Accordingly, instead of 80:20 share distribution in the initial agreement shares of overall investment will be revised as 69.55 to CMPort and 30.45 for SLPA.
Samarasinghe said that parliament will on Friday discuss the agreement and look at any proposals which may come before the agreement is signed.
The Minister also said that the agreement will be open for amendments if required even after it is signed. (Colombo Gazette)