UNP says MCC deal should have been signed

The United National Party (UNP) says the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement should have been signed.

UNP Parliamentarian Hesha Withanage said that if the agreement was signed Sri Lanka could have resolved some of its debt issues.

Speaking to reporters today, Withanage said that the MCC deal was suspended as a result of pressure from members in the current Government.

The Cabinet of Ministers of the former Government had approved the $480 million MCC development assistance grant.

Sri Lanka requested the support, which if approved, was to benefit at least 11 million Sri Lankans through the funding of Government- and private sector- identified needs.

The programs supported by the grant were to reduce traffic congestion, improve public transportation in Colombo, upgrade provincial roads, and expand existing Government of Sri Lanka initiatives to improve land administration and strengthen the land rights of Sri Lankans.

However the deal was suspended by the new Government.

A four member committee has been appointed to study the grant agreement.

The new cabinet had approved a proposal by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to suspend the agreement and appoint a four member committee to study the deal and propose further action.

The four member committee is headed by Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan.(Colombo Gazette)