US denies claims MCC funds spent by Government

The Government of Sri Lanka has not spent any money from the $480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant, the US Embassy in Colombo said.

The Embassy further clarified in a Tweet that no MCC grant monies were ever transferred to the Government of Sri Lanka.

Funds for preparatory activities have been canceled or indefinitely postponed, pending the Government’s decision whether to proceed with the grant, it said.

Meanwhile, the President’s Office yesterday (25) noted concerns in the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement with the US.

In a statement, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had instructed his office to make public the recommendations of the report compiled by an expert committee appointed by the Government to review the agreement.

According to the President’s Office, the report, which was handed over to the President last evening, has raised a number of concerns on the agreement and notes that some clauses cannot be legally implemented.

The Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved a five-year, $480 million Compact with the Government of Sri Lanka in April 2019 aimed at reducing poverty through economic growth. 

The Compact seeks to assist the Sri Lankan Government in addressing two of the country’s binding constraints to economic growth: (1) inadequate transport logistics infrastructure and planning; and (2) lack of access to land for agriculture, the services sector, and industrial investors.

As per the agreement, the compact was composed of two projects: a Transport Project and a Land Project. (Colombo Gazette)