Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga revealed that they were in an attempt to bring the Colombo port among the world’s top 20 ports by the end of 2016.
Speaking at the celebration of achieving 5 million containers arrivals at Colombo Port, minister said that the valuable effort and contribution of the port officials could bring it among the world’s top 26 ports thus far.
" Colombo Port receives Rs.29 billion of annual income. However there a significant portion from the earnings has to be allocated to cover the debt loans of Hambantota port. So we are in a big effort of providing welfare facilities to the employees who are working at Colombo Port," minister added.
He further revealed the set targets could will be achieved by finishing the construction of Eastern terminal of the Colombo port.
" Our target is to increase the container arrivals in the Colombo port by 10% by the end of next year. However if we could complete the constructions of eastern terminal, we could boost the amount up to 25%," Ranatunga added.
Minister further went on to say that the set targets were achieved while facing lots of barriers in the available facilities in Colombo Port.
"Though we are still continuing operations using old equipment and machines, the production capacity per hour has been increased from 19 containers to 29 containers. We achieved all those targets by getting the valuable support from our team," minister charged.
However Ranatunga said that he would further discuss the matter with the President, Prime Minister and the Finance Minister in order to take actions to reduce the debt payments of Hmbantota port.
- Ministry of Ports and Shipping
(The Island - 23122015)