he government would not abandon USD 1.4 billion Colombo Port City project though its work had currently been suspended owing to some issues, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga told Parliament yesterday.
He said that there were certain issues to be addressed and remedied first before resuming the work on the Colombo Port City project. "One such issue is sea erosion in Wattala and Mount Lavinia areas expected to be caused by this project. There are around 50 investors willing to invest in this. We won’t be swayed by money to permit the project to go ahead regardless of its ill-effects. But, we will certainly not stop the project," the Minister said.
Participating in a debate on Regulations under the Licensing of Shipping Agents Act, the minister said the government was giving priority to national interests rather than attracting funds to the country.
UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena: When there were war crimes charges against Sri Lanka the US, India and the UK were not with us. Only China and Russia were supporting us. Now, the present government has stopped all Chinese-funded projects. Is it the way this country shows its gratitude?
Minister Ranatunga: We have not stopped Chinese funded projects. Some projects have been suspended owing to some issues which are to be sorted out soon.
MP Gunawardena: The government should attract foreign investments as much as possible. But, now the foreign investors are reluctant to come here.
Kandy District MP A. M. Hisbullah: Tourists are not coming to this country today. Development projects have been suspended. International community is wary of investing in this country. We demand the government to continue the Port City Project.
Minister Ranatunga: We will not stop the project. It will be resumed once problems related to it are sorted out.
(The Island - 27062015)