Hambantota Port agreement to be signed tomorrow - PM
July 28, 2017 01:00 pm
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that the Hambantota Port agreement will be signed tomorrow (29).
He said the deal will be signed between state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort) and Sri Lanka Port Authority with to sell 70 per cent stake of the strategically- located Hambantota port at $1.12 billion.
The import will have a majority stake in the port. “We are giving the country a better deal without any debt,” Wickremesinghe said.
He said the money realised from the 70 per cent transfer of equity on a 99-year lease of the Hambantota port will be set off against debts owed to China.
He said the accumulated loss at Hambantota was over USD 300 million. Wickremesinghe said the government had agreed with the Opposition to have a parliamentary debate on the Hambantota deal but the sittings were disrupted and the House was adjourned till next week.
“How can they face it (the debate) when it was they who started it”, Wickremesinghe said, referring to the Joint Opposition.
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet on July 25 approved the sale to a Chinese firm of a 70 per cent stake in the Hambantota port, tweaking the deal after the initial agreement sparked protests.
Accordingly, instead of 80:20 share distribution in the initial agreement shares of overall investment will be revised as 69.55 per cent to CMPort and 30.45 per cent to Sri Lanka Port Authority.