Monday, 25 January 2021 07:58

President justifies ECT deal with India

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday justified the proposed deal on the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port.

He pointed out that the previous Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India on the subject. “An agreement signed between two states cannot be terminated arbitrarily,” the President said.

It was pointed out that the stance of the Government on the MCC agreement which had been accepted by the previous administration was explained to the authorities of the US Government. The President also stressed that no asset would be given to another country in a manner that would compromise the sovereignty of the nation when entering into agreements.

Addressing the seventh of program series ‘Discussion with the Village’ in Yattapatha, Walallawita in Kalutara District, the President said during his first visit to India after assuming the presidency, the policy of the Government on the ECT agreement was explained to Indian Prime Minister Modi at a lengthy discussion.

Elaborating on the East Container Terminal and its role, the President pointed out that the main source of revenue of the terminal was re-export activities. India accounts for 66% of re-exports and therefore, it is important to understand the nature of the business to be carried out through the development of the Terminal so that next steps could be properly planned, he said.

Under the investment program, the administration of the terminal and 51% of the shares will be owned by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Several Indian, Japanese and Sri Lankan companies have come forward to invest in the remaining 49%, the President said.

(FT)

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