Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Govt urges JICA to resume US$ 2.5 billion worth projects halted in economic crisis

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday urged the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to recommence all projects that are temporarily halted due to fiscal issues.

He made this request when JICA Director General for South Asia, Ito Teruyuki called on him on Monday (20). Teruyuki assured the Prime Minister that JICA projects would be resumed no sooner after the debt restructuring program is finalized by the International Monetary Fund.

US$ 2.5 billion worth 12 JICA projects have been temporarily halted due to the fiscal crisis. JICA delegation expressed satisfaction over the progress in debt restructuring plans, in which Japan also played a major role.

The Prime Minister thanked JICA Director General for the continuous assistance provided to Sri Lanka for several decades for water treatment, sewerage, sanitation and solid waste treatment projects in several cities and towns.

He also requested JICA to provide assistance in new areas such as renewable energy and electrification of public transport and railways.

Prime Minister Gunawardena also briefed the JICA delegation about the steps taken to improve transparency and accountability in project implementation by enacting required legizlations as recommended by the Committee appointed by the President.

He added that a Budget Act would be passed to ensure continuation of nationally important projects and policies despite change of governments in power.

Director General of the South Asia Department of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Teruyuki Ito said that Sri Lanka’s economic reform program is progressing positively and that Sri Lanka will be supported in the future through the programs of the International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

A discussion was held between the State Minister of Finance, Shehan Semasinghe and Teruyuki Ito recently.

The program; carried out by the government to restore the economic situation in this country, was discussed.

State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe explained the program further. The state minister pointed out that the reforms that should have been carried out over many years are now being carried out step by step. He commented on the oppressive situation in which the people are in with these reformations.

The state minister pointed out that the people are adapting to these reforms even though it is difficult. He said that the people have their trust on the economic stability of the country through the support of the International Monetary Fund.

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