President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today assured representatives of Port Trade Unions that the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port will not be sold or leased.
According to him, the plan was to develop the terminal as an investment project that has 51% ownership by the Government of Sri Lanka and the remaining 49% as an investment by India’s Adani Group and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, The President Media Division noted India contributes 66% of the East Terminal re-export operations. 9% is re-exports to Bangladesh and the rest to several other countries.
“The previous administration had agreed to sell the East Terminal to India. The agreement envisaged obtaining a loan from Japan after-sale and purchasing construction equipment with the loan money,” PMD stated.
The President noted it was possible to reach an agreement to retain 51% of the ownership and the control of the Terminal under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) after the present Government negotiated with India on the contract.
He has emphasized that he would not allow causing any harm to the sovereignty or independence of the country when investments are arranged.
He made these remarks during a discussion today (13th ) at the Presidential Secretariat on the East Terminal of the Colombo Port upon a request by Trade Unions.
Further, the President said that the East Container Terminal Development was planned after reviewing all the factors including the regional geopolitical concerns, the sovereignty of the country, revenue, and employment generation potential.
He assured that the Eastern Terminal will be “sustainably developed” under the investment program.
The President said that there should be no doubt about it and asked all the trade union representatives to submit their proposals and ideas on this program.
Moreover, he added that he intends to hand over the operation of the West Container Terminal to the Ports Authority and stressed the importance of submitting plans for the development of the port, by the trade union representatives.