DECENTRALIZATION OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE COUNTRY
Posted on May 29th, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

During a recent meeting with the Minister of Ports at a forum organized by the National Chamber of Commerce ,participants inquired about the development activities of Trincomalee,Galle and Hambantota Harbours.where following interesting scenario emerged

All the planning and execution of Trincomalee will be handled by   Megapolis under Minister Ranawaka ,Galle will be handled by Southern Development Ministry under Sagala .and Hambantota will be handled by the  Centre for Development under Malik with Chinese funding

This means various planned developments mooted during last few years will be cancelled???

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A Singapore based company will invest US$ 4 billion within the next seven years to set up an Industrial Park in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, the government said. The Sri Lankan Cabinet has approved the mega project to be completed in Sampur in Trincomalee by the Singapore based Gateway Worldwide Group.Singapore-based Gateway Worldwide Group will complete the mega project in three phases to facilitate heavy industries, mainly from Singapore, and self-facilitate infrastructure and other requirements for operations without the government having to provide them.The company, according to the government, would invest more than US$ 700 million within the first two years, followed by US$ 1.3 billion, which would develop infrastructure, education and other facilities to support the industries. That would be followed by a further US$ 2 billion capital infusion coming from industries to be set up there. The proposal was presented in Parliament by Minister of Investment Promotion   Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, for debate Tuesday. ( news appeared in September 2013)

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Another development plan announced by a minister

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On a proposal made by Bathiudeen, Cabinet approved the Trincomalee Industrial Estate’s Stage II in August 2011 where a proper garbage disposal system, waste water treatment facilities, roadways and other common amenities will be done at a cost of Rs. 256 million for its 24 acres (Under Stage I of the project, 25 acres of land was developed with the necessary infrastructure required for the industries including 6 model factory buildings. Fourteen industrialists were selected to cover the entire developed area under stage I, by the Regional Industrial Service Committee of the Eastern Province).

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Yet another plan as disclosed by the Governor of Eastern Province

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Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will invest approximately Rs one billion for infrastructure development of the Trincomalee Port City Development project in a bid to facilitate prospective investors who have expressed willingness to set up port related new     ventures in the Trincomalee port .

SLPA will infuse money to develop roads and electricity facilities in the port area. It was recently disclosed that the government was ready to lease out land at the Trincomalee port to private investors and Cabinet approval has also been granted to this move. The Trincomalee Port City Development project which spreads across more than 500 acres of land will mainly consists of an Industrial Park and a Tourism Zone. However, the main focus of the authorities is to develop the industrial park at the initial stage.Sri Lanka Ports Authority last month published the project proposal documents to private sector investors who are interested in setting up port related business ventures in the Trincomalee Port Industrial Park. At the moment, around 15 investors have purchased the required documents from SLPA. Interested investors will be able to collect the project proposal documents at the Port Committee Building situated in Fort until April 10, SLPA Planning and Development Chief Engineer Susantha Abesiriwardena told Daily News Business

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Are we heading at the right direction??

Investors will assume that all above agencies should be legally established and all the prospective investors may seek irrevocable, rock solid law where future governments cannot cancel agreements

Some Companies  were acquired by the previous government under the Expropriation Bill of 2011 where  the circumstances which led to it, and the legality of those acquisitions were of dubious nature

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

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