Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena urged the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA) to recommence all the ongoing projects that are temporarily halted due to fiscal issues.
He made this request when JAICA Director General for South Asia, Ito Teruyuki called on him on Monday (20). Mr Teruyuki assured the Prime Minister that JAICA projects would be resumed no sooner the debt restructuring programme is finalized by the International Monetary Fund.
US$ 2.5 billion worth 12 JAICA projects have been temporarily halted due to the fiscal crisis. JAICA delegation expressed satisfaction over the progress in debt restructuring plans, in which Japan also played a major role.
The Prime Minister thanked JAICA 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 JAICA to provide assistance in new areas such as renewable energy and electrification of public transport and railways.
Prime Minister Gunawardena also briefed the JAICA delegation about the steps taken to improve transparency and accountability in project implementation by enacting required legislations 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.
Secretary to the Prime Minister, Anura Dissanayake, Secretary Public Administration and Home Affairs, Neel Bandara Hapuhinna, Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki, JAICA Chief Representative Tetsuya Yamada and Special Representative Ide Yuri also took part in the discussion.