'Govt's tsunami recovery process impressive'
COLOMBO: Despite major set backs due to the escalating oil prices and
troubles in the peace front the Government has done a 'good job' with
regard to the tsunami recovery process and had set impressive goals
under the Mahinda Chinthana national development plan, a visiting
Japanese Aid delegation observed yesterday.
Japanese Finance Ministry's Development Finance Division Director
Naoko Ishii said they were 'quite happy with the government's economic
management after tsunami' despite the country had to endure another
election, while at the same time struggling with international oil
prices and a faltering peace process.
Wrapping up their two-day mission here the team held a press
conference at the Japanese Embassy in Colombo yesterday.
The Japanese delegation comprising top representatives from the
Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Finance and Economy, Trade and
Industry and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation were here to
meet their counterparts in line with their bi-annual consultative
meetings to review the progress of their ongoing projects. She said the
country performed well in terms of tax collection during the past two
years, a factor attributed to the revisions introduced by the State.
This was against the poor performance experienced in the previous
Director of the Loan Aid division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs'
Economic Cooperation Bureau Koichi Aiboshi responding to questions said
it was premature to comment on the government's national action plan
saying however they feel the draft was a very important blue print for
the country's development.
The Japanese assistance component for this year will also be based on
the studies and deliberations the team had with the Treasury officials
during this visit and will be announced their next visit scheduled
The parameters for their aid policy include the country's macro
economic situation, the medium term budget, achievements in the State
banking sector, Ms.Ishii said. Adding that they have reasons to be
satisfied with the achievements in the State banking sector particularly
with the People's Bank's performance followed by stringent supervision
and system management introduced by the Government which resulted in an
impressive decline in the Non Performing Loans, she said they will be
closely monitoring the country's economic progress.
The Japanese government has pledged Rs. 19.4 billion under its
Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan scheme to support development
projects of the country after the tsunami.
This 37th loan package by Japan funds 1st phase of Galle Port
Development Project, Pro-poor Eastern Infrastructure Development Project
and Tourism Resources Improvement Project.
Nearly Rs.13.75 billion is allocated for the Galle Port Project which
will include construction of a breakwater and a multipurpose terminal,
Dredging of the Approach Channel and Turning basin and Procurement and
Installation of Auxiliary Equipment and Navigation Aid required for
modern port facilities.
The second loan of Rs.3.950 billion will be used to rehabilitate part
of the main highway in the eastern province, a length of 98 kilometres
between Akkaraipattu and Trikkandimadu including a new Kalladi bridge.
The third component of Rs.2.32 billion will consume improvements
projected in the tourism sector which involves tourism sites in Colombo,
Kandy, Negombo, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura and Nuwara Eliya.