MCC is outright grant – Patali | Daily News
Gota signed ACSA with America without showing Cabinet

MCC is outright grant – Patali

* advanced traffic management
* bus service modernization
* Central Ring Road Network with 132 junctions

Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday deplored attempts by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) politicians to inculcate fear and suspicion about the proposed Millennium Challenge Co-operation (MCC) agreement among the public by proclaiming that the Government was “selling” the country to the Americans.

“This is a blatant lie. It will only lead to the country’s progress. They want to create a media fascism based on lies and fabrications,” Ranawaka added, at a press briefing at the NDF operations centre in Vauxhall Street, Colombo yesterday.

“The MCC agreement is totally different from the ACSA signed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa without the consent of the Executive, the Cabinet and Parliament. The MCC will be presented to the Cabinet and Parliament and if there are doubts it can be debated,” he said.

The MCC will not harm the sovereignty of the country or go beyond the Constitution. The agreement is open for everybody and is transparent. Anybody who needs the agreement can check it out through the website,” he said.

“Moreover the grant rendered cannot be used fully or partially for war activities, the government should certify that it would not harm any US employment opportunities and productions should not harm the environment and health, should not assist abortions and sterilizations and should not cause social inequalities. The Sri Lankan Government should accept the above facts and the government itself should implement the projects,” Ranawaka said.

The Minister also said the MCC agreement is not a loan but a grant. “Sri Lanka has been applying for this grant for many years. Yet every attempt was unsuccessful. After considering the fresh applications in 2015 under good governance, Sri Lanka will be granted US $ 480 million. The MCC will not drag the country into danger and it is expected to assist Sri Lanka improve two sectors, transport infrastructure and land administration. Under transport infrastructure project, the MCC will cover an advance traffic management system, bus transport service modernization and the Central Ring Road Network which will revamp 132 junctions in eight corridors.”

“Under the land administration project, preparation of parcel fabric map and inventory of state land, improvements of deeds registry, improvements in the land valuation system, land grants registration and deed conversion activities and land policy and legal governance improvement activities will be implemented in Kegalle, Kandy, Matale, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee, along the identified Colombo-Trincomalee Economic Corridor,” he added.

Ranawaka also commented on the National Physical Plan which has become a hot potato these days. “We hear uneducated masses on political stages uttering that the National Physical Plan (NPP) is separating the country with boundaries.

“The NPP gives guidance to development projects carried within the country. This promotes and regulates the integrated planning of the economic, social, physical and environmental aspects of land and territorial waters of Sri Lanka. The guidelines should be followed in the process of developing highway and railway projects,” he said.

The Minister outlined the national plan which takes into account population density, the potential for the creation of corridors, existing infrastructure, and the environment. The NPP was revamped with the help of 3,000 local experts. “With all these measures we can have a developed country that we strive for,” Minister Ranawaka said.

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