Cabinet nod for $ 480 Mn MCC grant

The Cabinet today approved the $ 480 Million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant.

The MCC proposal was put-forth by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

Since the MCC agreement was placed before Cabinet in April, President Sirisena has refused to endorse its signing, pointing out  that it had to be studied before it was finalized, as opposing views have been expressed on the matter.

In August,  Sirisena told the Cabinet that the signing of the MCC grant agreement should be left to a new Government to handle and rejected the UNP’s move to push for its early finalization.

The implementation of the grant will begin early next year. Funds will be allocated to projects related to Colombo traffic management, Road Construction and land administration improvements island-wide.

The Sri Lankan Government has the option of amending the identified projects even after the signing of the Agreement. Samaraweera is expected to sign the agreement in the near future.

Sri Lanka is the 37th recipient of such grant funds from the United States.

Sri Lanka began negotiation with MCC in 2001 at the direction of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

MCC negotiations were led by the Ministry of Finance and the MCC compact was developed and finalized by the Compact Development Team of the Prime Minister’s office.