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Japan provides Rs.19,400 mn for three projects

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS: The Japanese Government has pledged Japanese Yen 21,559 million (approximately Rs. 19,400 million) to Sri Lanka under its Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan scheme in support of development efforts of the country.

In addition to the above, the Government of Japan has already extended its support for the tsunami reconstruction and rehabilitation activities by providing a loan of Japanese Yen 10,006 million (around US $ 98 million) for Sri Lanka Tsunami-Affected Area Rehabilitation and Take-off (STAART) project in June 2005.

This ODA loan scheme is extended on an annual basis and this is the 37th of such loan packages. The loans are offered on concessionary terms and conditions and administered by the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC).

The loan package consists of three projects. They are: (i) Galle Port development Project - First Phase, (ii) Pro-Poor Eastern Infrastructure Development Project and (iii) Tourism Resources Improvement Project.

These three projects are in lien with the needs identified by the Government of Sri Lanka, aimed at accelerating economic growth and providing essential infrastructure facilities.

Japanese Yen 14,495 mn (around Rs. 13,750 mn) is allocated for Phase - 1 of the Galle Port Development Project.

The project is to develop the Port of Galle as a regional port by constructing a new multipurpose terminal to meet the future demand and reallocate break bulk cargo handling from the Colombo Port.

It will also help to reduce waiting time of the vessels, berth occupancy ratio and cater to large vessels. Furthermore the project will greatly facilitate the Southern area development plan presently being implemented.

The second loan of Japanese Yen 4,460 (around Rs. 3,950 mn) will be used for the rehabilitation of part of the main highway in the Eastern Province affected due to the tsunami disaster.

Under this project, it is expected to reconstruct the road section of 98 km between Akkaraipattu and Trikkandimadu on A 4 and A 15 roads including the construction of a new Kallady Bridge with a length of 291 m, in Batticaloa, in order to improve the access within and outside the Eastern Region.

The third loan of Japanese Yen 2,604 mn (around Rs. 2,320 mn) is allocated for improvement of tourism resources. The loan is repayable in 20 years, inclusive of a grace period of six years and carries an interest rate of 0.9% per annum.

The Project is to develop human resources and other related infrastructure facilities in tourism sector in the areas of Colombo, Kandy, Negombo, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura and Nuwara Eliya, in order to promote foreign tourists and thereby enhancing employment opportunities and foreign currency earnings.

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