It has been revealed at the COPE Committee that the loans taken for the construction of the Hambantota Port in 2017 have not been repaid with the money obtained by leasing it for 99 years.
Accordingly, the Ports Authority has paid the lease and the balance to the General Treasury and the money has been used for other government expenses without repaying the loan due to the low interest rate.
It is reported that even though the General Treasury had repaid the loan and the interest, it was not properly recorded in the books of accounts.
Accordingly, the Ports Authority has written off the balance of Rs. 147,746 million in loan and the interest and Rs. 31,545 million in foreign exchange loss as at November 30, 2017, without the approval of the Treasury or the Cabinet.
It has further been revealed that the amount of foreign loans obtained for the construction of the Hambantota Port is not shown in any government statement at present.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Finance in consultation with the Ports Authority, has recommended that steps be taken to include this information in the Statements and report to the COPE Committee within one month. (colombotimes.lk)
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