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The Working Group on Development Cooperation under the framework of the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission concluded its 3rd meeting in Brussels on 13th February 2019. The meeting was held in a positive, open and constructive atmosphere. It was co-chaired by Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and -      Mr. Micha Ramakers, Deputy Head of Division (Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia), Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) of the European Commission (EU). Senior officials from the European Union and Sri Lanka also participated in the meeting.

The EU and Sri Lanka have enjoyed diplomatic ties that span for more than 40 years. To date, nearly US $ 262 million of grant assistance from European Union to Sri Lanka has been recorded in ERD. Apart from the above recorded grants, the EU has provided humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka at needy situations i.e. floods, droughts, and landslides.

The total allocation of EU grants to the focal sector "Integrated Rural Development" is EUR 107 million, out of which EUR 60 million has already been committed and EUR 10 million will be committed in 2019 for the Food Safety and Quality Programme while the remaining amount of EUR 37 million is envisaged for the Agriculture sector as a budgetary support.

The total grant allocation for the “Democratic Governance and Reconciliation” sector is EUR 80 million, out of which 62 million has already been committed for the reconciliation, the support to Public Finance Management and the STRIDE programmes. The Annual Action Programme 2019 foresees a further action with an allocation of EUR 18 million to support the Justice Sector.

Sri Lanka and the EU agreed on working continuously for supporting the "Mundeni Aru Basin Development Project" by providing a grant amounting to EUR 10 million from EU’s Multi-annual Regional Indicative Programme for Asia (MRIPA) which is proposed to be implemented and co-financed by the AFD.

The EU briefly informed about the ongoing preparations for the next multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027 at the meeting.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction at the overall performance of the ongoing programmes and projects supported by the EU. An outline of potential areas of cooperation identified by the Government of Sri Lanka was presented at the meeting, while the EU shared information on the main guiding principles and elements for the next Multi-Year Financial Framework from 2021 onwards and the new Cooperation Instrument, Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI).

The next WGDC will be held in Colombo in early 2020.



With the present development of the Colombo City and its suburb, many skyscraper buildings with multiple floors are being constructed and hence there is an urgent necessity for ensuring the safety of these properties and the inhabitants.

However, the vehicle fleet of the Fire Service Department in Colombo Municipal Council is very old and incurring a significant expenditure for annual maintenance. Hence there is a necessity to have a new fleet of vehicle in order to minimize the maintenance cost as well as to ensure the safety of the properties and the inhabitants.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Internal & Home Affairs and Provincial Councils & Local Government has concluded a contract agreement with the M/S Rosenbauer International AG with a total estimated cost of Euro 10,317,000 (approximately Rs. 2100 mn) for Supplying of Firefighting Vehicles and Equipment for the Colombo Municipal Councils. 6 medium tank fire fighting and rescue vehicles, 3 heavy tank fire fighting vehicles, 2 heavy rescue vehicles, a mobile command centre and 3 aerial ladders will be supplied under this contract.

The UniCredit Bank, Austria, AG agreed to provide a loan of Euro 10.317 million in support of the above project. The Loan Signing ceremony of the above Loan Agreement with the UniCredit Bank was held at the premises of Bank Austria in Vienna with the participation of Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Director General of the Department of External Resources, Mr. Dieter Hengl (Member of board) and Mrs. Mary-Ann Hayes on 12th February 2019.



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The Government of Sri Lanka has entered into a loan agreement worth of USD 50 million with the Asian Development Bank to finance the Rooftop Solar Power Generation Project. 

The main objective of this project is to support government’s “Battle for Solar Power Programme” to achieve the target of 200 MW by 2020 and 1000 MW by 2025 through solar power generation. Clean and sustainable power generation will be enhanced through the proposed project by increasing debt facilities and funding for the rooftop solar power generation, developing solar rooftop market infrastructure and bankable subproject pipeline. It is expected to add 50 MW to the national grid under this project. 

The Department of Development Finance of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media which is the Implementing Agency of the project, will coordinate with the selected financial institutions to provide credit facilities to the customers to purchase Rooftop solar panels from reliable suppliers who registered under the Sustainable Energy Authority. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company Ltd (LECO) will support the project implementation by providing technical recommendations to the Financial Institutions regarding technical proposals of the applicants (customers) and reviewing and approving applications for connection of solar rooftop systems to the distribution network and confirming quality of generated power. In addition, customers will be benefited financially through one of the system among net metering, net accounting or net plus as a result of connecting solar electricity generated by this project to the national grid. 

The total investment cost of this project is USD 59.8 million of which USD 50 million will be provided by ADB. Equity contribution by customers for the subprojects will be USD 9.8 million. 
In this connection, Dr. R H S Samaratunga, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Ms. Sri Widowati, Country Director of ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission on behalf of ADB, signed a Loan Agreement on 18th September 2018 at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media. 










As proposed by the "Vision 2025: An Enhanced Country” Government's Development Policy and the "2030 Western Region Megapolis Masterplan, Government has decided to set up an efficient and comfortable passenger transport system to address the heavy traffic congestion in Colombo city and suburbs. Accordingly, under the financial and technical support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Light Rail Transit System (LRT) project will be commenced in 2019.

The proposed Light Rail System has designed to construct 17 km long elevated rail track including 16 stations to cover important and major intersections from Malabe to Colombo Fort. The project will be completed in 2026 and establishes the connectivity between many administrative complexes, commercial hubs and densely populated residential areas of the city.

Under the proposed light rail system, 25 trains will be deployed for the service and each unit will comprise of Four- air conditioned passenger compartments to accommodate 800 passengers. Based on the demand during the peak hours, trains will be operated with a minimum three minute headway to ensure an efficient and comfortable ride for the passengers.

As per the feasibility studies conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Region Development, total estimated cost of the project is Japanese Yen 246, 641 million. Out of the total estimated cost, JICA will provide JPY 200,415 million (approx. USD 1,800 million) as a concessionary loan which is the highest ever foreign loan investment made for an infrastructure development project in Sri Lanka.

The Loan Agreement and the Exchange of Notes pertaining to this project were signed on March 11, 2019 at the Ministry of Finance for the purpose of obtaining a loan of Japanese Yen 30,040 million as the first phase of loan facility. The agreements were signed by the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga on behalf of the GOSL and the Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency Akira Sugiyama and Chief Representative of JICA, Mr. Fusato Tanaka on behalf of the Government of Japan. 1



The OFID has been a major Development partner of Sri Lanka providing financial assistance to implement a number of strategically important development projects during the past two decades. Under current portfolio, OFID provides financing for road and irrigation sectors. The lines and working pattern of our workforce is bound to change with both emerging technologies and changing demand for skills. Therefore, it is necessary for Sri Lanka to align its education and skills development programme with emerging needs. The Vocational Training, Science, Technology and Research will be coming together for providing professional skills needed. The government recently introduced the 13 year mandatory education policy. It is compulsory to provide required infrastructure facilities and equipment with modern technology for practical activities as well as training of teachers. Accordingly, the Ministry of Education expects to construct technical laboratories and provide required machinery and equipment to the schools through the above project. The total cost of the project is USD 60.70 million. The OFID has agreed to provide a loan of USD 50.0 million in support of the above project. The balance USD 10.70 will be borne by GOSL. The Loan Agreement has been signed today, 3rd July at the Headquarters of OFID in Vienna, Austria by Dr R.H.S. Samaratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media on behalf of the Government of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director General of OFID on behalf of the OPEC Fund for International Development. Ministry of Finance and Mass Media Colombo 01 Sri Lanka On 3rd July 2018


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