“A loan of $1.2 billion was taken from the banks for Hambantota Port. We definitely must pay this debt off. Therefore, Colombo uses this profit to pay debt for Hambantota.
However, the loan which was taken for the Colombo is being paid with no trouble. We face many difficulties when we have to pay for Hambantota’s debt’s…” Hon. Minister of Ports and Shipping Mr. Arjuna Ranathunga stated.
Minister said this at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority’s 37th anniversary celebrations press conference. This press conference took place at the Ministry of Ports and Shipping today (25). Ports and Shipping Ministry Secretary Mr. L. P. Jayampathy and Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Mr. Dammika Ranathunga participated.
The 37th anniversary of Sri Lanka Ports Authority is on the 1st of August. The celebration week for the anniversary, was published today and this celebration week ends on the 10th of August. Unveiled by President Maithripala Sirisena a new warehouse is due to be open at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
Hon. Minister of Ports and Shipping Mr. Arjuna Ranathunga said that like in the recent, without spending money unnecessarily, the aim for this years’ anniversary is to spend on Ports employees’ welfare and productivity. Minister further stated that for the development of the Colombo port’s Eastern terminal now a large amount of development proposals have been received.
Already 48% of the revenue is paid for the employees’ salaries, overtime and for welfare activities. As per my notice I think none of the companies in this country pays as such. From this remaining percentage of 52% or 53% we have to cover the other remaining activities of the port. However, with a guarantee I can say that we don’t let down employees. If it’s possible we will even give more. Today, some people raise mud campaigns against us. These mud campaigns are done by a group which is not part of the Trade Union. Such Trade union is no registered under the Ports Authority or at the Workers department.
When they have no support from parent parties few people have got together and have made this group. They don’t talk about the employees. They only raise their voices for their private matters. These are people who advocated the privatization of the terminal in the recent past. We have already launched a program to start operations on our Eastern Terminal. East terminal is our best terminal. We currently have a large number of investors, who are willing to invest for development. It's a good trend. We have made discussions on the fact that we are not only planning to develop the Eastern Terminal, we are planning on developing the other terminals as well…” Hon. Minister Arjuna Ranathunga stated.