Attempt to revive US$480 million MCC grant High-level govt. delegation to visit US

Published : 12:18 am  January 3, 2019 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Sandun A Jayasekera   

A High-level government delegation led by Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera together with Treasury Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga is to visit Washington DC in late January to revive the grant of US$480 million(approximately Rs. 87 billion) from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Daily Mirror learns..

The sum was pledged by the US in September but put on hold during the post October 26 constitutional and political impasse.

A senior Finance Ministry source told Daily Mirror on condition of anonymity yesterday that the government had got feelers from the US government that the suspension of the MCC grant could be lifted, following the restoration of the legally elected government.   

“Our hope is to obtain this grant before the presentation of the budget 2019 in Parliament due before the Sinhala – Hindu New Year,” the source noted.   The Chief Operation Officer of the MCC, Brock Bierman conveyed the message of the approval of the US$480 million compact running to five years when he met President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Summit in New York in September.   “We are confident that we can renegotiate the MCC grant as the US government is satisfied with the turn of events that took place since the restoration of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister and along with his Cabinet,” the source said.