Saturday, August 12, 2017

India keen to run Sri Lanka airport

Colombo: India has expressed interest to operate Sri Lanka’s second international airport situated in Mattala, about 40 km from the southern town of Hambantota, where China has majority stake in a strategic port it built.

The Sri Lankan government earlier this week cleared Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva’s request for a committee to study the Indian government’s proposal. India proposes to “operate, manage, maintain and develop” the airport through a joint venture, holding 70% of the equity for 40 years. According to the Minister’s Cabinet paper, India is to invest $205 million in the venture, while Sri Lanka would pitch in the balance $88 million.

The development comes less than a fortnight after Sri Lanka signed a $1.1 billion deal with China, giving the state-run China Merchants Port Holdings a 70% stake in a joint venture to run the port. Additionally, Colombo also roped in China to help develop an industrial zone in the adjoining land, spanning some 15,000 acres.
12/08/17 Meera Srinivasan/The Hindu

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