Sri Lanka is to conduct a complete Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the Port City project by China to pave the way for its recommencement, cabinet spokesman, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

Accordingly, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has sought cabinet approval to request the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to conduct an environmental assessment and to reconsider the recommencement of the project.

GDP growth forecast
The Sri Lankan economy is expected to expand to 7.2 percent this year despite a slight increase in the first three months of 2015, on higher growth in tourism, banking and garment manufacturing, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said last week. Karunanayake’s forecast is higher than what economists expect and is above the Central Bank’s estimate of 7 percent growth for the year.

The Central Bank in April said that it expected growth to decline from last year’s 7.4 percent year-on-year due to a slowdown in construction and subdued private investment in the first quarter amid corruption probes on several Chinese-financed infrastructure projects.

RFPs to raise US$500m
Sri Lanka has called proposals from investment banks for a floating or fixed rate loan of up to US$ 500 million with a tenor of three years or more.

The External Resources Department of the Government has said that interest will be paid half yearly on the loan. Accordingly, the investment banks should submit bids on multiples of US$ 100 million for a maximum of US$ 500 million. The proposals should be sent before June 25.

Banks including Credit Suisse, BNP and Barclays have made unsolicited proposals to loan money, at rates around 3.25 to 3.75 percent, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayke has said.