Following the Government’s announcement that it was in the process of reviewing several projects including the Hambantota hub concept, independent analysts have warned that giving up on the concept would add more debt to the country.
Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahedran recently stated that the Government was in the process of reviewing the Hambantota logistics hub adding that trying to improve the existing harbor and airport facility in Colombo would be a better option.
However, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Colombo and former SEMA Senior Economic Advisor and Financial Service Cluster Director, Dr. Ranjith Bandara speaking to The Nation Gain said that it was only feasible for the current government to build on what has been laid by the previous regime. “If the Government is moving away from the concept, then it should come out with alternate solutions,” he said.
The previous regime had invested millions of rupees to develop Hambantota by establishing a port, an international airport and an international conference hall.
Executive Director, Pathfinder Foundation, Luxman Siriwardena speaking to The Nation Gain pointed out that the halting of projects when new governments come into power was unhealthy for the economy and called for a national understanding among the parties with regard to issues pertaining to national development.
“Look at the Mahaweli project, even when one government lost power, the successive governments continued with certain aspects of the project. Such an understanding is needed at this moment,” he said. “If the government does move away from Hambantota, then the country would reel in debt even further,” he added.