Work of the First Phase of the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (MMRP) had been completed and there was a necessity to enter into agreements with major shipping corporations of the world if the port was to earn profits, the MP said.
Participating in the Committee Stage debate on Budget 2015 under the expenditure headings of the Ministry of Highways, Ports and Shipping, MP Gunawardena said that opposition MPs got their wires crossed and misinterpret the entering into agreements with shipping corporations as selling off the MMRP.
MP Gunawardena said that the Opposition was making false allegations. “Instead they should speak truth. When the late President J.R,.Jayewardene was establishing the Sri Lankan Airlines, the government obtained a loan from the Bank of Ceylon. The interest of the loan is increasing causing a huge difference between the income and expenditure of Sri Lankan airlines. The fuel prices increased heavily during the last ten years. Low-cost airlines coming to Sri Lanka because they have a market here,” he said.
The Deputy Minister pointed out that Sri Lankan Airlines have cut down its losses by 34 percent this year and turned the losses of MihinLanka around. (Special Reporter/HC)