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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » ECONOMIC CHRONICLE™ » Government signs two loan agreements with SFD

Government signs two loan agreements with SFD

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Melissa Pereira


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
The government of Sri Lanka has signed two new loan agreements with Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to obtain a part financing for the rehabilitation of A5 road corridor from Badulla to Chenkaladi which is one of the major highways linking parts of the Central Province to Eastern Province geopolitical zones of the country which carry the bulk of the traffic between Batticaloa and Peradeniya via Badulla and to finance procurement of medical equipment for the ongoing Epilepsy Hospital Project.

Improvements to A5 road corridor from Badulla to Chenkaladi would enhance access to markets social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals and integrate isolated segments of the rural population into the overall economy. The reduction in the travel time due to the reduction of traffic congestion, reduction in vehicle operation costs would ultimately reduce the travel cost benefiting both passengers and industries. This project is jointly financed by SFD and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) where the Total Estimated Cost of the project is USD 140 million. Financing Agreement with SFD is to obtain USD 60 million for the project. Financing Agreement with OFID was signed on June 26 to obtain another USD 60 million and government of Sri Lanka would provide the balance financing. With the signing of Financing Agreement with SFD, OFID loan becomes active and the project work could be commenced. Only an interest rate of 2 percent per annum would be applicable for this loan which has to repay in 25 years period including 5 years grace period.

The financing for Epilepsy Hospital comes as an additional financing for procurement of equipment for the ongoing Epilepsy Hospital Project where SFD has provided USD 20 million to construct fully equipped state of art hospital for epilepsy patients. Ten stories hospital building consists of an operation theater, Intensive care unit (ICU); High Dependency Unit (HDU), 242 bedded male & female wards, an auditorium for capacity building for island wide medical staff. The additional financing of USD 12 million is mainly to procure all necessary equipment including device ray CT, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, physical therapy devices, Medical furniture, etc. Only an interest rate 2 percent per annum would be applicable for this loan and repayment period is 20 years including 5 years grace period.

Both Loan Agreements have been inked October 30 in Colombo by Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunge, Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary to the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Eng Youssef AL-Bassam, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of 5FD on behalf of the Saudi Fund for Development.

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