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Feb 22, 2017

Lokuwithana to get 40-acres near H’tota port Featured

The government has reportedly agreed to provide a 40-acre plot of land near Hambantota port to controversial businessman Nandana Lokuwithana to supply cement to the local market, ‘Ravaya’ reports.

The owner of Dubai’s Marriott Hotel is to implement the business as a project of the BOI, which has received the relevant proposal from the development agency that was to be formed under the Prime Minister’s development (special provisions) Act.

The Ceylon Steel at Oruwala, owned by Lokuwithana, submitted the official application to the BOI on January 26.

The estimated investment in the project is Rs. 15,854 million, of which Rs. 11,891 will come locally and the balance Rs. 3,963 m as foreign investment.

It will also provide 500 jobs.

Attempts to reach both the chairman and the director general of the BOI for a comment failed as they were reportedly overseas.

The application says the contact for the project is Nalin Wijeratne, and when contacted, he said a final decision was yet to be received, adding the government’s economic affairs committee would consider it before presenting it to the cabinet.

He said the foreign investment for the project would come as a loan.

A known Rajapaksa loyalist, Lokuwithana recently laid the foundation for a tyre factory at Horana with prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the chief guest, but president Maithripala Sirisena later intervened and suspended the project.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne revealed the 100-acre land given by minister Malik Samarawickrama for the BOI project had been offered at a very low fee.

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