Sep 14, 2017

Cabinet paper to lease out expressways Featured

The national policy and economic affairs ministry has submitted a cabinet paper, without the knowledge of the subject minister, to lease out the expressways, a trade union leader alleges.

Convener of the trade unions collective for the protection of the RDA Milton Wijayasundara questions another ministry’s submitting a cabinet paper in this manner for a subject that comes under the highways ministry.

According to him, certain top officials of the RDA are behind the move to lease out 170 kms of expressways.

During his talks with highways minister Lakshman Kiriella, he was told the minister did not know about the cabinet paper.

A cabinet subcommittee and a project subcommittee are to be appointed for the purpose, he said.

A finance ministry appointed project committee has recommended handing over to a foreign company the maintenance of the southern, Katunayake and outer circular expressways, said Wijayasundara.

Benefits will not go to the people

He said 99 per cent of the employees were against this move, noting that foreign companies, not the people, would benefit from these profit earning expressways.

However, minister Kiriella stresse that expressways will not be privatized.

State minister objects

Meanwhile, state minister Dilan Perera says he opposes privatizing the expressways.

He has sent a letter to the ministry secretary, raising his objections.

Given below is the letter:

dilan letter