Expert Committee on MCC Submits Report to President

Courtesy lk.USEmbassy

The Expert Committee appointed to review the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact (MCC) states that account details of payments made at two stages of the Compact cannot be found.

According to a media release from the Presidential Media Division, the MCC had been signed in two stages, 2017 and 2018 during which time USD 7.4 million and USD 2.6 million had been granted respectively.

The Expert Committee’s findings were presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat on June 25th.  The media release states the Committee’s report will be made public in due course.

The committee’s findings follow a six month study, which considered ‘opinions, views and suggestions from various sectors of the society including experts, voluntary organizations, public entities and individuals,’ the release states.

According to the Chairman of the Committee, Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Professor of Economics of University of Colombo, “no multi-sectorial analysis had been conducted by the focal points of the then Government entrusted with the task of reviewing before the signing of the Compact,’ the release added.

He has also stated that submitting a counter-proposal or resolution once the project has been adopted as an Act of Parliament, would amount to a violation of the agreement.

As well  two representatives of the MCC, could, through a letter, amend any condition of the Compact, which would amount to a violation of the sovereignty of parliament, Professor Gunaruwan has said, the media release further states. “It had created a situation where the Attorney General cannot represent the Government or go to Courts,” the Chairman said.

Members of the committee had also informed the President on the current status of countries where the MCC had been implemented, describing them as tragic.

The President had, thereafter, directed the Secretary to the President to place the recommendations of the committee before the public, according to the media release.

The four-member Committee was appointed with effect from January 01st, 2020, following a Cabinet decision made on December 18, 2019.

Other members of the committee are the former Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Dr. D. S. Jayaweera, President’s Counsel Justice Nihal Jayawardena and architect Nalaka Jayaweera.

The interim report of the Committee had been handed over to the President on February 17th.

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