Rs 14 billion aid from Netherlands for construction of rural bridges

Two agreements were signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and Rabo bank of the Netherlands amounting to EUR 70.7 million (approximately Rs. 14.1 billion) for construction of rural bridges and Establishment of National Vocational Training Institute at Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa.

The financing agreement was signed by Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and Director- Rabo bank, Han Bartelds, in the presence of Ambassador of the Netherlands, Tanja Gonggrijp, at the Ministry of Finance.

The government has accorded high priority for connectivity improvement within the country with a view to providing full benefits from mainstream development activities in the country to the remote villages as well. ‘Construction of Rural Bridges Project’ aiming at connecting rural areas to the developed regions by constructing rural bridges have been initiated by the Government a few years ago. A large number of lagging villages will be facilitated with transport facilities through this program.

The Ministry of Internal & Home Affairs and Provincial Councils & Local Government has identified around 200 rural bridges to be constructed with the concessional financial assistance of the Netherlands as a part of the above program.

With the government’s recognition that the provision of quality vocational education and training to the youth in order to create productive employment opportunities is very essential for the social and economic development of the country.

One of the most priorities of the Government of Sri Lanka is to make competent people who will be participating in the national development of the country. In this regard, the Government is willing to introduce knowledge mechanisms to provide required knowledge competencies

The Rabo bank of the Netherlands will provide two Export Credit Facilities to cover 75% of each contract cost. The Balance 25% of each contract cost will be financed by two grants extended by the Development Related Infrastructure Investment Vehicle (DRIVE) of the Dutch Government.