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Local companies play major role in construction of expressways - PM

The country's construction industry has developed to a great extent under the Good Governance Government with Expressways being constructed by local construction companies, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

The Prime Minister said that the Second Phase of the Central Expressway is being extended and the Government will provide all support and facilities to local companies involved in the construction work.

He added that the Private and Government sectors will have greater involvement in the construction industry in the coming decade.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was speaking after inaugurating ‘Build Sri Lanka - 2018’, the premier Housing and Construction Exhibition organised by the Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka (CCI).

The exhibition which is being conducted for the 14th consecutive year is be held from May 18 to May 20 at the BMICH.

The Prime Minister added that work on the Second Phase of the Central Expressway is being carried out by the local construction companies and would be completed within the given time framework.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe added that there are many areas to be developed in the constrution sector in addition to the construction of Expressways which would strengthen the economy, such as, infrastructure and private sector participation.

“We have recommenced the rural housing project programme that was initiated by late President R. Premadasa,” the Prime Minister said. “The demand for houses is not limited only to the rural sector. There is a demand for houses in the urban areas, suburbs and in the North as well. We will give priority by catering to the housing requirements of middle income earners,” the Prime Minister said.

He further said the government has received USD 200 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

“The Government would also look into the housing needs of the Northen people.The government had provided houses to a section of the people who lost their properties due to the war,” the Premier said.

“Estate sector people have no plots of lands to construct their houses and they too should be provided with houses,” the Premier said.

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi allocated money for that purpose. We have to find lands for that purpose after holding discussions with the estate companies. We would have to acquire lands in those areas where the estate companies do not have space,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Wickemesinghe also said that the housing loan scheme for the middle income class would commence soon. Loans would be granted through the National Savings Banks for this purpose.

The Premier said that the CCI is a key player in Sri Lanka's economy.

He added that the CCI makes the largest contribution to the construction induistry.

“There are two Ministers responsible for the construction industry, one being Megapolis Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka who attends to modernizing the Sri Lankan construction industry while the other being Sajith Premadasa who attends to Construction Ministry plans,” the Prime Minister said.

“We are eternally grategul to the Armed Forces personnel who made great sacrifices to end terrorism in the country. We have to recall the fact that a large number of innocent people died due to terrorism,” the Prime Minister said.

Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa also adressed spoke on the occasion. Past President of CCI Engineer Maj. Ranjith Gunathilake, CCI Past President Deshabandu Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe, CCI Vice President Mahanama Jayamanna and CCI Secretary General Eng Nissanka N.Wijeratne also were present on the occasion.