Nimal Siripala meets senior management

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A meeting was held with Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva to discuss expediting ongoing development activities and programmes at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

A senior spokesman for the Ministry said the SLPA Finance Division had revealed that during the first and second quarters of 2021, the revenue generation of SLPA slightly decreased compared to the first and second quarters of this year.

Due to the present economic recession faced by Sri Lanka and trade union action launched in support of the ‘Aragalaya’ at Galle Face, about 17 ships scheduled to call at the Port of Colombo (POC) were diverted to other ports in the region, the official claimed.

It was also revealed in these discussions that due to these issues, several shipping lines are still reluctant to avail the services of the port.

The Minister instructed the Marketing and Business Development Division of SLPA to take necessary steps to acknowledge the shipping lines and their local agents through effective discussions that the port operations were restored and back to normal and strengthen efforts towards attracting more ships to Colombo. 

He said Minister de Silva had also commended the steps taken to purchase new cranes with a financial utilisation of USD 46 million for the East Container Terminal (ECT) even amidst prevailing difficulties and emphasised that his objective was to prioritise development activities of the terminal. The Minister directed the officials to facilitate financial allocations for the remaining ECT construction work on a priority basis. He also instructed SLPA officials to discuss with the relevant contractors and engineers on the progress and future plans of the construction activities of the ECT and report to him on their present status.

He further said Minister de Silva had stressed the welfare of the employees to perform dedicatedly towards efficient and productive operations for the development of the port. The Minister instructed a Committee headed by the Vice Chairman of SLPA be appointed to resolve employees’ issues starting with suitable meal and food menus. He said Health Ministry advice should be sought for the preparation of a nutritional package of meals for the SLPA employees.

The spokesman elaborated that the Minister had also instructed officials in the Medical Division of SLPA to take measures to purchase a new bedside monitor, presently needed at the Division for patient care and observation and to replace broken X-ray machines with new machines under tender procedures. In the discussions, attention was focused on the Ports of Galle and Trincomalee and commencing port related industries in them. He called for the re-evaluation of proposals received from suitable investors and to act according to relevant procurement procedures to obtain investment without delay.

The senior management of SLPA participated. Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, K.D.S. Ruwanchandra and SLPA Vice Chairman, Gayan Algewattege also attended the meeting.