Sri Lanka’s state-owned SD&CC have sought Cabinet of Ministers approval to engage in facilities worth USD 230,200,000 (USD 230 Million) and Rs 734,000,000 to procure heavy equipment ostensibly for requirements of various state-owned enterprises.
The colossal spend – via loan agreements with Chinese-owned companies at interest rates of up to 10% – has caused observers to be rather sceptical.
They point to the rule-of-thumb where in the construction industry routinely the cost of machinery accounts for 30% of the contract.
It was also pointed out that the annual turnover of SD&CC was ‘only’ RS 4 Billion per year. Using this analysis, the SD&CC will need to increase their turnover to Rs 160 Billion over a period of 4 years.
At least one of the Chinese Companies is alleged to have as their de-facto agent a person who has and continues to, work closely with the Prime Minister – and is currently accompanying the Premier to Italy.
Not far from Italy is possibly the world’s most dense location for Banking. The state of San Marino has approximately 140 banks per 100,000 people and is a well-known financial services centre.