By Chandra Jayaratne –
Cabinet having approved a proposal by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to suspend the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant agreement has appointed a four member committee headed by Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan to study the deal and propose further action.
If the Government based on the Gunaruwan Committee findings, decide to proceed with the acceptance of the MCC grant, subject to the project scope being amended from the presently agreed three focus areas, the undernoted three projects are recommended for consideration by the Government and MCC, being sustainably value adding substitute projects, which will touch the majority of the citizens, especially the poor and marginalized rural families; and be capable of advancing their livelihoods and future growth and prosperity options:
1. Projects developed leveraging advanced technology and best practices of Irrigation supportive Water Resource Management to optimize and enhance effective Rain Water Harvesting, Collection and Storage opportunities Island wide in a manner facilitating increased
a) hydro-power generation options
b) agricultural and agro –industrial use and
c) rural water homestead supply sourcing
2. A Project in establishing an advanced technology and best practices embedded agro -industrial research, development and innovation centre of excellence; associated with a Research and Training University and an Agro-Industrial Park
3. A Project centered around the development of cost effective business models to provide commercial options leveraging advanced technology and best practice solutions, to optimize renewable energy from Solar, Wind, Wave and Hydro options, to capture associated generation, storage and distribution at mega, medium and at micro level via collective cluster village level
With such sustainable development options being available to the Government and MCC to add long term value to a target group of youth and householders, especially in rural areas of Sri Lanka, who are in expectation of such much needed livelihood support, it will truly be a shame to throw away such an opportunity.