South Asia

Adani Project in Sri Lanka a 'Government-to-Government Kind of Project': Sri Lankan Minister

Ali Sabry said the Indian government chose the investor for the deal.

New Delhi: In an interview that perhaps questions the claim that there is no special relationship between the Narendra Modi regime and the Adani group, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Ali Sabry has said he is not worried about big projects being handled by Adani companies in the country because it is a “government-to-government kind of project”.

In an interview to The Hindu while in Delhi for the G20 foreign ministers’ summit, Sabry said he is confident that the Colombo port terminal project and northern Sri Lanka wind power, both being handled by Adani group companies, will be completed despite issues the group is facing at the moment.

“We are very, very confident that they will do it and we also understand they do have footfall in their air­ports and ports, both in In­dia and outside, in rail­ ways, in renewable energy, and they are seen as a big company,” Sabry told the newspaper. “This speculation on the stock market is not a new thing, this happens all over the world. So, we are not panicking at all.”

Sabry was then asked about the allegation that the Indian Prime Minister’s Office decided that the wind power project should go to Adani, but he refuted the claim that the company was receiving projects because of proximity to the Indian government. In the same breath, however, he said that his government sees the project as a government-to-government affair – meaning not that the governments are directly involved, but they have chosen the investors.

“We were keen on an Indian investor to come in, so who the Indian investor was for the Indian government and the auth­orities to decide and choose and send it to us. And then we will have our own feasibility and fact­ finding, and if we are hap­py, we will take it,” Sabry told The Hindu.

“We have no complaint, so far, because they have been investing, they are go­ing on with the project. And they have been suc­cessful both in India and in the region. So why not? A big name like that comes in. And there are a lot of other countries and other companies could be en­vious of them,” the Sri Lankan foreign minister said. “For us, there is absolute­ly nothing to worry be­ cause it is a transparent process and a government­ to ­government (G2G) kind of a project.”

“And then of course, G2G doesn’t mean that the go­vernment gets involved and is doing business, it means the government identifies the entities. So that is the process which had been followed in the Adanis coming into Sri Lanka,” he concluded.