Cash strapped Sri Lanka is to provide special 40-year tax amnesty for Chinese-built Colombo Port city to attract potential investors as it has so far failed to attract major foreign direct investments after the much-hyped since its opening for investors nearly one year ago, a senior treasury official said.
He noted that that the Cabinet of Ministers recently decided to offer concessions to attract investments to the Port City,.
“This decision has been taken following the measures taken by other countries to provide more competitive tax relief than Sri Lanka in order to attract investors,”he claimed. .
Gunawardana said that if such concessions draw more foreign investors it will help address the dollar crisis in Sri Lanka.
“This decision to give 40 year tax relief has been taken at a time where local investors in the country are eying to invest in other countries such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya due to favourable investment opportunities,” he said.
As an intiqal step the Port City commission is planning to sell 100 hectares of reclaimed land with an investment target of US$ 5 billion.
A total of 269 hectares of land was reclaimed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) in the Port City project.
As Sri Lanka defaulted on USD 51 billion foreign debt with most of its forex reserves drained out with no money to import fuel and cooking gas, the expansive Chinese build infrastructure projects were being showcased as projects that drained public exchequer for that lack of utility
however, later, the last government suspended the project and revised the cause to remove both land ownership and no fly zone in the agreement amid protests by India over security concerns.
Also with the Sri Lankan government desperately trying to secure long-term IMF funding to recover from the complete bankruptcy, the future of the much-touted Chinese funded Colombo Port City project to build an artificial 665-acre island to set up an international financial hub also hangs in balance.
The USD 1.4-billion Colombo Port City project, expected to play a key role in China’s ambitious “Maritime Silk Road” project in India’s backyard, is said to be the single-largest private sector development in Sri Lanka