High Status

May 15, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said Tuesday it has received BOI status from the Board of Investment that would enable it to import and buy locally project-related items free of customs duty. However, the company would not be exempt from income tax like other firms with BOI tax concessions.

SLT Chief Executive Shoji Takahashi said that giving the company BOI status would make the county’s fast growing telecommunications sector a level playing field as all SLT’s competitors are currently enjoying benefits of BOI status.

SLT plans to invest 20 billion rupees (200 million US dollars) within a period of two years to develop telecommunication and data oriented services in Sri Lanka.

Its subsidiary, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, also Tuesday signed an agreement with the BOI for its Stage III GSM and 3G expansion project.

“This additional infrastructure investment will further drive capacity to extend services to a total of 1,750,000 subscribers,” a company statement said. The Stage III expansion drive is meant to build on both the existing voice-centric services and to significantly expand non-voice services.