The government is trying a backdoor move to slip in a clause that classifies local firms, which are 25 percent foreign owned, as non-citizens. The government is trying a backdoor move to slip in a clause that classifies local firms, which are 25 percent foreign owned, as non-citizens. The clause was quietly slipped into the Tax on Transfer of Property Bill, which went before Supreme Court on Friday on an urgent basis.
An opinion is due in 24 hours and it will be conveyed to the Speaker of Parliament.
The Bill reverts back to an earlier Act No: 11 of 2002, which slaps a 100 percent tax on foreigners, to discourage them from owning local properties.
When the previous UNF government abolished the tax two years ago, non-nationals went on a shopping spree snapping up prime beach front properties in the South.
But the new government said it was bringing back the tax to save the remaining coastal properties.
Lands Minister, Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a news conference in June, that the naïve action of the UNF government, saw foreigner picking up Dutch and Portuguese heritage sites along the coastline for a song.