The Sri Lanka unit, Intertrade Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, has a 25 year build operate transfer contract with Sri Lanka's Board of Investment of which 17 years has expired. The land is leased from Sri Lanka' Urban Development Authority.
The draft law listed for expropriation 0.839 hectares of land located in Colombo's D R Wijewardene Mawatha bordering the capital's Beira Lake.
The planned law to be presented to parliament Wednesday is nationalizing enterprises or assets deemed 'underperforming' or 'underutilized' by the state.
Sri Lanka's The Sunday Times newspaper said in its online edition that Pico had made a proposal to build a larger convention centre at a different location, but the fate of the project was not known.
Sri Lanka's constitution has a guarantee against expropriation."The safety of foreign investment is guaranteed through the acceptance by two third majority of Parliament of the Constitutional Guarantee of Investment Protection Agreements," the Board of Investmetn says in its website.
"Under article 157 of the country's constitution, the agreement enjoys the force of law and no legislative, executive or administrative action can be taken to contravene the provisions of a bilateral investment agreement otherwise than in the interests of national security."
The BOI says Sri Lanka has also signed bilateral investment protection agreements with several countries including, which provide protection "against nationalization."
However Sri Lanka's current administration has a two thirds majority and has already changed the constitution once.
The draft expropriation law also lists another firm, Suchir NEB Projects (Pvt) Ltd, connected to an Indian concern.
The draft law has drawn fire from Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party and even the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna for targeting businesses linked to opposition parties, a charged denied by the administration.
Sri Lanka's Bar Association has also called for the law to be withdrawn. The island's main business chambers however have given a muted response, in a statement which indicated that they have endorsed the bill subject to some firms being removed.