Seize the opportunity for investment, says Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister

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Nov 21, 2016 (LBO) – The Minister of Finance has called on local and foreign entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity given by the government to invest in Sri Lanka, with incentives presented under the 2017 Budget.

The Minister assured that all proposals would be implemented on time and some of the proposals have already come into effect.

“The Treasury officials are working to spell out to giving life to other proposals that will be implemented on January 01, 2017 and others from April 01, with the beginning of the new tax year respectively,” a statement from his office said.

Highlighting the incentives given to foreigners, the minister said that the restrictions on foreign owned companies acquiring land for commercial purposes and restriction on foreign individuals owning apartments from the first floor have been removed.

The minister said linking investment with employment was meant to avoid misuse but the government’s criteria for new investment is the quantum of investment, value addition and labour.

“But if there is a reduction in the generation of labour we are ready to look into the other areas, the capital and the value addition that would bring in.”

On the question of investor friendly visas, the minister said a five year multiple entry visa to such investors and their skilled expatriate labour was already in place.

The minister also said all the banks are making huge profits and therefore “it is time the banks should come out of their safety zones and lend to the people who want money.”