Sri Lanka gives sweeping tax breaks for project on acquired land

Ishara S. Kodikara | AFP | Getty Images Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, center, speaks to supporters at the prime minister's official residence in Colombo on December 16, 2018, after he was reappointed as prime minister by Sri Lanka's president, the same man who fired him from the job nearly two months ago.

July 28, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has proposed sweeping tax breaks for a controversial project where lands of private citizens were taken over for a commercial development. The 429.5 million US dollar project in Colombo’s Slave Island area including 130 million US dollars of foreign investments will get a 10 year corporate income tax holiday and a 06 year tax holiday for profits on sale of apartments.

Dividends will also be tax free for 10 years.

A gazette notice under Sri Lanka’s strategic investment law said it was a “pioneer concept for urban renewal enabling the Urban Development Authority to acquire private lands in under developed/underserved areas of Colombo City and provide a better housing/commercial area with amenities to the habitants on a part of the said area.”

Acquisition private lands for commercial purposes by the state had come under fire as a further undermining of property rights and freedoms of citizens in Sri Lanka.

Opposition legislators have also called for giving a legal effect to a policy on involuntary re-settlement of inhabitants by the state, developed in the mid 1990s to protect people from the coercive powers to the state fr