November 16, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to give a range of tax incentives and relaxed foreign borrowing restrictions to boost shipping and allied maritime activity, as part of budget proposals announced Thursday. “Sri Lanka is an island nation which is active in international trade, and we want develop shipping, and shipping service activities as an important economic activity,” President and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapakse told Parliament Thursday.
Ships registered under Sri Lanka flag will be freed from import duty, and charter charges will be exempt from value added tax.
Depreciation on shipping will be raised to 33.3 percent and existing constraints on getting foreign loans to buy ships would be removed.
Stamp duty charged mortgages on ships will be lifted, Rajapakse said. Income of seamen would also be exempt from income tax.