Sri Lanka to set tax of around 10-pct for foreigners leasing land

May 14, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s new restrictions on foreign ownership of property will have provisions that will allow non-nationals investing in the country to lease land with a tax of 5 to 15 percent, senior government officials said. Large investment projects may be given permission to purchase land by special approval.

Ferdinando said listed companies where ownership tips over 50 percent may be affected by the rule.

But once company has been in operation for 10 years with proven record of good conduct would also be able to buy land in the future, he said.

In apartment projects foreigners will be allowed to buy from the fourth floor onwards.

Abeywardena said there were concerns about villas in the coastline being owned by foreigners and land being bought for 50,000 rupees a perch and being re-sold for 800,000 later.

Sri Lankan citizens gradually got property rights and the absolute freedom to break up sell or transfer land to anyone they wished (freehold) with the breakdown of the feudal system where the king owned practically all the land, as the island came under European rule.

The British abolished Wadawasam or service tenure outright but later started the first expropriation through a contr