Sri Lanka’s BOI to undergo culture and thinking pattern change to up investment

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May 05, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s investment promotion office, Board of Investment plans to change its culture and thinking pattern to fast track the investment approval procedure in the Island.

“What we are trying to change is the overall thinking pattern and the culture where we present ourselves more like a facilitation agency than a regulatory body to promote investments,” Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman of BOI told reporters at a briefing held last week.

“At the moment 63 investments are awaiting approval. 82 have been approved and are waiting for agreements to be signed. There are 121 companies within implementation while 250 companies are waiting to start operations.”

Jayasuriya says, the BOI is clearing out the bottle necks which had been during the ousted Rajapakse regime and will make decisions independently without the involvement of the present government.

“In terms of FDI’s, there have been so many bottle necks in areas like getting approvals from the treasury and other different groups of people have been involved in the decision making process,”

“Now it will be BOI only that will be responsible for decision making process with regards to the approvals and government has decided that it will not look at, so called strategic developments whereas the BOI law has permitted and capable of handling any amount of investments that are strategically important.”

Projects under the Strategic Development Projects Act get a range of tax holidays and other benefits.

Under Sri Lanka’s Strategic Development Act, sweeping tax concessions to large projects have to be published for public comment, in a bid to limit revenue erosion.

The concession are then approved by the cabinet and tabled in parliament.