State departments have 4 weeks to clear a project, or else….

Line agencies have been given four to six weeks to speed up clearances for tourism development projects, in a Cabinet decision passed on Wednesday. Line agencies have been given four to six weeks to speed up clearances for tourism development projects, in a Cabinet decision passed on Wednesday.

All ministries and departments have a maximum of four weeks to grant project approval and if there is no response within this time, the project will be taken as approved, Dr. Prathap Ramanujam, Secretary to the Tourism Ministry said on Thursday.

If the project is to be further investigated, the department is given a further two weeks to make its case, reject the project or suggest changes.

The move follows a bout of bad publicity when global hotel chain Sheraton pulled out of Sri Lanka recently, citing delays of about a year in getting land clearances for a new hotel project.

Project approvals are a red tape nightmare, with as many as ten departments overseeing a single project, ranging from the Urban Development Authority, and Provincial Councils to the Coast Conservation and Archaeological departments and environmental authorities.

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