Sri Lanka to fast-track investment approvals

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 24, 2010 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan government has decided to set up a committee of senior bureaucrats from key ministries to fast-track decisions on private sector investment proposals, a spokesman said. Media minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the committee of officials is being created to help eliminate bottlenecks in the normal investment approvals process.

Private sector investments now go through the Board of Investment, the investment promotion agency which also grants tax breaks.

But investors and the private sector are known to be unhappy with red tape and delays they continue to encounter despite the BOI’s mandate to be a ‘one-stop’ investment approvals agency.

Rambukwella said the government had received many investment proposals, including unsolicited proposals from local and foreign investors.

The island’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May 2009 resulting in an economic revival with economic growth projected by the central bank to accelerate to seven percent this year.

If there are bottlenecks this committee of officials will co-ordinate and fast-track decision-making, Rambukwella said.

The committee consists of the deputy treasury secretary, the ca