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Sri Lanka to smoothen path for investors: ministers

Nov 17, 2010 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan state committee has finalized a report that has identified issues blocking investment and has proposed remedies to fast track projects, especially by speeding relevant government approvals, ministers said. Analysts say many laws passed in the legislature contain clauses such as the need for ‘ministers’ concurrence’ which promotes arbitrary rule by giving the power to ministers to deny rights to citizens who fulfill needed criteria under a specific legislation.

In addition to promoting arbitrary rule, such clauses also expand discretionary power of rulers and open the door to corruption.

Deputy economic development minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said multiple approvals were now needed at central and local government levels which delayed projects and a single ‘one-stop-shop’ was needed to quickly grant approvals.
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The report was prepared by a five member committee headed by investment promotions minister Sarath Amunugama, in which Abeywardene and attorney general Mohan Peiris also participated, he said.

Investment promotion minister Sarath Amunugama said the report, after being handed over to the President would be given to the cabinet of ministers for action.

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