Govt. to get tough with investors lagging behind

Thursday, 30 June 2011 02:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The government yesterday announced that action would be taken to terminate the deals of four investors who have not started construction as planed in Pasikudah if the government does not see any activity within the next two months.  

Deputy Minister of Economic Development Laxman Yapa Abeywardena yesterday stated that 10 hotels are on the cards to come up in Pasikudah, out of which six have already started construction. However there has been no activity within the past months from four investors and the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa has ordered warning letters to be sent to the parties within this week to either start in two months or to cancel the deals. Abeywardena stated that among the four investors, a Maldivian party was also involved.

According to the Deputy Minister, Sri Lanka will be able to add five more hotels to its portfolio by the end of the year from the targeted Pasikudah construction and the other five will follow during the May- July period in 2012. Within the next six months, the government will get the necessary infrastructure and electricity in the area sorted out. The construction of a helipad is also in the plan. “We are looking at providing electricity to all villages in the area and separating a section to conduct various economic activities to cater to the tourists flocking to the area. Responsibility for the economic zone has been given over to the Provincial council on a one year agreement.”

Malu Malu, a boutique hotel operated by Sri Lanka’s Connaissance Group already opened its doors last month and has employed four persons per room from the area itself. The resort has 40 luxury chalets under its name. If all 10 hotels come into play, some 4000 to 5000 persons from the area would receive employment.

Kuchchaveli, another tourism development zone identified by the Ministry has sold 20 acres to two investors, 10 acres each. One company has already started with the building.  Abeywardena stated that according to the agreements signed the hotels should contribute 2.5 to 5% of its revenue for social community development. Kuchchaveli has a total of 510 acres ready for development.