The Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) has welcomed the 2013 Budget presented by President and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on 9 November.
“The 2013 Budget is a positive one aimed at achieving sustainable economic development for the country,” THASL President Jayantissa Kehelpannala said.
He went on to point out that relief has been provided for almost all sectors, especially the agriculture and plantation sectors. The Government’s strong pledge for infrastructure development and the strengthening of tax rationalisation and simplification process is very encouraging, THASL noted.
“As far as tourism sector is concerned, we welcome the relaxation of the exchange rules with corporates now being permitted to borrow up to US$ 10 m per annum for the next three years without exchange control approval.
Further, the proposal to offer 25% discount on the lease rental for local investors will encourage more investment in hotel projects. The taxes applicable to the tourism sector has been kept at almost the same levels compared to the year 2012, which is commendable and depicts the Government’s commitment to have stable economic policies. We are sure that these measures will strengthen the Government’s strategy to develop the tourism sector and to achieve the vision to attract 2.5 m well-spending foreign tourists to the country,” Kehelpannala said.