By Shehana Dain
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday gave what could be described as a sneak preview of the policy statement to be delivered by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament today.
Speaking at a taxation seminar, Minister Karunanayake said to boost FDIs to the country, Premier Wickremesinghe would be making an announcement today to cancel the leasing rates currently implemented with regard to foreigners, which has been a de-motivator.
The Premier is believed to propose the scrapping of controversial Expropriation Act and some changes to land ownership laws during a special statement in Parliament today ahead of the much-anticipated Budget which will be on 20 November.
“Land which is investment related will be given more ease but we will not just open the system. If we be too flexible, it will be too inimical to the Sri Lankan point of view,” Karunanayake said.
Expropriation laws that were implemented by the former regime were heavily criticised by the business community following the acquiring of 37 formerly State-owned institutionsunder the 2011 Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act No. 37.
When asked what was stopping the new regime from doing away with the much-debated and criticised Expropriation Act, Karunanayake stressed that there were certain legal limitations that had dragged on which needed rectification.