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Sri Lanka to abolish tax on land leased to foreigners

Sep 11, 2016 09:19 AM GMT+0530 | 2 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lank plans to abolish a tax on land leased to foreigners or foreign companies according to draft changes to an existing law proposed this month, which may slightly expand the freedom of citizens to sell land to a buyer of their choice.

Sri Lanka's government gazette published on September 02 proposed an amendment to the Land (Restrictions on Alienations) act.

The proposed amendment said the Land Lease Tax will not apply to a lease of any land to a foreigner, or a company where the foreign holding is fifty percent or above, on any lease executed after January 01, 2016.

Sri Lanka also has restrictions on the sale of freehold land to foreigners, restricting the rights of citizens to sell their land to foreigners. The restrictions on citizens free hold rights were part of the nationalist law imported mainly from Eastern Europe after native rulers got control of the parliament and tax system built in the country by Western powers.

Sri Lanka also enacted laws to deny citizens language freedoms, and deny citizenship to thousands who were born in the country shortly after gaining self-determination in 1948 and naturalisation was effectively stopped, analysts say.

In one of the worst nationalist laws in the country, foreign-born spouses of Sri Lankans are not even given permanent residence. Sri Lanka is now recovering from a 30-year civil war. (Colombo/Sept11/2016)


 

2 Comments

  1. Mike Greene December 15, 04:47 AM

    Sri Lanka desperately needs investment, and one of the easiest and fastest ways to get it is through tourism. Yet those foreigners who wish to buy a holiday home (even by just leasing the land) are prevented from doing so, as rules and regulations change every five minutes. The situation is unstable and crazy.
    Meanwhile, Thailand, Singapore, and most surrounding countries with stable policies reap all the benefits. Of course no country wants to surrender its land to foreigners. Sri Lanka - like all countries - must be careful. But there is a difference between a German businessman and his wife who would like to build a small holiday home, and a country like China who want to take over the world by stealth and land acquisition.
    Sri Lanka needs to wake up. Introduce a stable, consistent policy that allows foreigners to lease land on which they can build a property (the land will always belong to the state, not the foreigner).
    Only with mature and developed policies can the country encourage confidence, and then investment. Start with tourism. Start by introducing legislation that lasts longer than 6 months. In the name of God, GROW UP.

  2. sacre blieu September 12, 08:49 AM

    There should be a limit to this foreign label and ownership. There will come a time, if some of these proposals are made law, we Sri Lankans, due to the depreciation and more the devalued currency,and its ramifications both social and warped economics, the whole of country will be owned by foreigners directly or by representation in various questionable or deceptive ways.

    The population is expanding much too much and is taking its toll on the environment in multiple ways. The end result will be for a few favoured will gain the major proportion of wealth to the misery of the many.

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