ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s current administration is selling real estate to foreigners and locals through the back door after coming to power saying promising not to sell an inch of land, opposition legislator Harsha de Silva said.
“From one side they are telling that they will not sell an inch of the country to foreigners,” de Silva told reporters in Colombo.
“But from the other side, they had already made the arrangements through the cabinet approvals, while the companies have been registered through the company registrar with Board of Directors appointed.”
Both local and foreign private sector would be able to buy shares, he said.
De Silva said two companies had been set up called Selendiva Investments Ltd and Sahasya Investments under the Companies Act.
Selendiva will consolidate the government’s high-end real estate assets, especially hotels such as Grand Hyatt, Grand Oriental Hotel, Hotel Developers, and prime land belonging to the Cey-Nor Foundation adjacent to the Lotus Tower.
“It means the hotels which belong to the government such as Hyatt, GOH and Hilton and all the lands adjacent to Lotus Tower will be taken under the Selendiva,” de Silva said.
“So by listing those companies in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) its assets will be sold as it is available to both local and foreign private investors.”
He said Sahasya Investment is said to be a company that will own and manage expressways and assets including land that can be easily accessed through the expressways this company will raise funds and manage expressways both existing and yet to come.
“But they kept on saying in the Parliament that all Expressways will be under the Road Development Authority,” he said.
Sri Lanka has acquired high levels of debt including through state enterprise and the re-acquired SriLankan Airlines, pushing the government towards a debt crisis.
The current administration has said it will use equity and public private partnerships for new projects. (Colombo/Jan14/2021)