Sri Lanka to abolish tax on land leased to foreigners
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)