COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka is reviewing a law which allowed sweeping discretionary tax breaks to be given to large projects leaving room for corruption, Deputy Investment Promotions to minister Eran Wickramaratne said.
Minsiter Wickramaratne said the Strategic Development Project Law left too much discretion to negotiate and give tax breaks, and the law was under review.
He said the new administration hoped to take away discretion and ensure rule of law.
The SDP law also gives tax free salaries to expatriate employees of the firms, in another undermining of rule of law while placing nationalist controls over the total number of foreign employees a project can have.
Analysts say in order to create a free environment for foreign investments, companies should be allowed to hire from any country especially when they cannot get local talent quickly enough, but they should be taxed equally.
Sri Lanka’s citizens fought for tax equity to end tax free salaries to state workers. But state worker still get tax free and tax slashed cars in the same way the ruling aristocracy of the medieval Europe had privileges over ordinary serfs.