Sri Lankan company R&D tax breaks go a-begging

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan companies have been given generous tax breaks to encourage research and development but the incentives are hardly used, an energy expert said.

The government has given a very attractive 300% tax rebate on R&D aimed at encouraging more corporate research and innovation.

But Tilak Siyambalapitiya, Energy Consultant at Resource Management Associates (Pvt) Ltd., said only a few firms were known to be claiming the tax credit and the phenomena was not widespread.

“Tax credit availability is not known. Many researchers do not know about it. The interaction between industry and research is very poor,” he told ‘R4TLI’ or Research for Transport & Logistics Industry, held by Sri Lanka Society of Transport and Logistics in with Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka.

“Manufacturing industry broadly lacks basic research knowledge, particularly on their energy problems,” he said.

In government-owned services and utilities research was almost non-existent except at individual unit levels, not at corporate level, Siyambalapitiya said.

In the private sector, hardly any analysis goes on beyond production engineering and processes.

“Targets are met, products come out but not with optimal use of resources,” Siyambalapitiya said.
(COLOMBO, June 17, 2016)

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