As BOI fails: Cabinet appoints Special committee to approve FDI
By Mario Andree
The Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to appoint a special committee to oversee and approve investment proposals considering the difficulties high-profiled investors were facing in obtaining the necessary clearance.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his proposal to the Cabinet, stated that several internationally recognised investors had shown interest in investing in Sri Lanka.
However, according to him, the self-proclaimed one-stop-shop, the Board of Investment, was finding it difficult to implement projects which needed approval from investment authorities.
Considering that, the Government has well understood the requirement to establish a more formal methodology to encourage investment, he said.
Therefore, he proposed to establish an ‘Investment Management Committee Appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers’, which will be entrusted with the necessary legalities to approve investments.
According to Minister of Mass Media, Keheliya Rambukwelle the Government will set up two committees, one which would focus on fast-tracking the approval for investments and the second which would focus on providing tax benefits under the Strategic Development Projects (SDP) Act.
He said that one committee would be headed by Treasury Secretary S. R. Attygalle, as proposed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Director-General of Department of Public Enterprise, P. A. Athula Kumara, Additional Director General (Acting) Capital Market, Investments of the Department of External Resources, Vishaka Amarasekara will be Co-Secretaries to the committee Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing Sirinimal Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Power Wasantha Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Labour Mapa Pathirana, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, R. M. P. Ratnayake and Chairman of Board of Investments (BOI) Sanjaya Mohottala will also be members.
During his short stint as Minister for Investment, Rambukwella said that there was a need to restructure the Board of Investment as it was failing to carry out its duties.