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Tax and policy incentives for Port City soon

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-Cabinet-Appointed Steering Committee for Financial City to be reappointed again, Harsha likely to return as head
-Port City soft infrastructure development to be under National Policies and Economic affairs headed by PM -Incentives finalised last year, to be announced in coming weeks
-Legal framework to be finalised and presented to Cabinet soon

By Chathuri Dissanayake

Government incentives given for Port City investors will be announced in the coming weeks, while regulations for the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) are also to be presented to Cabinet after presentation to the Prime Minister, Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said.

De Silva, who chaired the Cabinet-appointed CIFC Steering Committee on Soft Infrastructure for the Port City project, told Daily FT that the incentives given for investors in Sri Lanka’s first manmade city would be announced in the coming weeks.

“We had made major progress on tax and investment incentives and they were already finalised to be announced in the Budget, but the coup prevented it,” said Dr. de Silva.

The committee, which has been reassigned under the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, is to be reappointed, de Silva confirmed.

The Port City Project was gazetted under the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry when the Cabinet was reappointed in December. However, the Policy Formulation Committee that was earlier the under National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry was not gazetted under any ministry. This committee will be reappointed under Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s portfolio and is expected to be headed by de Silva, Daily FT learns.

“All legal and regulatory frameworks will be handled by the Prime Minister’s Ministry. These are clearly matters dealing with national polices and economic affairs and coordinated among many ministries, particularly the Ministry of Finance,” de Silva said.

“In terms of the legal framework, former Attorney General Yuwanjan Wijetelleke is the Head of the Legal Task Force and there have been multiple discussions and deliberations on the matter,” he said.

Disputes over land ownership and sales have been ironed out, de Silva said. The legal framework is to be presented to the Cabinet “without further delay,” he said.

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