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President appoints three young private sector leaders to Port City Commission

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed seven members to the Colombo Port City Economic Commission, including three young leaders from the private sector.

The Commission, which will be chaired by Gamini Marapana PC, has a three-year term of office and could be re-appointed. The Commission will act as a single window investor facilitator for all the investments and projects in the Colombo Port City. Land within the Port City vests with the Commission and any lease of land for a project will have to be executed with the Commission.

The three private sector young leaders are Orel Corporation Chairman and Managing Director Kushan Kodituwakku, he also sits on the board of the ICT Agency; McLarens Group Group Chairman and Managing Director Rohan de Silva; and Mercantile Investment and Finance Managing Director and Tangerine Group of Hotels Director Gerard Ondaatjie.

Former Chairman of the Board of Investment and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Saliya Wickramasuriya has also been appointed.

Treasury Secretary S R. Attygalle and Water Supply Ministry Secretary Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama are the other two members of the Commission.

Marapana was the Counsel for the Intervenient Petition filed by Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris in support of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Draft Bill recently.

The Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act was passed in Parliament on the 19 May and was ratified by the Speaker last week.

The Port City is an area of 660 acres of reclaimed land located in Colombo within the Western Province of Sri Lanka and is a part of the administrative District of Colombo. This area of land is to be developed as a Special Economic Zone (called the Colombo Port City Special Economic Zone), to facilitate investments and doing business in Sri Lanka with emphasis on the service economy.

In order to carry out business within the Port City, a license must be obtained from the Commission.

The Commission will also sign an agreement which is legally binding with every person doing business within the Port City, setting out the terms, conditions, the total value of foreign direct investment committed to be made and the concessions and exemptions afforded for the project.

The Commission has the power to grant exemptions from the following enactments

The Inland Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017; The Value Added Tax Act No. 14 of 2002; The Excise (Special Provisions) Act No. 13 of 1989; The Customs Ordinance; The Ports and Airports Development Levy Act No. 18 of 2011; The Sri Lanka Export Development Act No. 40 of 1979; The Betting and Gaming Levy Act No. 40 of 1988; The Entertainment Tax Ordinance; Casino Business (Regulation) Act No. 17 of 2010; The Finance Act No. 11 of 2002; The Finance Act No. 5 of 2005; and Termination of Employment of Workmen (Special Provisions) Act No. 45 of 1971.

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