What is the Colombo Port City Economic Commission? All You Need to Know

What is the Colombo Port City Economic Commission? All You Need to Know

What is the Colombo Port City Economic Commission? All You Need to Know

Written by Zulfick Farzan

29 Mar, 2021 | 4:05 pm

Colombo (News 1st); The Sri Lankan government has decided to establish a President-appointed-Commission named the Colombo Port City Economic Commission for the administration, regulation, and control of, all matters connected with businesses and other operations of the Colombo Port City.

This is detailed in the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill, which was presented to Parliament recently.

446.6153 hectares of reclaimed land from the sea located close to the Colombo Port and Galle Face Green was named as the Colombo Port City Special Economic Zone.

According to the bill recently produced to Parliament, the Colombo Port City Economic Commission is entrusted with the administrative duties of this Special Economic Zone.

According to the bill, the Commission shall consist of not less than five members and not more than seven members and shall be appointed by the President.

The Commission shall have its own Fund and all sums of money as may be received by the Commission by way of fees or charges imposed by the Commission will be credited to this fund.

The Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill goes on to note that seven enactments shall have no application within the area of authority of the Colombo Port City and they are;

1. The Urban Development Authority Act, No. 41 of 1978
2. The Municipal Council Ordinance (Chapter 252)
3. The Commercial Mediation Centre of Sri Lanka Act, No. 44 of 2000
4. The Town and Country Planning Ordinance (Chapter 269)
5. The Strategic Development Projects Act, No. 14 of 2008
6. Public Contracts Act, No. 3 of 1987
7. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Law, No. 4 of 1978

It further goes on to note that exemptions and incentives may be granted from or under the following enactments;

1. The Inland Revenue Act, No. 24 of 2017
2. The Value Added Tax Act, No. 14 of 2002
3. The Finance Act, No. 11 of 2002
4. The Finance Act, No. 5 of 2005
5. The Excise (Special Provisions) Act, No. 13 of 1989
6. The Debit Tax Act, No. 16 of 2002
7. The Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235)
8. The Ports and Airports Development Levy
Act, No. 18 of 2011
9. The Sri Lanka Export Development Act, No. 40 of 1979
10. The Betting and Gaming Levy Act, No. 40 of 1988
11. Termination of Employment of Workmen (Special Provisions)
Act, No. 45 of 1971
12. The Entertainment Tax Ordinance (Chapter 267)
13. The Foreign Exchange Act, No. 12 of 2017
14. Casino Business (Regulation) Act, No. 17 of 2010

Accordingly, the period of validity of such exemptions or incentives granted in terms of this section, shall not exceed forty years.

The designation of businesses as a Business of Strategic Importance and for the granting of exemptions or incentives to such business will only take place after the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal forwarded to the President or the subject Minister by the Colombo Port City Economic Commission.

The bill further notes the Commission may permit an authorised person to engage in business from a designated location in Sri Lanka, outside the Area of Authority of the Colombo Port City, as for a period not exceeding five years from the date of commencement of this Act.

It adds, such business shall, for such period of five years be entitled to all the privileges accorded to, and be deemed for all purposes to be a business situated within and engaged in business, in and from, the Colombo Port City.

After the Colombo Port City Economic Commission is approved by the Cabinet of Minister, it shall be produced to Parliament to be debated.

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