Written by Zulfick Farzan
30 Mar, 2021 | 1:57 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Although the Colombo Port City is under a separate governing body, the power to appoint the said body will be vested with the President, it was revealed at the cabinet media briefing on Tuesday (30).
Joint-Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Udaya Gammanpila said he believes Sri Lanka can be transformed into the business center of Asia through the port city owing to the geographical positioning of the country.
He added that the government hopes to develop the infrastructure facilities that will allow international banks and communication companies to designate Sri Lanka their headquarters.
Minister Udaya Gammanpila assured this the current government does not have any intentions to bring disrepute to the country through the introduction of casinos and other entertainment means, adding the government does not wish to earn profits by destroying Sri Lanka’s culture.
“The Colombo Port City cannot be compared with Hong Kong,” said the Joint Cabinet Spokesperson.
When questioned about the possible threat towards the sovereignty of the country, the spokesperson added that the Port City will purely be handled by a governing body called the Port City commission appointed by the President himself.
Colombo Port City Economic Commission
According to the Port Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill, a President-appointed-Commission named the Colombo Port City Economic Commission will be established for the administration, regulation, and control of, all matters connected with businesses and other operations of the Colombo Port City.
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 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 authorized 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.
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