New BoI Act on the horizon
BoI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya said a new BoI Act will be brought on by the United National Party-led government, if elected at the forthcoming election.
“(Law) has not been adapted so far. It has to be thought of. So, after August 17, there has to be a new law that has to be brought in,” he said.
He added that the BoI will consult professionals and the private sector in assessing the impact of new trends in areas such as investment, exchange control, land allocation, etc.
He said that the BoI has now reverted to the 2006 Act following the debacle of the 2014 Inland Revenue (Amendment) Act under which some investments were negotiated and signed, despite not being passed in Parliament.
He further said that the Strategic Projects Development Act has been discontinued but the benefits granted to projects under it will continue to be honoured.
He assured that all efforts would be undertaken to reverse any damage caused by the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Act, No. 8 of 2014, which had stated that concessions will only be provided if investments are made before March 31, 2015.
“It was as if we were asking investors to come in with one hand and asking them not to with the other. That did not boost investor confidence,” he said.
He also criticized the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act of 2011, which nationalized 37 private companies.
Jayasuriya said that the future direction of the BoI will be decided after the elections and expressed that new laws are required to increase FDI inflows to the country.
“Even with the absence of a new law, the BoI is not without teeth by virtue of the 2006 gazette,” he said.