The recently established Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka (CDASL) has forwarded a slew of recommendations to policymakers and government bodies in order to develop the industry.
“The need to amend the Apartment Ownership Law and Condominium Law to cater to the changing requirements of the industry, including the growing number of mixed-use developments, have been taken up by the association with the Condominium Management Authority,” a statement said.
The CDASL said that proposals have been made to review the latest Land (Restrictions on Alienation) Act passed in Parliament last year.
“...with particular reference on allowing foreigners to purchase condominium units above the fourth floor without any restrictions, such as the 100 percent inward remittance of purchase consideration and withdrawing the 7½ percent lease tax on rents to foreigners,” it said.
The statement said that considerations should be made to allow foreigners to borrow through the Sri Lankan banking system to purchase apartments, while awarding special residency statuses to foreigners investing a minimum amount of foreign exchange into the country, including for the purchase of condominiums.
“The association also made representations to strengthen the Board of Investment (BoI) and to empower it as a ‘one-stop shop’ to investors. Proposals to remove the negative list or alternatively restricting it to accommodate only those items that could not be manufactured competitively in the required quality and quantity in Sri Lanka were made,” the CDASL stated.
The body also called on the government to exclude value-added taxes (VAT) on apartment sales to make housing more affordable. Currently VAT is charged from housing projects exceeding US $ 10 million, while those below the threshold are exempted.
The objectives of the CDASL are -- to provide a focal point for condominium developers to meet, discuss and solve common problems, to formulate a code of ethics for the industry, to act as a spokesman for the sector in its dealing with the government and other institutions and to promote the interests of the condominium developers.
Any company, firm or proprietorship engaged in any type of condominium development is eligible for election as an ordinary member of the association, whilst those engaged in any type of allied industry or in the provisions of services to condominium developers are eligible for election as associate members of the association.
The CDASL is affiliated with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.