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Govt. to put underutilised assets to full use through legislation

25 March 2021 08:44 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • To form a commission to look into underutilised assets such as state lands and condos

The government plans to bring in new legislation to set up a commission to look into the underutilised assets such as state lands and delayed condominiums, to be put to productive use. 
To this end, the Cabinet of Ministers this week approved a proposal submitted by the President for an establishment of an institution titled ‘Asset Utilisation Reformation Commission’ and providing the legitimate powers required for that institution to take the necessary measures to productively utilise the identified underutilised assets.

The proposal also directed the Legal Draftsman to prepare the draft bill of the said commission, including the necessary provisions. 

The government indicated that it would look at the underutilised state lands and other state assets but was less clear on its wording on condominiums, which are predominantly privately owned. 

“It has become a pioneer requirement to introduce an appropriate methodology for utilising state ventures with assets, including the government lands rendered on long-term lease but is underutilised, condominium properties delayed for construction activities, due to various reasons and underutilised lands,” the Cabinet office said.

It is still premature to judge how the proposed commission would put identified private assets to productive use, i.e. either while they remain with the private ownership or expropriating them. 

The latter gave the government a bitter taste in 2011, when a draconian expropriation law was introduced to acquire a few privately owned assets. 

In any case, Sri Lanka has extremely poor individual property rights, as the state has zero respect for acquiring private lands. 

The proposed commission comes after the budget 2021 made reference to a similar setup and the government said immediate actions should be taken to ensure maximum utilisation of underutilised assets, including the lands, for the betterment of the nation and the national economic development.



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