Saturday, 16 August 2014

Land-transfer ban to be eased

Non-citizen children of Sri Lankans or non-citizen next of kin can inherit property

New laws prohibiting the transfer of land to foreigners will allow non-citizen children or non-citizen next of kin of Sri Lankans to inherit property through intestacy or gift, a Cabinet paper exclusively obtained by the Sunday Times states. In 2013, the Finance Ministry issued instructions barring all transfers of land to foreigners and throwing a cloud of uncertainty over inheritance rights. While the law allowed individuals to transfer property by gift or testamentary disposition to their heirs, the Ministry directive forbade it.

The new law envisages a reduced land lease tax of 7.5 per cent for certain categories of companies.


(Source: Sunday Times)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Draft laws to ban foreign ownership of land

New legislation is being drafted to strictly enforce rules pertaining to the 2013 ban on foreigners owning land, which is now being enforced through administrative circulars.
Top government sources said that proposed laws are to be promulgated to tighten loopholes in the administrative process of enforcement .
In the 2013 budget (presented in November 2012), the President proclaimed that foreign nationals and companies would be completely prohibited from owning freehold land in Sri Lanka. Until that time, foreigners were able to purchase land upon the payment of a 100 per cent transfer tax, which many were circumventing through ingenious methods of purchasing the land through a majority Sri Lankan nominee owned companies and later purchasing 100 per cent of the shares, the sources said.
(Source: Sunday Times)