Monday, 29 September 2014

New Land Bill: Is it a ‘no – investment’ in Sri Lanka

The Land (Restrictions on Alienation) Bill which was recently placed before parliament for debate appears to have gone beyond its initial mandate and intentions.
It will be recalled that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, proposed, during his Budget Speech in November 2011, that “foreigners” will not be allowed to purchase state land on a freehold basis. This was administratively widened, subsequently, to include both, state and privately owned land. It is the general view that the widening was aimed, primarily, at creating an “affordable” playing field to Sri Lankan nationals wishing to purchase residential property.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Land lease to foreigners face restrictions

Parliament will take up for debate the Land (Restrictions on Alienation) Bill next week. The Bill that was presented to Parliament land Tuesday stipulates retractions on the alienation of lands in Sri Lanka to foreigners, foreign companies and certain institutions with foreign shareholding. It also specifies instances where exemptions can be granted in this connection and makes provision to impose a land lease tax for leasing of lands to foreigners and foreign companies.


(Source: Sunday Times)

New land restriction laws for foreigners jolt Lankan companies

Sri Lankan companies have been thrown into disarray and confusion over a new Land (Restrictions on Alienation) Bill presented in parliament this week which affects land and property if foreign shareholding in a company exceeds the 50 per cent limit.Several company heads told the Business Times that they were shocked after they came to learn about the ramifications of Section 2 (2)(b) of the bill which states that foreign ownership should not exceed 50 per cent for a consecutive period of 20 years from the date of transfer of land. Under the proposed law, all transactions after January 2013 – the effective date – will be affected.
In the event, the foreign ownership exceeds 50 per cent during this period the company stands to be deprived of the title to the land from date of shareholding crossing the 50 per cent foreign ownership. 
(Source: Sunday Times)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

New law on land ownership by foreigners

The government today introduced a new Bill in Parliament that if passed would stipulate restrictions on the alienation of lands to foreigners, foreign companies, or companies registered here with 50 per cent of foreign shareholding.

The Bill titled: 'Land (Restrictions on Alienation)' will be taken up for debate later and passed as an Act soon.


(Source: Daily Mirror)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Unauthorised apartments grab tourist traffic, hotel occupancy impacted

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry hopes of finding a solution to unauthorised tourist accommodation units mushrooming through apartments have been dashed by inadequate legislation to deal with the problem.
Sri Lanka Hoteliers Association President M. Shanthikumar told the Business Times that they raised the issue with the authorities of new apartments giving out their rooms for tourists at lower rates that has left the hotels in the city and in the south without adequate travellers to house especially evident since the last two winter seasons.
The winter season has brought in the numbers of visitors to the country however hoteliers were feeling the pinch with occupancy levels less than expected during this peak period.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Overseas buyers dominate apartment sales in Colombo, Sri Lanka

As prices of prime apartments rise in Colombo, locals have been priced out of the sector, which is dominated by foreign investors, non-residents and wealthy locals, says top agent, JLL
Most prime apartment projects in the Sri Lankan city of Colombo are purchased by overseas buyers, non-residents and wealthy locals, says a leading agent.
The Sri Lanka property market has seen rising property prices since 2009, thanks to improved confidence in the investment market and Colombo, the largest city and the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, is leading the way, says JLL India.