More powers for BOI, assures state minister Dilum

In a bid to further facilitate investors through speedy approvals for investment projects, thereby easing the ease of doing business, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) will be granted more powers in future, Investment Promotion State Minister Dilum Amunugama stated.

He stressed that the new powers would see investors being given more efficient clearance processes for relevant projects, offering investors additional certainty and clarity.
The State Minister made these remarks during a discussion held with the BOI trade union representatives recently.

“It is evident that the modus operandi in obtaining necessary approvals for investment projects causes significant hindrances to investors, which has a considerable bearing on the willingness and confidence of the investors to continue their business. In fact, some projects require approvals from 70 institutions,” Amunugama highlighted.

“In this context, attention has been drawn to leveraging a business model called the plug-and-play model where all clearances and other prerequisites will be in place before the project is awarded to any investor. Here, the business firms are not required to focus on the basic requirements for setting up a business as everything is arranged by the relevant authority, which would be the BOI,” he explained.

“With the new powers in place, the BOI will be equipped to act more independently and effectively and thus, upbeat about wooing more investors to Sri Lana,” Amunugama added.

Moreover, the State Minister pointed out, “In light of the present situation in the country, driving more investments and promoting tourism is the need of the hour. As such, the BOI needs to bend over backwards to make sure that investors feel comfortable and confident in doing business in Sri Lanka,”

Meanwhile, Convenor of the Joint Trade Union Alliance Mahesh Abegunawardana opined, “The delays that are caused owing to the inefficiency of other institutions when granting approvals for projects, are often considered delays of BOI. This is evident with what transpired in the recently declared open Hanthana International Bird Park where BOI was blamed for not granting approvals on time causing a major impediment; however, there were no delays from our end.”

The BOI employees are always geared to perform their duties with utmost capacity and commitment for the betterment of the institution and the country at large, Mr. Abegunawardana added