Colombo Int’l Financial Centre to begin construction
Nov 25, 2016 – The proposal to construct the much awaited Colombo’s International Financial Centre (IFC) will be presented to Parliament next week, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.
The Minister told Daily News Business that they will first open the centre in a 60,000 square meter rented building. “Subsequently this will be moved to the proposed Port City when it’s completed in two years.”
The Minister said Foreign Direct Investments were low and this was one reason that they introduced a series of concessions in the 2017 Budget to woo more investors. “We have also made the one stop shop concept more meaningful by reducing more red tape.”Commenting on the pressure on the rupee he said that this will recover very soon and will not be an issue.
Karunanayake once again disclosed that the enhanced taxes on internet charges were introduced on requests made by telecom operators. “They pointed out that people were moving away from using Voice and are making calls via Viber and Whatsapp and other applications depriving them of revenue and we moved into heed their request.”
With regard to a registration fee of Rs. 250 he said it was introduced so that all new connections will be properly accounted for and it will help to minimse misuse.
The Minister said that people still can use free Wi-Fi offered by the government in public places and they will offer special discounts for students.
He said that they are going to be very tough with regard to Bond Scams and will even go to the extent of bringing in new legislation to curtail such schemes. “This will be in addition to the current measures taken by the Central Bank.”
The Finance Minister also said that investigations are going on with regard to the Bond issue and none of them will be suppressed. “Similarly we will also see that the ongoing invesstigations for the Greek Bonds and Hedging deals would continue.”
He also stressed that the heavy fines for traffic offenders were introduced to to bring in discipline and reduce deaths on the roads.These heavy fines were also suggested and supported by the Transport Ministry.
This government, for the first time in history, started to pay a higher interest rate for deposits on senior citizens’ saving accounts in 2015.Rs.1,450 million and Rs.4,000 million were allocated for this by Budget 2015 and Budget 2016 respectively.