SLT gets BOI status
More investments in digital platform:
MORE INVESTMENT: Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama presenting the BOI
document to SLT CEO, Shoji Takahashi. Minister of Investment
Promotion Naveen Dissanayake looks on.
Picture by Wimal Karunatilake
APPROVED: Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the country's only
integrated communications provider received BOI status from the Board of
Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) enabling them to import and purchase
(locally) project related items free of Customs duty.
Minister of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development Dr.
Sarath Amunugama said this has been done to promote more investments
from SLT to Sri Lanka and also to create a level playing field among
The Minister said letters of BOI status was given to 50 projects
representing a total value of over Rs. 58 million in foreign investment
and a further Rs. 33 million local investments.
The 50 projects approved represent many sectors such as container
services, housing and property development, shopping and office complex,
call centers and BPOs, computer development, hotels, restaurant
services, IT enabled services, export-import trading houses, fuel, gas
and petroleum, power generation plants, building materials, rubber
products, garment accessories and other areas. An estimated 8,821 new
jobs will be created when the projects are established.
"Under the Mahinda Chinthana, the Government has taken action to
promote investment on a large scale to boost economic development," he
Chairman BOI Dhammika Perera said BOI has now taken measures to
fast-track investment and now has a policy of giving over the counter
approvals for projects. "This may be the first time in the world that
BOI status is provided over the counter," he said.
A new simplified application form, which is investor friendly, has
been introduced replacing the 12-page form the investors had to fill
before. "This also costs the investor over Rs. 100,000 to fill from a
third party," he said.
CEO SLT, Shoji Takahashi pledged to invest in its digital platform
under its Stage III GSM and 3G Expansion to the tune of US $ 225 million
within a period of 2 years to develop the telecommunication and data
oriented services in Sri Lanka.
He said this would pave the way to rapid development of
communications in the country. Sri Lanka Telecom one of the country's
most valuable blue chip companies has an annual turnover in excess of Rs.
It was also stated that the BOI was looking at providing further tax
holidays for the SLT.
Another important agreement on the SLT approval is a special
agreement to develop telephony and data orientated services in Sri
Lanka. The value of this agreement is US$ 20 million.