Indian investors deterred by high stamp duty on land transactions

By Mario Andree

With many foreigners eyeing Sri Lanka for investment opportunities and the government beckoning investors for accelerated growth, the massive stamp duty imposed on land purchases by outsiders however was holding back many international businesses who wish to enter the country.

Indian Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Rajiv Mundra said the stamp duty which was imposed on land purchasing by foreign buyers were too high and was holding back many Indian firms who wished to enter the country.

According to him, the stamp duty was 100 percent of the land value which was a deterrent to investors and requested the government to consider a considerable reduction to attract major foreign businesses, especially in the leisure sector.

He said that the high net worth Indians were also considering Sri Lanka as their second home and would purchase houses and apartments in the country if the land prices and stamp duties were right.

Sri Lanka being the largest trade partner in SAARC for India the two countries needed to focus on investments of mutual benefit, so far Indian investment in the country amounted to US$ 150 million and the Indian chamber says it can be increased significantly if prevailing issues in land purchasing, documentation were resolved.

With a recent exhibition on Indian ‘Realty Construction and Construction Material’ organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce the exhibitors and investors who were present according to the chamber were looking for partnerships and opportunities in Sri Lanka.

Both the National Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries hopes the construction and reality links with India will further strengthen favoring the country’s construction sector.

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