In the continuing series of blog posts we must be extremely grateful to Dr Harsha de Silva MP for making a big noise about the sweetheart deal Packer was getting, that the Govt. decided to postpone the Casino concessions gazette. The con that the JVP, Hela Urumaya, NFF, Muslim Congress, BBS, Sihala Ravaya and others were making were merely political posturing to gain favor amongst their own faithful and nothing to do with what is good for the Country.
On the role of Tax incentives, I will merely refer to the link on a publication by IPS http://www.ips.lk/publications/series/working_pap/incentivizing_foreign_ips/incen.html that shows there are far more important aspects about responsible Govt. and stability of policy framework that play a part in Investment Decisions, and unlike what Laxman Yapa Abeywardene – deputy minister of investment promotion in the Economic Development Ministry, said when he put his foot in his mouth, that it is tax incentives that will bring investors into Sri Lanka. He must be meaning that as this Country is a den of thieves especially in Govt. only tax holidays will persuade people here, as all the more important reasons of drawing investments to Sri Lanka are absent despite what the Govt. says!!
So as the article in today’s Ceylon Today points out http://www.ceylontoday.lk/83-45773-news-detail-govt-should-make-packer-pay-taxes-and-let-him-have-his-casino.html why should SL give more than is necessary, and follow the practice of all other countries in NOT giving tax concessions at all, and follow normal business rules after selling the license at a market rate of US$1B which can be proved as a minimum value of a gaming license bearing mind the particular advantage of SL with its proximity to India. http://www.kalpanakaranna.blogspot.com/2013/10/free-electricity-if-sl-govt-sells.html
I will add a further dimension to this, by suggesting that we build the Mega Resort in somewhere such as Kalpitiya, which will develop a zone away from Colombo, which is already crowded and has more organic growth space requirements, that should not be further squeezed by a resort catering to the Foreigners. The infrastructure can then be developed to cater to that, which like the Vegas resorts allow a larger area for more time for families where not single gamblers but families, especially from the 100Milllion wealthy Indian population the main target market, who will then have a place to come within a two hour flight from anywhere. There must be discussion on how this whole project can benefit Sri Lanka and NOT a few individuals or Companies as is the case at present, as their self interest appears paramount over the Nation’s.