Sri Lanka: The project proposal to set up an integrated High Speed Electric Train Production plant as a BOI venture in Sri Lanka was a bogus project.
State Minister of International Trade, Sujeewa Senasinghe at the BOI alleged that this project was created to obtain BOI approval and then use it to channel black money and gains other advantages. Minister said that though this project was an Italian investment running into over US$ 500 million the registered company does not have a single Italian investor named in it. In addition three of the Directors listed in the company have financial irregularities in Sri Lanka and they are listed in the CRIB. He said that this is why this project did not get BOI approval and the investors then stooped to the low level to state that him (Sujeeva) and Minister Malik Samarawickrama had request 10% as a bribe to approve the project.
Minister said that similarly there was a proposed mega development project to build World Capital Centre (WCC), billed to be Asia’s tallest building with a US$ 2 billion investment and it too did not get approval as there were issues of the credibility of the investors.
Meanwhile Minister said the BOI always encourages genuine investors and in the first six months they have received US$ 1,428 million investment. “This is a 130% increase as against the first six months of the previous year which was US$ 601 million.”
“We are hoping to end the year with over record US$ 2.5 billion FDI.”
He also said that the depreciating rupee is also an advantage to attract FDI as manufactures could gain more for their products.