The Sunday Leader

President To Discuss Controversial Tyre Factory Project

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya

President Maithripala Sirisena is to call for an urgent meeting this week to discuss a controversy which has arisen over a tyre factory in Horana.

Cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that a special discussion will be held on the tyre factory. He said the government would reassess the land value of the 100 acres given to the project.

Senaratne had earlier said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was not aware of some issues in the project before he agreed to attend the launching of the project.

The Anti-Corruption Front recently alleged that the land for the project was leased on US $ 1 per acre per year, whereas the normal lease would amount to US $ 3850. Therefore, the government incurs a loss of US $ 3849 per acre per year, which amounts to US $ 384,900 for the 100 acres.

However the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade denied the allegations and said that the 100 acre land at Horana, Wagawaththa Industrial Zone is a bare undeveloped land undulating in most areas.

The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade said the total investment of this project is USD 75Mn (Rs 11.25 Bn). The Ministry said the project will employ around 3000 people and will add value to the rubber produced in Sri Lanka and convert raw rubber to radial and solid tyres.  According to the Ministry, the annual export earnings will be above USD 125Mn. Initially, the Board of Investment (BOI) took steps to acquire a private land in Horana but since the owners of that land were unwilling to sell the property BOI was instructed not to acquire that land as per the President’s observation in a Cabinet Paper dated June 2,2016.

The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade said the investor should not be penalized for this delay on the part of BOI to make available the land and accordingly a Cabinet Memorandum was submitted on October3, 2016 identifying the BOI owned land at Wagawaththa and explaining this position.

Accordingly approval was granted by the Cabinet on granting the tax concessions prevailing at the time of the application.

2 Comments for “President To Discuss Controversial Tyre Factory Project”

  1. kudson

    make hay while the sun shines says malik

  2. Kamal Gamage

    Give anything free if the government can, but please state clearly in the agreement that they must purify water properly. Keep every ones in mind what happened Weliveriya will not happen here. This is mainly because, in Rubber industries, the ACID is used heavily.

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