New Legal And Tax System For Port City

by Easwaran Rutnam

Champika Ranawaka

A new legal and tax system is being drafted by the Prime Minister’s office for the Port City (Financial City) to be enacted once the project is completed.

A new company will also be formed to manage the Port City once it is completed, along with  the Colombo Municipal Council while another company will be formed to provide utilities, like water and electricity.

Port City will be formally declared as part of Sri Lanka once reclamation work is completed, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka said.

A total of around 269 hectares of sea is being filled by a Chinese company to create the new city and part of it will be developed by the Government and the rest by the Chinese company.

The Minister told reporters at the site of the Port City that almost 50 percent of the reclamation work has been completed for the project. He said that once the reclamation work is over the President will declare the new land as part of Sri Lanka and as a special urban development area.


New legal system

He said that once the reclamation work is completed the Chinese partners and the Sri Lankan Government will call for expressions of interest to develop the land. The Minister said that the Prime Minister’s office is at present working on the legal system which will apply to the new property which will be part of the Port City.

“Once the land reclamation is completed we need to introduce a new piece of legislation,” he said. Champika Ranawaka said that reclamation work for the new city will be completed in 2019 but proposals will be sought to develop the land after stage one of the reclamation work is completed.

Meanwhile, in a statement earlier, the Managing Director of Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, Jiang Houliang, was quoted as saying that sand dredging for the Port City project is being carried out after a detailed environmental impact assessment.

“It is carried out in a completely sustainable manner at distances of over 7km from the shoreline, and at depths of 15 m or more. The dredging has no impact on coastal erosion or fisher livelihoods. Representatives of fishermen have come on board the dredger to personally observe the advanced technology we use. The dredgers used are the best in the world and their GPS tracking records are available for public scrutiny via internet,” he said.


Benchmark in sustainability


Speaking at the 11th Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka, Houliang said that Port City Colombo’s vision is to be the benchmark in environmental friendliness and sustainability. He said that the new city which will be a show piece for the rest of the world would be a place where environmentally friendly people, organisations and visitors will want to live and do business and the transit population will be allowed to practice their environmentally friendly habits.

Port City Colombo even plans to incorporate sustainability guidelines for third party developers to abide by, when they develop their individual plots of land; which is keeping with their commitment to build a completely sustainable city, extending beyond their scope as master developer.

The Port City project has a huge international executive force working on every aspect of its sustainable development. “We are adhering to the best development practices. For us, corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability are not just means to establish a relationship with our communities so that we can channel our philanthropy and do image management.  This project will go far beyond that.”

“We genuinely believe that adhering to global best practices in sustainability is linked with economic and commercial success and this will be demanded by those who invest and live in Port City in the future. That is why we are continuing to forge real stakeholder involvement and innovative partnerships as we cannot succeed alone. Therefore, we are mindful that future generations will measure the success of this project by its environmental and social sustainability. That is why we are making investments in these areas today.”

Speaking of Port City’s view on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Jiang said “Being a good corporate citizen is an important factor for any organisation; however CSR priorities are not the same in different parts of the world.  For example, in a country like Sri Lanka philanthropy and community engagement play an important role.   If you are in the driving seat of a project such as the Port City, you have to be in sync with this.  At the same time one has to also be sensitive to local norms and deep rooted cultural traditions; when it comes to philanthropy projects and community engagement. Therefore, our initial foray into CSR was looking at the well-being of adjacent communities, such as the Fishermen’s Livelihood Support Society (FLSS) project we have been sponsoring in Negombo.”

“We have allocated 500 million rupees towards the Sustainability and well-being of a community living to the North of Colombo. The Fishermen’s Livelihood Support Society which operates under the Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Ministry and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is an initiative supported and fully funded by the Port City and its primary objective is to find meaningful ways to support fishing communities in these areas, All the programmes carried out are suggested by the community and evaluated independently by officials of the two Ministries.”

1 Comment for “New Legal And Tax System For Port City”

  1. Brainmaster

    I can’t yet believe in a successfully functioning of this Port City. They will need a huge (I said ‘huge’) amount of electricity and water Still nobody has a clue from where to get that.

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