UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday told the media that no proper investor would show interest in a country which had no proper law and order and that only a few investors with no credibility would come in with no transparency and through internal contacts.
“Even though the Government very proudly said that investors were lining up to invest in the country, data released by the CBSL shows that for the first nine months of the year only US$ 600 million worth of investments have come in,” de Silva observed.
He noted that according CBSL Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, FDI is now at US$ 1 billion, which is still just 50% of the target.
“Where are the so-called investors fighting to invest in Sri Lanka? Where are the factories that were supposed to open in Hambantota?” he questioned. “There are no investors. And with what we do now, even these few will not remain.”
The country is now showcasing the laws of the jungle to the world, de Silva charged. “Investors will not come to a country that has no law and order. The Government has still not come out of the hole it fell into after forcibly taking away what was rightly given under the Constitution to investors the last time. With all this, will good quality investors come into Sri Lanka?”
Quoting the Hansard of 24 November, de Silva said that Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa had made an announcement regarding what was tipped to be the biggest single largest foreign investor project, Krrish, stating that US$ 50 million would be deposited soon after the signing of agreements. “Seems like he isn’t coming back either, because we have not heard about the transaction up to now.”
The Krrish project was gazetted on 1 October according to the Strategic Development Project Act. According to the Act, within 30 days of gazetting, the project must get Cabinet approval. Within six months of getting approval, details of the project such as name, date of commencement and completion, and tax benefits, etc., must be gazetted again and presented to Parliament in three months.
“This is the law. We have not heard anything as yet,” he added.