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Tax relief for Sri Lankan shipowners

Colombo: Sri Lanka's president and finance minister, Mahinda Rajapakse, has announced a tax concession for ship owners as part of the government's budget for 2008 presented in parliament this week. Owners that register new vessels under the Sri Lankan flag will be exempt from paying the 3% Port and Airport Development Levy (PAL) levied against all vessel imports.  

The decision assuages the efforts the Lanka Association of Ship Owners (LASO), whose members had been actively campaigning to have the levy removed.

"As a small island nation, the international market for our products could be expanded by increasing the number of ships owned by local ship merchants," Rajapakse said justifying his deicision to parliament. "Further to the incentives in the last budget to expand this business, I propose that the purchase of a ship to be registered under the Sri Lankan flag will be exempted from the Port and Airport Development Levy."  [09/11/07]

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