Colombo, March 6 (IANS): The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday proposed that foreign construction companies which bid for local projects in the island country should enter joint ventures with local construction or consultancy firms.
In its budget proposals for 2019, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the decision was taken to support and strengthen the local construction industry.
Through this proposal, foreign construction companies will be allowed to tender for state projects in the country only if they form a joint venture with a local construction or consultancy company unless the project is fully foreign funded, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Minister added that in order to support the property development sector as well, the government proposed to grant residential visas for three years to foreign nationals who invested a minimum of $400,000 or more in condominiums.
This process will be implemented this year. The residential visa will not be valid when the foreigner exits from this investment, Samaraweera said.
He presented the government's budget proposals for 2019 on Tuesday evening, proposing several incentives for Sri Lankan citizens especially those living below the poverty line.
Legislators on Wednesday began debating the proposals at the Parliament while a final debate on the proposals will be held on April 5.