On an order by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the sale of 122 perches of prime land in Horton Place, Colombo 7 to the Chinese embassy has been exempted from taxes normally levied for the sale of property to foreigners.
Under the provisions of the Finance Act, when there is a transfer of ownership of property within Sri Lanka, a tax equivalent to the value of the property is charged from the transferee if more than 25 per cent of its ownership goes to a person who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka.
The Colombo 7 land transfer to the Chinese embassy has also been exempted from another provision which prohibits the sale of property below the value specified by the Chief Valuer.
The order made by Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning said the relevant sections in the Finance Act would not apply to the transfer of the land and premises located at No. 112, Horton place, Colombo 7.