Dec 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has questioned the massive tax concessions granted to a casino project in Colombo by Australian gaming tycoon James Packer without parliamentary approval.
JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake noted that Packer has presented a report on the tax concessions granted to the project by the government when parliament had not approved such a move.
The gazette notification granting tax concessions to packer was withdrawn from parliament due to opposition and the government has not yet submitted another gazette on the matter.
"Is James Packer more powerful than the Sri Lankan parliament?" Dissanayake questioned the government in parliament.
Packer has agreed to invest US$350 million to build a 36-story skyscraper which will be known as 'Crown Colombo' in the heart of Colombo for a casino and gaming enterprise to be opened in 2016.
The large scale casino project, which is identified as a mixed development project, has been categorized under the Strategic Development Projects Act.
The MP proposed that a parliamentary debate be held on Packer and his proposed investments in the country since there has been no mention about it in the 2014 Budget.
Dissanayake noted that massive tax concessions have been granted to Packer when the people were not provided with any benefit or tax concessions.