In a bid to create a business-friendly environment in the country, the Presidential Secretariat has organized 54 institutions that provide investor facilitation services under seven Task Forces on the directives of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The aim is to simplify the processes involved, reduce the time taken, and make information readily available to increase efficiency.
Task Forces have been given clear deliverables and have made concrete commitments to deliver them. The first review was held on the Task Force on Registering a Business, which focuses on legal reforms and operational improvements to facilitate business entry at the Registrar of Companies. The Task Force has committed to delivering key outputs such as developing a digital signature system, incorporating ultimate beneficiary ownership into the Companies Act, and simplifying existing forms used by the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
The second review focused on the ‘Registering Property’ Task Force, which aims to improve the steps involved in land registration, required certificates, and related payments. The Task Force is composed of seven institutions, including the Surveyor General’s Department, Colombo Municipal Council, Western Province Revenue Department, and Information & Communication Technology Agency. The Task Force is committed to implementing the e-Land System to minimize the time, cost, and procedures involved in dealing with title searches, registering e-deeds, and obtaining building/street line certificates.
The Task Force has decided to initially concentrate on improving the Colombo area and has committed to establishing an online facility for title search and issuing folio extracts, establishing a system for online stamp duty opinions, developing a system to facilitate deed registration, preparing the Cadastral Plan and web publishing, and digitizing scanned old survey plans. The land parcel-based information web service for the Western Province has already been launched.
The Task Force has given its commitment to deliver outputs such as an online system for title search at the Colombo Land Registry, an automated stamp duty calculation system at the Western Province Revenue Department, and an automated system for deed registration at the Colombo Land Registry by the end of 2023. The Ministry of Technology will address inter-agency connectivity and digitalization issues to facilitate the Task Force in meeting its targets.
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