The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Race for BOI DG seat heats up


More than 18 months after the creation of the executive Director General’s post at the Board of Investment (BOI), the race for the top seat is heating up with three influential candidates shortlisted by the Economic Development Ministry, a senior government official, who wished to be anonymous, said.

The names of former General Manager Bank of Ceylon, W.A. Nalini, former BOI director Lal Kumara Gamage and non-Executive Director BOI – Eshana De Silva have been submitted to the President’s Office for his approval, he revealed.The tenure of the Board of Directors of the BOI ended recently but M.M.S. Ferdinando, acting Chairman and Director General (DG) told the Business Times that the term of the board has been extended. He noted that the DG’s post with full executive powers has been created through an Act of parliament. This position was held by the chairman. Displaying a sudden dynamism, the BOI in the past two weeks has begun sending media releases to print and electronic media institutions highlighting new approvals and agreements with foreign investors to get wide publicity. Some of these agreements were signed a couple of months ago and the BOI is releasing these to the media in an attempt to protect the jobs of some lethargic officials following the new appointment to the post of CEO BOI.

But Mr. Ferdinando noted that the BOI is promoting foreign investment with the fully commitment of staff and there was a rapid increase in approvals of foreign investment projects and signing of agreements to set up foreign funded ventures in the island during the past three months.  He disclosed that certain bottlenecks of the BOI restructuring process are now being tackled to reorient the institution as an investor responsive, one-stop centre.

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