The Sri Lanka government will provide tax relief under the Strategic Development Project Act for a 400-acre pharmaceutical investment zone in Hambantota, official sources said.

“Declaring it as a strategic development project, it is expected to provide applicable relief and encouragement for the investors to step forward to invest in this pharmaceutical manufacturing zone,” the statement said.

The SDP Act allows wide discretion for officials to give sweeping negotiated tax relief measures running into decades.

The infrastructure for the zone would be built by the Board of Investment (BOI) for which domestic and international companies would be invited to set up shop.

The Cabinet has approved a proposal by the Ministry of Health to set up 20 factories in the first 200 acres in the first phase.

Four hundred acres in Arabokke estate in Hambantota had been identified for the project.

The Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation has identified the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry as one of the industries that can attract direct foreign investments as well as a field that possesses a potential for earning foreign exchange.