Asiri Surgical Hospital PLC has not maintained even one ward with a minimum of ten beds nor an OPD for poor people for the past 17 years, Colombo Telegraph reveals today.
Asiri Surgical Hospital PLC (formerly known as Asiri Medical Services Ltd), entered into an Agreement with the Board of Investment (BOI) on the 29th of March 2000 to set up and conduct a business for the construction and operation of a Two-Tier Hospital at Kirimandala Mawatha, Colombo 5.
The agreement states “….payment and recovery of income tax shall not apply for a period of ten years in respect of the profits and income of a new enterprise which is engaged in the construction of a hospital on a two-tire basis i.e. one tier dedicated to free health care service for the poor with indoor and outdoor facilities and the other as a fee-based emergency health care service…”
The BOI has allocated 0.942 hectares of land for this project on a 99 year lease, commencing from June 2000.
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Former BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya had decided to suspend the tax exemption granted to Asiri Surgical Hospital PLC due to non-fulfilment of terms and conditions of the agreement entered into with the BOI.
As the first step Jayasuriya informed Department of Inland Revenue that the Asiri Surgical Hospital PLC was not entitled for tax exemption. He said that Asiri Surgical Hospital PLC had not maintained at least one ward with a minimum of ten beds nor an OPD for poor people according to the agreement. This was after an investigation carried out by the BOI’s Project Monitoring Unit.
After Jayasuriya and the entire board of the BOI resigned, the owner of Asiri Surgical Hospital PLC, business tycoon Ashok Pathirage, who is also the Chairman and Managing Director of Softlogic Holdings, is trying to renegotiate the deal with the newly appointed board, an informed source within Softlogic told Colombo Telegraph.