Land: Dead or Buried Capital or a Factor of Production?
The issue of state-owned land being offered to foreign and local investors on freehold or long-term leases , for establishing commercial projects, has been the subject of much debate both in Parliament and the media. The public debate is focused mostly on prime land in Colombo city. However, the arguments for and against the sale of state land also apply to transactions in other parts of the country. One extreme argument is that none of the government owned-land should be divested to any local or foreign investors but allowed to remain with the state, whether productively used, under-utilised or completely unused. The opposite of this argument is that the state should not own any land other than for security, environmental or other such reasons, while allowing any enterprise to utilize other land for producing goods and services thereby generating employment and increasing incomes.