regulators in the offing
By Rajika Chelvaratnam
Regulators for public sector utilities like water, gas and electricity
are to be created shortly. "A high-level team is working on
that area," Deepal Gunaratne, the Director General of the Public
Enterprises Reform Commission (PERC), said in an interview.
Apart from the introduction of new management techniques, a new
business vision has to be imparted to add more value to these businesses,
he said, adding that the private sector was in a good position to
inject these requirements.
out through the PERC and proceeds of privatisation, which go into
the consolidated fund, help to ease the national debt burden "in
a great way", Gunaratne said. The PERC had earned up to Rs.
44 billion through privatisation ventures by the end of June last
year, having undertaken about 40 projects since it was established
Out of these projects, Gunaratne said there had been only six "casualties",
which the government has taken under its rehabilitation programme.
government has taken a keen effort to create awareness among the
public and the employees through various media campaigns,"
Gunaratne said. The government cannot continue to provide "life-support"
to maintain loss-making state organisations forever, he said. The
public is not actually aware of how much the government is pumping
into certain institutions.
the government spends about Rs. 125 million a month or Rs. 1.5 billion
a year to maintain the cluster bus companies and SLTB. "Money
spent on this can be channeled into infrastructure development,"
Gunaratne said. The government hopes to earn a "substantial
amount" through the sale of a 15 percent stake in Sri Lanka
Telecom in November.
of the Sri Lanka insurance Corporation is in its "embryonic
stages", Gunaratne also said. This, together with the recent
privatisation of the National Insurance Corporation will serve to
bring the commercial and general insurance sectors entirely into
the hands of the private sector.
gather in Panadura
About 100 chefs from across the country, for the fifth consecutive
year, gathered at the White Haven in Panadura recently to mark this
year's Chefs Day. The event, as in the past, was sponsored by New
Zealand Mill Products Lanka. A spokesman for the company said their
goal is to work closely with chefs of Sri Lanka for their mutual
benefit. "We supply dairy products of international quality
for chefs to make great food," he said.
wins herbal war
The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) has ordered the makers of Vendol
Venivel, Godakanda Herbals, not to claim that its soap is about
to be approved as an ayurvedic medicinal product.
It has also
ruled that claims made by Godakanda Herbals and Vendol Lanka Ltd
that its soap is to be approved by the Department of Ayurveda of
the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine prevent competition
in the toilet soap market and constitutes an anti-competitive practice.
came in response to action filed by Vendol's rival, Swadeshi Industrial
Works, seeking an order restraining Vendol from promoting its soap
as an ayurvedic product.
The FTC has
ordered Vendol Lanka and Godakanda Herbals to refrain from making
such claims to the public, such as through advertisements. Swadeshi
made a written complaint to the FTC alleging that Vendol Lanka was
engaged in anti-competitive practices.
Finance joins the Securitization Club
The Alliance Finance Company Ltd has successfully raised Rs. 100
million by way of securitization of lease receipts. With this the
company plans to enter the lucrative high end of the leasing market
offering a hassle free total leasing package to corporate as well
as individual clients, a statement said adding that it hopes to
raise further funds through securitization of lease receipts in
Most of the
major leasing companies have raised funds by the way of securitizing
of their lease receivables. The use of securitisation offers a company
access to competitive financing as well as not to be reliant on
retail banks for its financing requirements.
The issue was structured and placed by First Capital Markets Ltd,
the corporate debt arm of First Capital Ltd. Deutsche Bank was the
trustee while Nithya Partners handled the legal aspects of the issue.
Investors were found from Colombo as well as from the outstations.
solution for NGO's
A financial software package "finNGO" has been developed
for non-governmental organisations for the first time in Sri Lanka
and will be launched this week. The package was conceptualised,
developed and implemented by a team of software experts at AsiaSoft,
a Sri Lankan company and also a Microsoft certified partner.
was designed specially for funded organisations by carrying-out
studies of funded organisations and their practices with regard
to accounting and financial management," a statement from the
has been implemented in more than 12 offices in the South East Asian
Region. AsiaSoft said it was confident that this solution will improve
accounting practices with NGO's financial and management systems.
One of the important features of the package is transparency in
on "Education Reforms"
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Centre for Policy Alternatives
(CPA) in association with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation are organising
a seminar on "Education Reforms" on October 18 at the
is primarily targeted at the decision makers of the private sector,
key government officials, academia of the universities, private
institutions, technical colleges and other higher educational institutions
and leaders of civil society organisations.
This seminar is one in a series of seminars and workshops organised
by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Centre for Policy Alternatives
in association with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, aimed at expanding
the knowledge base of the target groups on the key issues of governance
are Karunasena Kodituwakku, Minister of Human Resources Development
Education and Cultural Affairs, Dr. R.O.B. Wijesekera, Chairman,
National Science and Technology Commission, Dr. Arjuna Parakrama,
Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha,
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Languages, University of Sabaragamuwa
and Tissa Jayatilaka, Director, United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright
successful New York breakfast meet
The Board of Investment along with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
and the American Chamber of Commerce in coordination with the Manhattan
Chamber of Commerce in New York organised a very successful Breakfast
Briefing on September 19, the chamber said.
The event was
held at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan in which many from the
top business community were invited. The participants totalled over
120 which had a mix of both CEO's of companies who were interested
in the developing business climate in Sri Lanka as well as top level
management Sri Lankans who head large companies in the US.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, supported the event with his presence, as
well as with a question and answer session. The support from the
Prime Minister was a great boost to the business community in order
to add the right level of seriousness which the government has toward
encouraging foreign direct investment, a chamber statement said.
Arjuna Mahendran, Director General of the Board of Investment, made
a very comprehensive presentation on the benefits of doing business
in Sri Lanka.
was then supported by a long standing investor in Sri Lanka, Martin
Trust. Trust has been investing in the apparel sector of Sri Lanka
for many years and "has not only been more than happy with
his decision to do so but is also a great advocate on the positive
aspects of investing in the country," the statement said. Trust
spoke with all sincerity in his belief in Sri Lanka as a great destination
for the business community.
maker awarded quality certificates
Kandurata Umbrella Industries (Pvt.) Ltd, a pioneer in the market,
last week won simultaneously the prestigious SLS 1207, ISO 9002
and the RvA Certifications, as an endorsement of the quality of
The SLS and
ISO certifications were made together for the first time ever, Deputy
Director General, SLSI Dr. L.L.S.K. de Silva said addressing the
presentation ceremony held in Colombo last week.
one of the first manufacturers of umbrellas in Sri Lanka, holds
a major market share in the umbrella industry today. Its beginnings
date back to 1978 when it started off with a staff of 10 and today
has established itself as a leader in the market with a workforce
of 1,500. SLSI Chairman Armyne Wirasinghe said that the certification
would benefit the company immensely and open new avenues and increase
endorses that the company has the required essentialities to produce
at optimum level. It's an outstanding achievement in reaching the
required competence and confidence," he said. The company hopes
to tap the export market by 2004. Kandurata Umbrella Marketing Manager
Farid Abdeen said the company is expected to also receive the B.I.D.
Award of Geneva soon.
also launched its website www.kandurataumbrella.com giving its customers
a comprehensive insight about the company and its products.
management delays projects
Development projects funded by foreign aid are stalled by 5-6 years
owing to impediments such as delays in procurement and weak project
Measures are being taken to rectify the drawbacks that prevent foreign
aid being channeled properly, Sujatha Cooray, Director General of
External Resources Development of the Finance Ministry said.
is concerned about the slow project implementation processes and
hopes to speed it up considerably by next year, she told a recent
seminar on 'Utilisation of Foreign Aid in Sri Lanka' conducted by
the Society for International Development and sponsored by the People's
9001-2000 for BOI
The Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka is in the process of
getting the international standards accreditation known as ISO certification.
"ISO certification shows that the organisation complies with
best practices and documents in its procedures in order to see that
it's objectives are achieved," BOI chairman Arjuna Mahendran
The BOI has
taken action to improve the efficiency of the organisation in recent
months, he said. The implementation of the ISO 9001-2000 standards
certification will take place in the next 6-9 months. (Thushara)