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Craft revival at Shilpa 2015

Craft revival at Shilpa 2015

A craftman carving a traditional mask : This is one such category of individuals the government is targeting in Budget 2016 which  emphasised focus on the micro small and medium scale enterprises. Pix by Indika Handuwala

IMF looks at best options for Sri Lanka to ease the Balance Of Payment pressure

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is looking at best options that might assist Sri Lanka to ease the Balance Of Payment (BOP) pressure, with signs of debt crisis also emerging in an economic twist not seen in the past. Replying online at the IMF regular press briefing to questions posted via an e-mail by the [...]

Listed firms that don’t transact, on CSE / SEC radar

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are concerned about some listed firms that have never been traded or only have had a few trades, since they went public a few years ago.”The SEC is going though the history of these firms and the CSE will [...]

Softlogic keen to buy govt’s LHCL shares

The Softlogic Group has followed on the heels of the Hemas Group’s interest in buying shares in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC (LHCL), should the government decide to divest these shares, saying that they too are interested, Softlogic officials said. “We have also expressed our intent in pursuing such an opportunity (to the government),” a Softlogic [...]

Some 20 job cuts at SCB after VSS

Following on the heels of HSBC, the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Sri Lanka has just concluded a Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) as part of its global restructuring drive resulting in some 20 job cuts, officials said.They said that these identified staff was told by their superiors of the intention to do away with their roles [...]

Sri Lankans to get smart e-NIC s soon

Sri Lanka is to introduce a new National Digital Identity (NDI) smart card to all citizens commencing from next year to secure all financial and non-financial digital transactions, a senior cabinet minister revealed.The aim of the move is to reduce forgery and fraud, and to fulfill future national security needs.The NDI will carry a unique [...]

Sri Lanka beefs up security at BIA, SriLankan and Mihin

Security is expected to be beefed up at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in the wake of the recent global threat of terrorism. Civil Aviation Authority Director General H.M.C. Nimalsiri told the Business Times that Sri Lanka will be beefing up security at the BIA in the context of the global threat of terrorism. “We [...]

Designing a credit guarantee scheme to promote lending to SME sector in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government has already outlined its medium term economic plan aimed at accelerating the economic growth and it was endorsed in the 2016 budget by introducing several measures including the establishment of a Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) towards this end.In most countries governments intervene to improve the credit [...]

Jobs for rural women

About two or three times a year in Parliament, ministers praise the efforts of Sri Lanka’s near 1.5 million overseas migrant workers for earning billions of petro dollars to uplift the local economy.However whenever a worker falls into trouble overseas, these voices are silent and politicians – except for a few like UNP Parliamentarian Ranjan [...]

Sri Lanka to attract more Russians, Europeans for winter

Sri Lanka to attract more Russians, Europeans for winter

The newly appointed Tourism Advisory Board held an emergency meeting at the Tourism Ministry this week to discuss the opportunities available in Russia as a result of the halting of flights to Middle Eastern destinations and the security crisis gripping Europe, a media release issued by the ministry stated.Tourism Minister John Amaratunga who acted quickly [...]

Budget – 2016- One serious blunder

There have been a number of positive features in the recent budget, and they have been adequately written about. I am going to write on one of the blunders in it. But before I do so I need to explain that I am the chairman of a liquor manufacturing company. I do so because of [...]

China funds special hospital for kidney diseases

The Chinese government will be investing in the construction of a special hospital for kidney diseases within three years in Polonnaruwa. Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang told a media conference in Colombo this week that his government has made a donation to Sri Lanka amounting to Yen 5 billion and would be funding the construction of [...]

Western Region Megapolis Project to kick start with smart city concept

Western Region Megapolis Project to kick start with smart city concept

The new government’s flagship project, the Western Region Megapolis Project (WRMP) is to be implemented on phased basis till the year 2030 by establishing a WRM Authority like the Mahaweli Authority under an act of parliament.A draft bill to set up this authority will be presented in parliament next year to transform the entire western [...]

Hapless depositors caught in a web of red tape spun by the CSE

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has sent the following response to the article titled “Hapless depositors caught in a web of red tape spun by the CSE” published in the Business Times on 22nd November:“The CSE wishes to clarify certain issues raised in the said article in regard to the role of the CSE in [...]

“Shangri-La eyes third property in Sri Lanka”

Shangri-La hotels has referred to a story in last week’s Business Times under the above headline and sent the following statement:“Regarding further expansion in Sri Lanka: Currently Shangri-La is focused on opening our Hambantota resort in June 2016 and Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo in 2017. At this time, the group is not eyeing a third property [...]

Indo–German Chamber to discuss tie ups between Colombo and Hamburg Port cities

Mumbai based Indo – German Chamber of Commerce says Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo and Germany’s Hamburg City, should work closely and enhance commercial ties, as both cities are ‘Port Cities,’ a media release issued by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. This was highlighted when the representatives of the Mumbai based Indo – German Chamber [...]

Industrial Gases pioneers CO2 Liquid Gas from molasses fermentation

Industrial Gases Pvt. Ltd. (IGL), an innovative provider of high quality industrial, medical and specialty gases signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with state-owned Sri Lanka Sugar enabling a cost effective method of capturing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emitted during the molasses fermentation process at Sevanagala Sugar Plantations, a media release said. CO2 production is estimated [...]

Oman Air expands connectivity via Muscat

Oman Air while increasing its flights to Colombo flying in twice daily since October has helped to improve its connectivity beyond Muscat continues to remain vigilant on its safety standards, the carrier said last week.Oman Air Chief Officer Sales Mahfood Ali Saleem Al Harthy told the Business Times on the sidelines of a media briefing [...]

Nawaloka Holdings enters the FMCG sector

Nawaloka Holdings, a diversified conglomerate in Sri Lanka, entered the FMCG sector through its recent acquisition of East West Marketing (EWM), a media release issued by the company stated.EWM a distribution company, which has been able to leverage its longstanding relationships with local and foreign partners to introduce and distribute some of the world’s leading [...] celebrates 4 years

Sri Lanka’s pioneer daily deal website startups, celebrated four years of operations in Sri Lanka. was established in 2011 and has evolved into a dynamic player in the Sri Lankan deals marketplace, a media release said. “Coinciding with the 4th year Anniversary, recently revamped their website with a sleek, clean and [...]

Seylan Developments PLC records improved performance

Seylan Developments PLC reported another improved financial performance for the nine months period ended 30th September 2015. The results demonstrate the underlying potential of the Company to create financial value to its stakeholders.The company’s profit after tax of Rs: 79.17 million for the nine months ended 30th September 2015 reflected a growth of 12.66 per [...]

Cinnamon Grand at 10 years appreciates Associates

Cinnamon Grand at 10 years appreciates Associates

Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Sri Lanka’s five- star hotel celebrated a decade of hospitality excellence on November 26; with a tribute to the hotel’s associates’ by declaring an ‘Associates’ Appreciation Week’ to acknowledge the contribution made by the hotels’ staff over the last 10 years, a media release issued by the hotel said recently. The week [...]

UNDP Representative brands Sri Lanka as a role model for the UN’s concept of development in South Asia

Sri Lanka ‘s social policies showcase government’s commitment to improve the living conditions of its people said the UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy who was the Chief Guest at the “Hand in Hand Sustainability Initiative” awards ceremony held in Colombo.It was organised by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the [...]

Some budget proposals are unrealistic particularly on ability to pay as taxpayers

In the recently presented budget, it has been proposed to impose an annual licence fee of Rs.60,000 on private companies. Most of the private companies are family owned small businesses. The government must give all the encouragements, motivation and incentives for these businesses to continue. Some companies are involved in small scale export of goods [...]

Korea introduces modern agriculture techniques to Sri Lanka

Korea Program on International Agriculture has stepped in to assist Sri Lanka to improve productivity and quality of paddy cultivation in the island. Dr. Byoung Choon Jang, Director of Korea Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA) Sri Lanka Centre conducted a trial performance of the Korean rice transplanting machines recently , at the rice model farm [...]

Sri Lanka to become a commercial hub of Asia: Speaker Karu Jayasuriya

Sri Lanka has embarked on a socio economic development process to make the country as a commercial hub of Asia. This was disclosed by Speaker of the Sri Lanka Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, when he addressed as the Chief Guest at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainable awards ceremony 2015 of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in [...]

AIA asks pertinent questions on retirement funds

Against the backdrop of report which suggest the government is about to marry the EPF and ETF funds, it’s pertinent to take a moment to think about your retirement post and the AIA Insurance is drawing customer attention to questions pertaining to them having enough cash to retire comfortably. “Have you taken into account the [...]

PM to deliver Sujata Jayawardena Oration

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to deliver the 12th Annual Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Oration a premier annual event hosted by the Alumni Association of the University of Colombo on Friday, 11th December at the BMICH.This oration is in memory of one of its illustrious Past Presidents the Late Mrs. Sujata Jayawardena who rendered immense [...]

Ananda Sirisena and Company successfully incorporates over 250 companies

Ananda Sirisena & Company, a registered corporate secretaries and incorporator recently concluded successfully incorporating its 250th company into the local business fraternity. Initially established to serve the long standing clientele of S. Ananda Sirisena, a Registered Company Secretary, Ananda Sirisena & Company has for over 30 years provided comprehensive end-to-end solutions to clients, a media [...]

Budget delays fiscal consolidation

Budget delays fiscal consolidation

Sri Lanka’s fiscal position will continue to be weaker than many similarly rated sovereigns, due to its plans to add to education, health and infrastructure expenditures as well as its already high debts, according to international ratings agency Moody’s. The agency also stated that, importantly, the budget would also delay required fiscal consolidation.According to the [...]

MICE has become ‘vital’ part of SL economy – Acting SLTPB Chairman

The local MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events) sub-sector of the tourist industry has become a “vital” part of the Sri Lankan economy, based on the attention it received in the recently unveiled 2016 national budget, according to P.M. Withana, Acting Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).He further noted that 2016 would [...]

Underprivileged youth in Anuradhapura and Vavuniya see light at the end of the tunnel with German assistance

Underprivileged youth  in  Anuradhapura and Vavuniya see light at the end of the tunnel with German assistance

It was the Sunday before last and on that day, parts of the North Central Province were under water due to continuous rain and caused some roads impassable. Yet, rain and the floods did not deter a team of media personnel from Colombo to visit a remote village – Halmeellawewa, Mihintale to meet some peasants [...]

Anantara gears up for an authentic experience in Tangalle

Anantara gears up for an authentic experience in Tangalle

Tangalle is getting a boost with the Minor Hotel Group opening their first luxury property Anantara hotel in Sri Lanka that would cater to the up market traveler with Hemas with a second hotel scheduled for launch at Kalutara in March 2016.The hotel titled Anatara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort which is part of the branded [...]

SriLankan cancels 14 more flights

SriLankan Airlines in a media release has stated that due to the extension of the Chennai International Airport closure, SriLankan Airlines has cancelled fourteen more flights between Colombo and Chennai. Accordingly, the flights UL 128, UL 129, UL 123, UL 124 of December 3, UL 125, UL 126, UL 121, UL 122, UL 127, UL [...]

Central Counter Party to guarantee settlement of financial transactions

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recently announced the proposed establishment of an institution to act as a Central Counterparty (CCP), which is an entity that will take up the risk of transaction in the market in the event of a clearing and settlement failure.The CCP inserts itself between counterparties to financial contracts traded in one [...]

CSE to train Maldivian exchange on going public in Sri Lanka

A Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) team will train their Maldivian counterparts this month on (Maldivian firms) going public on the CSE along with different aspects on clearing, trading and settlement, officials said.”The Maldivian companies want to trade securities in the CSE in US dollars. They are interested in dollar to dollar trades, which we are [...]

Virtusa hosts Converse 2015 Graduate Meetup Program

Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS: VRTU), a global business consulting and IT outsourcing company that combines innovation, technology leadership and industry solutions to transform the customer experience, hosted over 300 undergraduate students from leading universities and educational institutions across Sri Lanka at the Virtusa Converse 2015 Graduate Meetup event in Colombo, a media release by the [...]

YBSL and Shop Box to help address entrepreneurs/ start-ups/SMEs obstacles to growth

Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL), an accredited member of Youth Business International and the Chamber of Commerce and Shop Box, an enterprising e-commerce solutions provider, have come together to help address the obstacles to growth such as access and ivestment that often deter and demotivate entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. Vartharajah Kumaraguru, National Programme Manager of [...]

Drones to get regulated in Sri Lanka

The government is planning on imposing new regulations for drones in view of the possibility of its risks while using these objects.The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General H.M.C. Nimalsiri has issued new regulations regarding the implementing standards of a remotely piloted aircraft, a control line model aircraft, a free flight model aircraft or a [...]

Ceylon Chamber gets top economic panel for 2016 expectations

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) will hold a forum titled “Global Economy and Sri Lanka – What Can We Expect in 2016,’ with the participation of a top panel, which will include the likes of Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank and Renowned Economist Prof. Razeen Sally, a media release issued [...]

Sri Lanka’s new vehicles registrations surge to a new high

Sri Lanka’s new vehicles  registrations surge to a new high

Sri Lanka’s new vehicles registrations have surged to a new high of 611,551 up to November this year compared to 371,906 in the same period last year, Sri Lanka Motor Traffic Department data showed.The demand for vehicles has increased mainly from state sector employees who benefited from the government pay hike and the interest rate [...]

The most affordable Jaguar XE on its way to Sri Lanka

The most affordable Jaguar XE on its way to Sri Lanka

Regency Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd, the official Jaguar importer in Sri Lanka has taken the wraps off the fourth model of the Jaguar product line, the XE at a glittering ceremony in Colombo Hilton last week. The all new XE, redefines the concept of the sports saloon and will be the driver’s car in its class. [...]

Mercedes-Benz Club takes part in an ‘Amazing Race’

The Amazing Race, a fun-family rally exclusively organised for the members of the Mercedes-Benz Club of Sri Lanka took place recently. Kicking off from the Ramada Colombo the rally spanned till the Asylum Restaurant at the Independence Arcade, with multiple checkpoints in-between where participants were required to perform tasks to amass points. Upon reaching their [...]

Ford gears up for higher deal with improved customer care

A resurgence in demand for the Ford range of vehicle in Sri Lanka has prompted the local agent Future Automobiles to spruce up and tighten customer care, a letter the new CEO sent to existing Ford owners recently revealed. The company recently enhanced its premises at Battaramulla welcoming customers in to an expansively designed showroom [...]

Vehicle noise pollution to be curbed

Sri Lanka’s Central Environmental Authority(CEA) implements a noise pollution control programme to create awareness on over-use of vehicle horns disturbing and upsetting road users, including pedestrians. Such road behaviour could also lead to serious but avoidable accidents, CEA officials said.The bus drivers are the major offenders who use the size of their vehicles and the [...]

The government indirectly increases the vehicle licence fee by imposing an additional emission levy

The government has indirectly increased the revenue licence renewal fee from the budget by imposing an additional levy of Rs.5000 on vehicle emission certificate, vehicle owners alleged.Vehicle emission tests are a mandatory requirement for obtaining or renewing revenue licenses by paying the annual licence fee at the Divisional Secretariat. The then Rajapaksa Government has given [...]

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