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Laps for Laps

Laps for Laps

The Government is said to be providing laptops for MPs to improve their ‘efficiency’. Viewed cynically here by our cartoonist M. Munaf, it may be financially viable to rent (not purchase) not only laptops but also ‘efficient’ MPs! (See Kussi Amma Sera column inside on the renting economy)

18.4 mln credit/debit cards in use

Over 80 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million people use either a debit card or a credit card for their financial transactions, according to Central Bank (CB) data. Responding to a RTI request from the Business Times on data on credit and debit cards and the exposure, the CB said there was a total [...]

Constitutional amendment required for Port city laws

The Government is preparing history-making laws governing the administration of the under-construction Colombo Port city but could face opposition if it, as pointed by legal experts, requires Constitutional amendments. The proposed draft bill creating the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC), formerly named Colombo Port city, and which in turn includes an International Financial Zone (IFZ) [...]

CIFC law will be challenged

Joint opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane told the Business Times that they would definitely file action in the Supreme Court against the CIFC Law challenging its constitutionality once it is gazetted. He noted that in a recent gazette notification issued under the signature of Minister Malik Samarawickrama, it has declared that the reclaimed area will come [...]

Changes to RPCs to ensure profitablity

The Government is planning to bring in changes in regional plantation companies (RPCs) to ensure profitability on the estates. Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake told the Business Times on Tuesday that following reports on the findings of an audit on the RPCs and a committee of visiting agents’, another high-level committee headed by PM’s advisor R. [...]

Dipped Product probes sexual harassment allegations claims

A senior official at Hayleys PLC subsidiary, Dipped Products PLC’s Thailand branch is being probed by Hayleys over sexual harassment allegations against a female employee in Thailand. The individual has complained in an e-mail to the local office on an inappropriate incident with the said senior official which resulted in her being victimised in office, [...]

Galle Road bus lane wins commuter support

New traffic rules confining buses to specific lanes on Galle Road, Colombo have won the admiration of bus and car passengers while reducing travel time and driver stress. The dedicated bus lane rule on the road between Moratuwa and Ratmalana (Maliban junction) and Wellawatte to Kollupitiya implemented over the past two weeks, according to Prof. [...]

Renting a ‘spouse’

Renting a ‘spouse’

Imagine renting a spouse to accomplish all your needs except sex? While this statement is likely to offend many conservative people, ‘renting a spouse’ along with other requirements in today’s convenient lifestyle or economy will soon become a reality in the world. It may happen in Sri Lanka years later but, yes ‘renting a spouse’ [...]

Strategies to curb declining rubber production

Strategies to curb declining rubber production

Natural rubber production in Sri Lanka has been declining at an alarming rate to 79,000 mt last year from 155,000 mt produced in 1967. Sri Lanka with over 140 years of history as the pioneer rubber grower in the world outside South América was in the fourth place in the world as a NR producer [...]

Amidst restructuring, SriLankan flies you free on 38th anniversary

SriLankan Airlines, currently working on its restructuring, on Thursday launched plans to celebrate the carrier’s 38th anniversary at the Hilton Colombo. The airline announced an offer that allows the ticket holder’s partner to fly for free onboard SriLankan Airlines and which could be extended to one kid as well in partnership with the Standard Chartered [...]

Tips for start-ups at next SPIKE meetup

SPIKE, Sri Lanka’s monthly meetup for the tech ecosystem, on Tuesday, August 29 from 6.30pm onwards at Barefoot Gallery Café, Bambalapitiya will feature two speakers – Mano Sekaram, founder and CEO of 99X Technology and Amali Fernando who provides a virtual in-house counsel service. SPIKE is organised by a voluntary team dedicated to building and [...]

New team at Sri Lanka Insurance Brokers Association

New team at Sri Lanka  Insurance Brokers Association

The 30th AGM of Sri Lanka Insurance Brokers Association was held recently at the Organisation of Professional Association auditorium. The chief guest at the occasion was Sanath De Silva, CEO – National Insurance Trust Fund. Here is the newly-appointed Council – Seated from left: Rukmal Seneviratne – immediate Past President, Ravi Sam – Secretary, Nalin [...]

Lanka Harness conquers world auto airbag sensor industry

Lanka Harness, a Sri Lankan-based precision technology company that makes airbag sensors and seat belts for auto companies in 12 countries, has earned US$80 million in export revenue last year, company Chairman Rohan Pallewatta disclosed. Among those 12 countries are China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Exploring further avenues overseas, the company has [...]

First state-operated bus

First state-operated bus

Law enforcement authorities to crack down on modified vehicles

Law enforcement  authorities to crack down on modified vehicles

Creating roaring noise and speeding by fitting additional devices and modifying vehicles or motorcycles will be subject to heavy fines by the authorities reactivating Section (74) of the Motor Traffic Ordinance, officials said. The Police Department has started a campaign against drivers who modify their vehicles or motor cycles to create loud noise and enhance [...]

HNB Grameen leasing options with Colonial Motors

HNB Grameen Finance Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently with Colonial Motors PLC to offer leasing options for Vespa and Aprilia Motor scooters. The MoU features a number of offers including special interest rates and longer repayment period. HNB General Insurance will provide an attractive premium for the scooters as well, a media [...]

1000 Chinese buses to ply on new priority lanes

1000 Chinese buses are to ply initially on new priority lanes of several roads in Colombo and suburbs under a special peak hour, fully air conditioned private bus service to encourage better use of public transport and reduce worsening traffic congestion. President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association Gemunu Wijeratne told the Business Times [...]

More pluses in shifting vehicle transshipment to Colombo Port

More pluses in shifting vehicle transshipment to Colombo Port

Plans are afoot to shift the vehicle transshipment operations from Hambantota to the Colombo Port following an assurance given by Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe to motor traders recently. Deviating from the previous regime’s arbitrary action to shift vehicle offloading to Hambantota in 2012, this new plan should be implemented by the government [...]

Apple supplier Simplo hopes to ride electric bicycles to growth

Apple supplier Simplo hopes to ride electric bicycles to growth

HSINCHU, Taiwan (Nikkei) — Taiwan’s battery pack maker Simplo Technology is eyeing growth in emerging areas from electric bicycles and data centres to industrial equipment, moving beyond its existing businesses of supplying battery modules to Apple and other notebook makers. “We are aiming to boost our business in non-information technology segments beyond notebook, tablet, and [...]

Failed CIFL: New investor proposed but depositors wary

Failed CIFL: New investor  proposed but depositors wary

Depositors at the failed Central Investment and Finance Ltd (CIFL) are still wary of investors being brought in, even with Central Bank (CB) sanction, because they have been let down many times in the past. These were the sentiments that emerged at the 4th Annual General meeting of the CIFL Depositors Association (CIFLDA) at the [...]

GDP growth doesn’t reflect today’s challenges

While societies rely on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for many things, it doesn’t actually reflect today’s challenges which deal with sustainability, according to Pavan Sukhdev, Founder – GIST Advisory and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador delivering a lecture on “Moving Beyond GDP for Sustainability” at the Central Bank auditorium in Colombo last week. What the [...]

Govt. has no moral right to tax retirement funds

It is extremely sad to note that the Employers Federation of Ceylon, CCC, trade unions, and the Joint Opposition (JO) have not taken any action on several clauses in the Inland Revenue Bill which are extremely harmful to private sector workers. The bill is imposing a 14 per cent (increased from 10 per cent) tax [...]

Dynasty Residence: SL’s first residential apartment building to receive LEED Certification

Dynasty Residence: SL’s first residential apartment building to receive LEED Certification

GVR Lanka (Pvt) Ltd has set a new standard in the development of luxury residential buildings in Sri Lanka by integrating environmentally friendly and sustainable features into their Dynasty Residence in Kandy. After a technically rigorous design and construction process, the Dynasty Residence was awarded LEED Gold certification by the US Green Buildings Council (USGBC), [...]

ComBank eyes Myanmar for microfinance

Commercial Bank (Commercial) is in the radar screens of many international funds such as T. Rowe New Asia Fund, which entered its top 20 shareholders in 20,2017. T. Rowe New Asia Fund now has 14,990,626 shares equating 1.61 per cent in Commercial which it acquired this year. Officials say that they’re still purchasing and that [...]

People’s Bank sets up self-banking units in railway stations

People’s Bank recently inaugurated a Self-Banking Unit at the Mirigama Railway Station. The unit was vested in the public under People’s Bank’s initiative of establishing 100 Self-Banking Units at railway stations island-wide, the bank said in a media release. The new state-of-the-art unit which has an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) and Cash Deposit Machine (CDM) [...]

ODEL opens new 10,000 sq. ft. area at Alexandra Place

Fashion retail giant ODEL has added another 10,000 square feet to its flagship store at Alexandra Place, Colombo. This space has been designed and built by Blocher Partners – the Germany headquartered architecture firm that has designed the 645,000 square foot ODEL Mall that will soon begin to take shape at the adjoining site. With [...]

Pharma companies seek urgent private public collaboration for viable drug pricing

Pharma companies seek urgent private public collaboration for viable drug pricing

Sri Lanka’s pharmaceutical companies are calling for a new private-public collaboration to address the prevailing major issues – particularly preparing a viable pricing mechanism for imported drugs. The call was made by newly-elected President of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) Shyam Sathasivam, Managing Director of Sunshine Healthcare Lanka (Pvt) Ltd at the [...]

ADB likely to pull out of Colombo Port East terminal project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is likely to pull out of the Colombo Port East Container Terminal project should there be further delays in seeking an investor. Addressing a media briefing on the Country Partnership Strategy in Colombo on Thursday, the bank’s Country Director Sri Wadowati told journalists that if the project would take too [...]

Next week’s AGM of the ST Business Club

Next week’s AGM of the ST Business Club

The 22nd annual general meeting of the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) will be held on Tuesday, August 29 at the Kingsbury Colombo. A new committee (EXCO) will be elected at the meeting with the new team setting in motion its events calendar for the year 2017-18. Kingbury is the host hotel of the club. [...]

Women from fishing community protest against Port City

Women from fishing community protest against Port City

Women from the fishing community across Sri Lanka’s western coastline gathered in their thousands on Tuesday in a strong protest against the Colombo Port City which is aggravating their livelihoods. They congregated at the Cardinal Cooray Centre in Negombo to issue a clear warning to the government that the ambitious project named the Colombo Financial [...]

Anarva Mount Lavinia by Siddhalepa opens

Anarva Mount Lavinia by Siddhalepa opens

Anarva Mount Lavinia, the newest hotel by Ayurvedic medicine pioneer Siddhalepa was declared open last Saturday by President Maithripala Sirisena which was followed by another event for the trade on Sunday. Anarva is the only city hotel with Sri Lankan authentic Ayurveda therapy and offers a wide range of Ayurveda treatment, and is located in [...]

Siriwardene appointed new Central Bank Dep. Governor

Assistant Governor, C.J.P. Siriwardana has been appointed as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank with effect from August 19 on the retirement of Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri on August 18. The Business Times last week exclusively reported Mr. Samarasiri’s retirement after a career that was marred at the latter stages by allegations of complicity in [...]

Cold Stores income up, profit down in 1Q

Ceylon Cold Stores (CCS) saw its 1Q18 revenue up by 20 per cent year on year (YoY) but its gross profit was down by 6 per cent for the same period, the company’s interim results showed. In the said quarter, CCS’s manufacturing sector net profit and revenue were down YoY to Rs. 3,383,238 and Rs. [...]

Govt. to invest Rs. 3.5 bln on Milleniya EPZ

The Government is to spend Rs. 3.5 billion on infrastructure development at the Milleniya Export Processing Zone (EPZ) near Kalutara, according to State Minister of International Trade, Sujeewa Senasinghe. He was speaking at a media briefing held at the Board of Investment (BOI) at the Word Trade Centre in Colombo on Monday, where Thailand’s Rojana [...]

Mastercard and Educate Lanka combine to offer education and employment

Mastercard and Educate Lanka combine to offer education and employment

Mastercard has joined hands with Educate Lanka to empower Sri Lanka’s young women as part of its “Doing Well, Doing Good” initiative. As part of the collaboration, Mastercard will fund a scholarship programme as well as a skills development and mentorship platform, supported by the company. The initiative seeks to build a more inclusive future [...]

Amjath Careem, youngest to complete CA Exams

Amjath Careem, youngest to complete CA Exams

Amjath Nazeer Abdul Careem completed all the examinations as well as the case study of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) prior to his 20th birthday. This is an all-time record for the ICASL and according to the regulations he has to wait until he is 21 years old to be admitted [...]

10 mln LED bulbs free to low income households

Over 3 million low income households are to be given 10 million LED bulbs free under a government initiative to encourage energy saving, Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ajith P. Perera disclosed. By replacing at least 3 or 4 most frequently used normal bulbs with LED bulbs in those households, the Ceylon Electricity [...]

Sri Lankan tea production picks up

Tea production is picking up but erratic weather patterns are likely to dampen state plans to achieve a target of 300 million kg for 2017. “Unless we get a good crop in the next four to five months it would not be possible to achieve 300 million kg by the end of this year,” Hayleys [...]

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