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Robotic toys

Robotic toys

With new enterprise and technology being the focus of the 2018 budget, Wow  Wee Lanka founded in 2013 by Mevan Nugaliyadde, a telecommunication engineer at Wattala has launched the sale of robotic toys. These new generation intelligent toys come with applied biomorphic robotics and recommended for ages 4+ to 8+. They are priced from Rs.2,000 [...]

Budget 2018: More bouquets than brickbats

Sri Lanka’s first designer budget has been viewed as unconventional to some, confusing to others and long term visionary goals to pragmatists. While the focus is on creating hundreds of new enterprises in a green economy and provide opportunities to school leavers and young entrepreneurs, sticking points in the 2018 budget are fears that foreign [...]

Electric tuk tuks for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka plans to bid farewell to fossil fuel three wheelers by increasing taxes on the import of tuk tuks while promoting electric three wheelers. It also planned to export the excess fossil fuel vehicles to Bangladesh. Import taxes on a diesel three wheeler will rise by around Rs. 50,000 in order to encourage the [...]

New unit to monitor budget progress

The Finance Ministry has established a monitoring unit at the Treasury to keep a tab on progress in the implementation of the 2018 budget proposals. This unit is headed by senior advisor to the Finance Minister Mano Tittawella, a veteran financial professional, and economist Deshal de Mel. It will prepare a monthly report on the [...]

CB permits JKH/LOLC to hold excess shares in 2 banks

The Central Bank has granted permission to two large firms holding shares in banks, in excess of regulator’s stipulated period, for two more years. Director of Bank Supervision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) has by letter informed the two banks – NTB and Seylan – that their major shareholders, John Keells Holdings [...]

SEC plagued with hate mail

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in recent months has been plagued by ‘hate’ mail which informed sources say is precipitated by reopening of certain stock market fraud probes related to important personalities. This mail is directed at frustrating the SEC officials in a bid of destabilise the institution, informed sources said. “There’re vested interests [...]

World Bank ready to brew tea on reforms agenda

Sizable World Bank funding amounting to millions of rupees for Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) comes at a time when the industry is awaiting a cash infusion to ride high on its losses amidst state plans underway to restructure the sector. Planters Association Chairman Sunil Poholiyadde told the Business Times on Thursday that funding from the [...]

Opportunities rather than crises

Opportunities rather than crises

Rather than allocating endless sums of money to provide aimless jobs, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has followed his instinct and global trends: Creating opportunities for young people. While he may have not kept his word in making the shortest-ever budget speech in Sri Lankan history – speaking for over 120 minutes against a planned 90 [...]

How do the numbers on poverty stack up against ground reality?

How do the numbers on poverty stack up against ground reality?

The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) recently released the latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) for 2016. The survey, carried out in 3-year time blocks gives us information on poverty and inequality in monetary terms. The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) takes a look at what the numbers say and what our own [...]

RIL Property to develop United Motors land in Colombo 2

Commercial space owners, RIL Property PLC which bought 30 per cent in United Motors PLC on Wednesday morning, with officials saying that the latter’s potential for property development is large, will be developing the 280 perch block adjacent to their Parkland building in the long term. “We will definitely capitalise on the land bank. We [...]

Former Hayleys chairman Yatawara passes away

Former Hayleys chairman Yatawara passes away

Rajan Yatawara, former Chairman and CEO of Hayleys PLC in 2004-2007, passed away on Tuesday. He was the founder Managing Director of Haycarb PLC and raised the issue of the group losing some state contracts and tenders because it refused to pay bribes. In a newspaper interview in 2006, Mr. Yatawara had blamed corruption for [...]

Thailand to set up industrial zone in Sri Lanka

Measures will be taken to triple trade between Thailand and Sri Lanka up to US$ 2.5 billion by 2020 which is going to be very challenging, said Ambassador of Thailand to Sri Lanka Madame Chulamanee Chartsuwan at a discussion held at the National Chamber of Commerce Colombo this week on “Bilateral Trade Between both Nations.” [...]

Privilege cards from Pannipitiya Private Hospital

Pannipitiya Private Hospital, said to be one of Sri Lanka’s top ranking private hospitals, is offering special discounts to clergy, teachers, Daham Paasal teachers and for those who engage in social charity initiatives as a mark of honour and recognition to them. This special discount privileges will be available to eligible persons who have obtained [...]

Sri Lanka’s ‘glowing’ literacy status misleads the world

A young Sri Lankan university teacher from the Jaffna University specialising in youth development strongly criticised statistical jargon released by state agencies saying these tend to give a wrong impression of the actual status of these sectors. Addressing the opening sessions of the two day ‘Youth Development Programme “WeAre 2030 – Youth Dialogue and Incubation” [...]

New SL 360 degree health and wellness solution for corporates launched

New SL 360 degree health and wellness solution for corporates launched

‘WHealth- Corporate Wellness Solutions ’, a holistic health and wellness solution for the corporate world, was recently launched by Healthy Life Clinic in partnership with Forté Consultancy and at the Healthy Life Clinic, in Colombo. Based on the premise that wellbeing is a result of commitment to consistent practices in all aspects of human [...]

Hambantota Port project gets tax incentives under Strategic Development Projects Act

The Hambantota Port development and transformation project will get tax exemptions and other concessions under the Strategic Development Projects (SDP) Act which is to be scrapped shortly. This will be the final project to receive Strategic Development project status under this Act as the government has decided to replace it with a new investor- friendly [...]

Business design consultancy Consulus Global opens in SL with Hummingbird International

Business design consultancy Consulus Global opens in SL with Hummingbird International

In response to the relentless speed of change and the impending disruption that industry 4.0 will bring to business and global community, Hummingbird International, which was a representative of Consulus Global, has its consultancy division upgraded to a fully-fledged partner as Consulus Lanka. The launch event was held with a CEO breakfast meeting at Jetwing [...]

Hayleys turnover up by 20% YOY to Rs. 62.4 billion in 1HFY17/18

Fuelled by topline growth across all of its key business segments, Hayleys PLC posted a 20 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) increase in turnover up to Rs. 62.4 billion in the six months ending September 2017. The group, in a media release, said it has continuously infused higher levels of investment into key business segments with [...]

Sunshine profits up 17.3% in 1HFY2017/18

Diversified Sri Lankan conglomerate Sunshine Holdings PLC has reported growth in top and bottom line performance after posting consolidated revenue of Rs. 10.3 billion. Year-on-Year (YoY) post-tax profits rose by 24.2 per cent during the six-month period ending September 2017, the company said in a media release. Consolidated group revenue increased by 8.9 per cent [...]

Amana Bank’s Q3 2017 pre-tax profit triples

After recently doubling its capital to over Rs 10 billion, Amãna Bank reinforced the confidence of its shareholders by tripling its Q3 2017 pre-tax profit to reach Rs. 186.1 million as against Rs. 62.9 million in Q3 2016. For the nine months ending 30 September 2017, the bank recorded pre-tax profit of Rs. 397 million [...]

DFCC Bank reports strong 3Q amidst successful expansion drive

DFCC Bank continued to demonstrate positive momentum across business in the 3rd quarter of 2017 as a rapidly emerging full service commercial bank, it said in a media release. The group closed the nine months to September 2017 with a 24 per cent year-on-year growth in profit before tax of Rs. 4,377 million. Group profit [...]

Budget 2018: Simple and uncomplicated

Budget 2018:  Simple and uncomplicated

The 72nd fiscal budget of the Government of Sri Lanka and the maiden budget of Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera will go down perhaps as the simplest and the least complicated budget in the recent past. One may opine the same is akin to a skirt on an elegant lady, short enough [...]

Entrepreneurs encouraged by designer budget

Entrepreneurs encouraged by designer budget

Ernst & Young (EY) hosted its customary post Budget forum on Friday, with its head of Tax services Duminda Hulangamuwa highlighting significant features of the 2018 Budget as well as setting the stage for industry personalities to express their views and concerns. This was the 18th forum since EY convened the first ever post budget [...]

Start-up industry finally gets due recognition

Start-up industry finally  gets due recognition

Sri Lanka’s start-ups community says a specific allocation in the budget to start-ups finally shows government recognition of an important sector in the economy. Co-founder and CEO Lahiru Padmalal told the Business Times on Friday that with an actual budgetary allocation of Rs.3 billion, this was something that the sector was excited about. In [...]

Budget hailed for progressive capital market proposals

Budget hailed for  progressive capital  market proposals

The coalition Government’s third budget presented by its new Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, was hailed by Colombo bourse in the early trading hours on Friday with both indices turning green but they failed to sustain towards the end of trading. The most salient proposal pertaining to developing the capital market were the proposals to shed [...]

Women’s chamber hails budget as “women-friendly”

“Women-friendly” is how Chathuri Ranasinghe, Chairperson Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commere, described the 2018 budget. In a statement she said that from the perspective of women’s empowerment, the chamber welcomed the budget. It was heartening to note that the budget incorporates many a proposal in respect of gender equality. “The proposal to support majority [...]

Economists welcome Blue-Green development strategy

The government ‘s policy of pursuing a Blue – Green development strategy through the 2018 budget is most welcome and essential for the country’s environmental conservation, says an eminent economic expert when he briefed the Business Times on the outcome of the budget. Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne of the Colombo University noted that the budget has [...]

Boost for would-be student-entrepreneurs

The Government has been commended for identifying the needs of the youth and giving them the space to expand by engaging in more business opportunities even after completing O/L. Chandra Embuldeniya, founder VC of the Uwa-Wellassa University and former Chairman of the National Chamber of Commerce, said the promise that comes out of this budget [...]

Sri Lanka embarks on a new private sector – driven growth model: CB Governor

Sri Lanka embarks on a new private sector – driven growth model according priority to exports and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with an ambitious economic target of 6-8 per cent growth over 10 – 15 years, says Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. Delivering the fourth Gamani Corea Memorial lecture at the BMICH in Colombo [...]

SriLankan wins award for ‘Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins’

SriLankan wins award for ‘Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins’

SriLankan Airlines added another award to its list of recent global airline industry accolades when it won the ‘Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins’ award at the In-flight Asia Pacific Awards in Singapore on November 1. In a media release, Siva Ramachandra, SriLankan’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to win this award, which recognises [...]

Development banks or development banking?

Development banks have a long history in Sri Lanka. The first one was set up on the advice of the World Bank in 1956 and it was named the Development Finance Corporation of Ceylon (DFCC). Subsequently, in order to focus on Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) lending, the National Development Bank (NDB) was established in [...]

Jo Lanka reduces defect rate with h one smart factory solution

Jo Lanka, known for its “quality first” approach, recently moved to world-class apparel quality management solution, res.q | quality management solution (qms), developed by hirdaramani’s enterprise IT solutions arm, h one. Res.q | qms belongs to a suite of cloud-based smart factory solutions which leverages over 100 years of apparel manufacturing expertise to give decision-makers [...]

Technology impacting the accountancy profession globally

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is a global body that consists of over 10,000 members spread across 60 countries including Sri Lanka. “We certainly consider ourselves to be a global body where the strength of our membership is in Asia, the centre of the business community. We focus on Post Graduate qualification in [...]

Microsoft partners with 65 schools and 300 innovative educators in digital era projects

Microsoft partners with 65 schools and 300 innovative educators in digital era projects

Microsoft, to help local schools transform in Sri Lanka, has partnered with the Western Provincial Department of Education, Headstart, Commercial Bank, and Dialog to launch Project Smart School and so far helped 65 schools. Its mission? Transforming the learning environment of a traditional secondary school into one that is smart and enabled by the latest [...]

Sri Lankan interest rates left unchanged

Interest rates in Sri Lanka were left unchanged on Tuesday, a decision made at the regular monthly meeting of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank, following an improvement in the local and external (economic) environment. At Monday’s meeting, the board decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility [...]

Motor traders perturbed by vehicle tax formula

The government’s formula on vehicle import taxes proposed in the budget to promote the green vehicle concept has irked the motor traders countrywide. They also protested against the budget proposal prohibiting the import of motor vehicles below the Emission Standard of the Euro 4 or its equivalent effective from January 1, 2018. Although this is [...]

Budget proposal not in national interest says CASA, SLFFA

Sri Lanka’s shipping sector on Friday strongly objected to the government’s budget proposal to lift the restrictions on foreign ownership in shipping and freight forwarding agencies. “The proposal will not bring any significant benefit to the industries and the economy and in fact will have an adverse impact to the national interest of the country,” [...]

Export-oriented mega high speed rail project hits the buffers

An ambitious mega high speed rail and mixed development project has become a non-starter due to the delay in approving the project by the Board of Investment (BOI), official sources said. The project company, High Speed Railway Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd (HSRC) will soon take a decision to shift the project to Vietnam due to alleged [...]

Unions flex muscle on “flexible hours”

In the wake of continuous flak from trade unions to state plans to impose the “flexi-hour” concept in the private sector the government wants worker representatives to participate at a November 30 symposium on labour reforms. The government is in talks with a US funded aid agency, USAID to support changes in the Sri Lankan [...]

New book traces history of cinnamon in Sri Lanka

New book traces history of cinnamon in Sri Lanka

A book that gives an insight into and the history of Sri Lanka’s spice industry, the trade and exports explained by a pioneer in the spice trade – Gulam S. Chatoor – recreates how the posh residential area – Cinnamon Gardens or ‘Kurundu Watte’ in Colombo came to exist from the Dutch era. This small [...]

Officers in state-owned units receive professional allowance

Senior officers in certain sectors of the Government are to receive a professional allowance of between Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 15,000 per month, apart from their monthly wage and other benefits, with effect from October 2017. According to an October 25 circular by Treasury Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga to Ministry Secretaries and heads of departments, the [...]

HSBC’s $100 bln pledge to combat climate change

HSBC has pledged US$100 billion in sustainable financing and investment by 2025, one of five new commitments by the global bank to tackle climate change and support sustainable growth in the communities it serves. The bank will intensify its support for clean energy and lower-carbon technologies, as well as projects that support the implementation of [...]

Grumbling over a ‘crab’

World renowned sea food restaurant “Ministry of Crab” has filed action in the Commercial High Court against a restaurant under the name “Black Crab” over infringement of its trademark and unfair competition. Ministry of Crab which was established by celebrated chef and restaurateur Darshan Munidasa, partnering with Sri Lankan cricketing legends Mahela Jayawardane and Kumar [...]

LOLC Micro Credit supports Kilinochchi students

LOLC Micro Credit Limited (LOMC) recently launched a social responsibility initiative to uplift the facilities of Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalayam in the Northern Province. Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalayam is the largest school in the Wanni, and while the school’s student population significantly fluctuated during the conflict years, more than 2600 students now attend on a regular basis [...]

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