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Heavenly rains

Heavenly rains

Farmers in Karuwalagaswewa in the Puttalam district prepare their fields for vegetable growing after recent showers. The area had been stricken by drought for several months. Jayararatne Wickremarachchi

Bitter-sweet pill for local beverage manufacturers

The Sri Lanka government is mulling increasing the existing tax on soft drinks and extending it to all varieties of sweetened beverages, food items and sweet meats based on its sugar content. The main aim is to reduce obesity; diabetes and the growing concern over the mounting public health expenditure on non-communicable diseases (NCD). The [...]

Digital campaign to kick off next week

Tenders are awarded, staff trained and everyone is in the driver’s seat but the wait continues for Sri Lanka Tourism’s digital campaign to take off. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam said that within the next two weeks Track 1 of the digital campaign is likely to kick off showcasing footage of [...]

Thondaman to muscle political support for wage hike

CWC MP Arumugam Thondaman is threatening to muster support from other political parties to pose a challenge to Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) by obtaining support to increase basic wages through a budget proposal, should wage talks fail. Wage talks between the estate workers unions and the RPCs are still underway and the main party, the [...]

Dollar rises to Rs.171.40

The dollar moved to Rs. 171.40 its highest level during the week in Colombo’s money markets. Dealers said the supply and demand was static though there were reports that the Central Bank had pumped in quantities of the US currency to reduce pressure on the rupee. They said the Central Bank through various directives to [...]

CB issues a directive on margin requirement for LCs

The rapid depreciation of the Sri Lanka rupee against the US dollar has prompted the Central Bank (CB) to issue a directive to licensed commercial banks to adopt a raft of import control measures taking pressure off the local currency. The CB will only confine to limited interventions to prevent sharp volatility of the Sri [...]

“I-don’t-know” craze

“I-don’t-know” craze

The rain had taken a breather on Thursday morning and yours truly was taking a break with Kussi Amma Sera’s piping hot cup of tea when rudely interrupted by the loud shrill of the land line. Karapincha Perera, the tea-kade gossip, was on the line and wanting to discuss the rising fuel prices. “It’s only [...]

Open exit, but no entry

Open exit, but no entry

As I was waiting for my flight at the Colombo Airport, I saw someone approaching me with a big smile on the face. I felt that he knew me very closely. Being a university professor, such situations are not rare in my life; wherever I go, quite often I meet the students whom I have [...]

New legislation to protect microfinance borrowers

The government is planning to enact new legislation to protect microfinance borrowers from loan sharks where unethical lending practices by some individuals have created problems in some parts of the country. To salvage women entrepreneurs from such problems the government has written off debts of 45,000 microfinance female borrowers amounting to Rs. 1.25 billion in [...]

Doctor–patient relationship needs to be physical

Doctor–patient relationship needs to be physical

While technology has advanced to a stage today where doctors and patients are connected via a technologically developed device, it lacks the kind of physical relationship between the two. Technology in that kind of a remote relationship is helpful in some respects in terms of triaging patients, says Prof. James Batchelor, Clinical Informatics and Healthcare [...]

Buddhist Business Forum 2018 on “Buddhist Leadership Practices in Business”

The Buddhist Business Forum 2018 organised by the National Council for International Affairs of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress and will be held on October 16 at the BMICH Colombo. The forum has been a regular feature of the World Fellowship of Buddhists since it held its 25th General Conference in Sri Lanka. According to [...]

Dankotuwa Porcelain re-introduces Laklain locally

Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC, renowned for its luxurious and elegant porcelain tableware, recently re-introduced its value-for-money heritage brand Laklain to the local market. Now available with several new offerings that feature a similar high-quality standard to the more upmarket Dankotuwa Porcelain brand, Laklain is marketed at a more affordable price point with easy customer accessibility. Laklain [...]

Combining entrepreneurship with new tech

At a time when entrepreneurship is addressed in forums discussing economics and development of the country, today’s most essential need is rapid economic growth where export products and services are value added with innovation and knowledge inbuilt to products so that the production cost and the selling price would have a big margin. Speaking on [...]

CEB unlikely to raise power rates due to oncoming elections: Fitch

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sri Lanka-based Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) National Long-Term Rating at ‘AAA(lka)’ with a Stable Outlook. CEB’s rating is equalised with that of the Sri Lankan sovereign (B+/Stable), reflecting strong linkages with the parent, in line with Fitch’s Parent and Subsidiary Rating Linkage criteria. The equalisation takes into consideration CEB’s strategic importance [...]

Biodiversity preservation, the key to sustainable growth

Biodiversity Sri Lanka’s (BSL) Annual Technical Sessions which preceded its AGM, were held at the Ramada Colombo recently. At these sessions, member contributions to national conservation priorities were explored, the organization said in a media release. BSL member companies are engaged in biodiversity conservation and activities that have a direct and/or indirect impact on the [...]

Sri Lanka to secure sixth tranche of $250 million IMF’s EFF

With one year more for the conclusion of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) US$1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme, Sri Lanka is waiting to receive the sixth tranche of $250 million of the loan facility soon. With the disbursement of the sixth tranche, total disbursements under the EFF arrangement will be $1.26 billion, Central [...]

ComBank expands scope of its Green Loans

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced an expansion of the scope of its ‘Green Loans’ to encompass technology and products that contribute to environment conservation and to include leasing of electric and hybrid vehicles. Previously limited to households seeking funds for switching to solar power to reduce consumption of electricity from the national grid, [...]

Unsolicited project proposals open highway to corruption

Unsolicited project proposals open highway to corruption

The Government of Sri Lanka has taken a very late and impetuous policy decision in August 2018 just almost ahead of elections, to accommodate unsolicited proposals (USP) through and a fast-track approval procedure in order to encourage private sector participation in economic development. According to the policy decision, a Standing Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee (SCANC) [...]

SL maintains single portal facilitating cross -border trading

With the intention of creating a more business-friendly environment for importers and exporters, Sri Lanka is now implementing a new trade portal providing the requisite information for the advancement of Sri Lanka’s current global trade on to the next level. The Sri Lanka Trade Portal, a one-stop shop has been established by the Finance Ministry [...]

Ceylinco Life dominates IASL’s Life Insurance Awareness Month competition

Ceylinco Life demonstrated its prowess at an industry-wide competition that concluded recently, taking the top spot, half of the top 10 places and nearly a quarter of the top 100 places. The competition was conducted by the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) in connection with its Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) initiative every September [...]

Sri Lanka creates revolution in payments through LANKAQR

Sri Lankans will soon be able to make payments to any big or small merchant, supermarkets taxi or three wheel drivers for purchases and services through a printed Quick Response (QR) code and a mobile phone. The Central Bank will be introducing this revolutionary payment system making payments faster and easier for customers through Sri [...]

Digital Space takes a national focus

Digital Space takes  a national focus

Last week was an important week for everything digital in Sri Lanka. The national event that deliberates all maters digital and IT – the National IT Conference (NITC) was held on October 2 to 4 at the Shangri La Hotel, with the head of the state President Maithripala Sirisena himself attending as the Chief Guest. [...]

Leverage on the opportunities without boasting about the strategic location of Sri Lanka

For over a decade, Sri Lanka and the people of the country have been hearing thoughts that the country should be made a hub in various sectors by the political fraternity whereas nothing or no improvement have happened so far. Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama at an event in Colombo said [...]

Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2018 kicks off next week

Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2018 kicks off next week

The Sri Lanka Retail Forum (SLRF) 2018 “Towards a Dynamic and Evolving Retail Sector” is set to take place this week at Cinnamon Grand Colombo, with the inauguration and networking of industry leaders on Wednesday, October 17 followed by a full-day forum taking place the next day. SLRF 2018 is organized by Sri Lanka Retailers’ [...]

IPS releases “State of the Economy 2018’ report tomorrow

Higher debt servicing costs and risks that have come about with a notable shift in the composition of the creditor base makes the Sri Lankan economy more vulnerable to external shocks, notes the annual, flagship report of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS). This year’s Sri Lanka: State of the Economy report, [...]

Footwear manufacturers urge government to crack down on illegal imports

While appreciating the government’s policy measure of curtailing footwear imports, Sri Lanka’s footwear and leather products manufacturers are urging the authorities to crack down on illegal imports as well. The Sri Lanka Footwear & Leather Products Manufacturers Association had made strong representations against imposing import duty as Rs. 100 flat rate in the 2012 Budget [...]

“Colombo high rises a major fire risk, says UK expert”

“Colombo high rises a major fire risk, says UK expert”

I refer to an article titled “Colombo high rises a major fire risk, says UK expert” which appeared in the Business Times on August 5, 2018. As per a comment made by a foreign consultant, the fire risk in Colombo is said to be very high. This was made probably after observing the current mega [...]

“Dehiwela builder warned by authorities, but carries on”

With reference to the above article appearing in the Business Times on September 30, Himas Isab has written referring to a property named in the article. “The article refers to a developer putting up a building at no. 28. I am the owner of no. 28 and I am not a developer. The article must [...]

CBL’s Sera to augment quality of coconut consumption

Ceylon Biscuits Ltd’s (CBL) much favoured brand ‘Sera’ coconut milk recently sponsored a workshop in Kurunegala, organised by the Coconut Development Authority – which operates under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture. The workshop mainly focused on the application of best methodologies for coconut extraction, CBL said in a media release. The programme was [...]

Palm Oil industry rejects vilification of crop as “baseless and unscientific”

The vilification of oil palm in Sri Lanka on the grounds of the crop’s purported adverse impact on the environment is completely unjustifiable, given that the extent of land under oil palm is just 1.1 per cent of the extent under traditional crops – tea, rubber and coconut –, an industry body has stated. Responding [...]

Rupee fell by 10 % vs the dollar upto Oct.8

The Sri Lankan rupee has depreciated by 10.2 per cent against the US dollar in the year up to October 8, the Central Bank (CB) said this week. Furthermore, reflecting cross currency movements, the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated against other major currencies except for the Indian rupee during this period. The weakening of the Sri [...]

Reaching out to rural Sri Lanka through technology

Technology has embraced the globe and Sri Lanka is no exception, particularly in enlisting young hidden talent from the rural areas and to fulfill this task a platform has been created by an organisation called ‘Road to Rights’ a vehicle to carry ‘Gamata Technology’ and through it empower communities through technology. This initiative is led [...]

SLT Human Capital Solutions gets prestigious ISO 9001:2015 Quality Certification

SLT Human Capital Solutions (Pvt) Ltd (HCS) broke new ground recently when it achieved the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System certification. The award recognises HCS’s record of providing unrivalled Total HR solutions, reinforcing its commitment to excellence in client satisfaction, quality service and continuous business improvement, SLT said in a media release. As the first [...]

Organic fertilizer via rice straw to boost rice production

Organic fertilizer via rice straw to boost rice production

The survival of all beings mostly depends on agriculture, crops and its sustainability due to the application of fertilizer. A growing issue today is that fertilizer contains chemicals that are harmful and with this information, there are efforts to develop organic fertilizer without or with minimal chemicals. Rice is consumed by a large number of [...]

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