boon to small business
was signed between the Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) of Kurunegala
and Vanik Incorporation Ltd to promote computer software applications
to small business enterprises to improve office productivity and
Both the institutions
have so far developed application software for private (trading
and manufacturing) and public institutions on inventory control,
accounts management, distribution management, salaries/wages administration
and human resource management. The ISB-Vanik joint venture will
make these products available to the business community in the Wayamba
region through the Vanik office in Kurunegala and ISB. The targeted
small industry segments, initially, will be trading (wholesale and
retail), manufacturing (small and medium garments sector, Tea, DC
industry, etc.) and the services sector where up to-date product
and clients information will be useful to the management.
Vice President of the IT division of Vanik explained that many small
businesses fear using computer based applications due to the high
cost on hardware and software, training requirements and because
of the lack of continued support from developer and operator. In
contrast the service package offered by the ISB-Vanik alliance will
provide a total solution, from the system analysis to the after
installation support at an affordable fee and on a modular basis.
An awareness programme was held at ISB's Konrad Adenuear auditorium
to brief the business community of Wayamba about these new developments.
VAT effective next month
Value Added Tax (VAT) that is set to come into effect on
July 1 will be charged at the time of supply on taxable supplies
of goods and services and on imports.
The tax will
not be charged on the wholesale or retail supply of goods, according
to the VAT bill introduced in parliament last week.
The 6.5 percent
National Security Levy and the 12.5 percent Goods and Services Tax
would be replaced by VAT which will be in two bands - 10 percent
for consumer goods and 20 percent for luxury items.
Goods in customs
bonded areas are exempt as are fabric, fibre, yarn, chemicals and
dyes imported by Board of Investment garment manufacturers for export.
Under the Act,
the time of the supply of goods is considered to be the issue of
an invoice by the supplier, payment for the goods including any
advance payment received by the supplier, or when the delivery of
the goods has been effected.
of services is considered the time the service was performed, a
payment is received for the services rendered, or the time an invoice
is issued in respect of the services rendered.
A supply of
goods shall be zero rated where it is directly connected with property
abroad, repair of foreign ships and aircraft, refurbishment of marine
cargo containers or any other goods imported for the purpose of
Also zero rated
are copyright, patent, trade mark or similar intellectual property
rights for use outside Sri Lanka, international transportation including
transshipment of goods or passengers, computer software development
for use abroad and paid by foreign currency, and other services
wholly consumed outside Sri Lanka and paid with foreign currency.
Among the supplies,
services and imports exempt from VAT are unprocessed agricultural
products other than key exports such as cinnamon, cloves and pepper,
potatoes, onions and chillies, unprocessed fishing products, rice
and wheat, bread, milk and infants milk powder, ships, aircraft
and helicopters, educational services, books, kerosene, crude oil,
bank accounts, exchange of currency, loans and advances, seed paddy,
health services other than those under the BOI, and pearls, diamonds,
gold coins and precious metals.
The tax in
respect of any taxable period shall be paid not later than the last
day of the month following the end of that taxable period, according
to the bill.
penalty for default is 10 percent of the amount in default. An assessor
shall assess the amount of tax that ought to have been paid when
tax payers fail to furnish returns, pay taxes or ask the Commissioner-General
of Inland Revenue to alter their returns.
has to give reasons for not accepting a tax return.
Tax payers dissatisfied with an assessor's assessment or a penalty
imposed under the Act, may appeal in writing to the Commissioner-General
within 30 days after notice of such assessment has been served and
the matter must be determined within three years.
has the power to summon people to give evidence in the case of an
appeal as well as ask for and examine documents. Department officials
have the power to enter and search buildings, seize books of accounts
and other documents.
bodies have not paid tax, the Commissioner-General can take action
against company executives.
has to pay interest on the amount of tax refunds if there are delays
in making tax refunds by the Inland Revenue Department.
A VAT refund
fund is to be set up with 25 percent of the tax collected every
Tax dodgers who try to avoid paying tax shall be guilty of an offence
and be liable to a fine consisting of a sum equal to twice the amount
of tax that was evaded and a sum not exceeding Rs. 25,000 or imprisonment
for six months.
cuts fat, reduces losses
and Co Ltd, one of the oldest asset rich companies in Sri Lanka,
saw turnover down to Rs. 2.4 billion in the year to March 2002 from
Rs. 2.7 billion in the previous year but was able to cut losses.
according to an official statement, reported an increase in gross
profits to Rs. 492.2 million from Rs. 474.6 million, a commendable
achievement considering the turbulent economic conditions in the
Browns is a
diversified company with interests ranging from consumer electronics,
office automation, hardware, agriculture, batteries, motor vehicles,
power systems, to consumer and commodity products.
loss for the year to March 2002 was Rs. 176.4 million which came
after a financing cost of Rs. 298.2 million and dividend income
being reduced to Rs. 20 million from Rs. 52 million in the previous
year. The statement said this was mainly due to a lower dividend
income from Browns' associate company, Hatton National Bank which
is constructing a four billion-rupee head office complex.
restructure, rationalise and streamline the company led to considerable
cost reductions with operating expenses being cut by almost 25 percent
to Rs. 395.5 million from Rs. 517.1 million.
maintain high international standards
Keells Food Products has referred to the contents of
an article by Hindu's Businessline which was reproduced in The Sunday
Times Business last week headlined "Keells sausages raise hornet's
nest in India", and says it is inaccurate.
In a letter,
the company listed the following as facts:
"Indian manufacturers sell chicken sausages to institutions
(hotels and restaurants) at Indian Rs. 130 to Rs. 140 per kilo in
Chennai and Rs. 160 to Rs. 170 per kilo in Bangalore inclusive of
all sales taxes. We believe these prices are possible as the cost
of production in India is very competitive.
Also in most
parts of the world, you could purchase chicken sausages at a price
of less than three dollars per kilo from supermarkets.
Prices of chicken
portions are determined on the basis similar to a commodity market
based, i.e. on supply and demand. It is surprising to hear from
a major player of poultry industry in India, that chicken legs consisting
of over 50 percent of meat from a total bird, are considered unwanted.
internationally use meat from different parts of a chicken to produce
sausages and to manufacture an internationally accepted product,
the ratio of meat to fat has to be consistently maintained.
We do not use
any chicken meat from either North or South America, and the same
could be confirmed from statistics issued by Sri Lanka Customs.
Products Ltd maintains market leadership with approximately 70 percent
of the processed meat category. It offers a range of processed meat
products such as sausages, ham, bacon and cold meat.
commitment to its business is demonstrated by the achievement of
ISO 9001 Quality System Certification. Furthermore, we have achieved
the SLS mark product certification, awarded by the Sri Lanka Standards
Institute for all products where documented standards exist.
We are highly
respected in Sri Lanka and around the world as being a company,
which maintains very high ethical standards in its business practices.
are served in international hotel chains, airlines and are exported
to many countries.
state that all criteria laid down by the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) are fully complied with. All products manufactured
by us meet the highest international standards."
LP gas unloading
in Galle port: Warning
Chamber of Commerce has asked the Ministry of Power and Energy to
ensure that new entrants to the liquid petroleum gas market comply
with safety rules when using floating storage facilities and unloading
LPG in the port of Galle.
said it was "seriously concerned" that proposed floating
storage and port discharge operations may be detrimental to the
safety and reputation of the country's ports.
inside harbours was very risky and ports handling dangerous goods
especially in bulk should be ideally located away from populated
areas, it said.
statement came after Mundo Gas Lanka, which is providing competition
to Shell Gas Lanka, announced plans to have a floating storage facility
and to discharge LPG at the Galle harbour.
Since LPG vaporises
immediately on release to the atmosphere, a leak during product
discharging from tankers can create a highly flammable vapour cloud
that remains hazardous for a greater distance as it is carried by
wind, the chamber said.
depending on the vapour cloud size, the resultant effect would be
a flash fire or explosion, fatal to anyone within the cloud vicinity
and its thermal radiation likely to cause burns to those within
hundreds of metres from the explosion," it said.
presents additional hazards, such as the collision risk, which need
to be carefully addressed, it said.
SL's paddy yields
paddy yields at 60 bushels per acre are among the lowest in Asia
and need to be improved substantially, says Lakshman Fernando, chairman
of the CIC group, whose seeds subsidiary received ISO recognition
extremely important for farmers to have access to top quality seeds
for their production if they are to get the desired yields,"
said Fernando adding that CIC Seeds Ltd was conforming to the highest
standards in quality.
the single largest paddy seed producer in the country, recently
became the first Sri Lankan seed company to be awarded the ISO 9001:2000
certification by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution.
in an interview with The Sunday Times Business that the company
" has set new standards in the farms we manage".
CIC took over
the management of three government farms in Hingurakgoda, Pelwehera
and Talawa in the late 1990s and now produces a quarter of the country's
requirements in seed paddy. Prior to this the Department of Agriculture
produced the entire seed requirement. CIC has doubled the yields
in all these farms following prudent management techniques.
The group which
has seven companies under it is today the market leaders in pesticides,
fertilizer and seed production.
Intelligence to manage the proposed Shell Gas Lanka IPO
Merchant Bank (PMB) and Business Intelligence Limited (BIL) have
been asked to manage the proposed IPO of Shell Gas Lanka Ltd (SGLL)
at the request of PERC, a PMB statement said.
is divesting its 49 percent equity stake in SGLL.
owned by People's Bank, Hatton National Bank and DFCC Bank, will
provide merchant/investment banking expertise to this assignment,
prepare the business valuation of SGLL and advise PERC on the pricing
of the shares and strategy to be adopted. BIL a fully-owned subsidiary
of Ernst and Young will perform the registrar activities pertaining
to the proposed IPO.
This IPO is
expected to generate considerable interest in the local stock market,
being the first instance where shares in the island's leading gas
company are being offered to the public. A controlling (51 percent)
stake in the gas company was previously sold by the state to Shell
Overseas Investments BV (SHELL) in 1995, where a price of approximately
Rs. 90 per share was paid.
management, local sales volumes of LPG have increased from 78,000
MT in 1996 to 146,000 MT in 2000.
Ingrin to admit
of Printing and Graphics of Sri Lanka Ltd (Ingrin) has decided to
admit foreign students for its courses in future.
Ingrin, Ananda Wickramaratne, said they would accept applications
from foreign students in the region in the next three years.
targeting school-leavers and employees who are attached to the printing
and design field," he added.
is making plans to open branches in the outstations and is also
hoping to tie up with the European Printing School to introduce
more courses. It has trained around 11,00 students so far.
was established in 1994 at a cost of Rs. 85 million as a venture
by the Ingrin Foundation of the Netherlands, Export Development
Board, Printers' Association of Sri Lanka, International Advertising
Association and the Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging.
Its aim is
to cater to the demand for skilled and professional personnel from
the printing and packaging industry in Sri Lanka.
of Ingrin Foundation Netherlands, Dr. Robert Van Weldam, was in
Sri Lanka last week on a tour to evaluate the Sri Lanka branch.
standards of printing have improved fast, he said.
"We are aware of the capabilities of the Sri Lankans and this
is why we opened our only foreign branch in Colombo," he said.
NTB buying out Kandy branch
Chartered Grindlays Bank announced last week plans to divest its
customer portfolio in Kandy to the Nations Trust Bank (NTB).
involves the transfer of the Kandy customer portfolio only and is
subject to receipt of necessary regulatory approvals (from the Central
Bank), a bank statement said, a week after The Sunday Times Business
broke the news of NTB taking over Grindlays' Kandy branch.
The bank has
decided to close operations in Kandy so that greater emphasis can
be placed on developing the consumer bank in the greater Colombo
area. The statement said that the present network of 10 branches
and 10 ATM's in Colombo provides the bank with adequate coverage
and this will be supplemented with new ATM's and other channels
in future, In June 2002 a new ATM will be installed at the CH and
FC in Colombo.
of Nations Trust Bank as a partner in this transaction was done
to ensure that Standard Chartered Grindlays customers are able to
continue their banking in Kandy with a well known bank without any
disruption, the bank noted.
Leo Burnett plans communication strategy for CSE
Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. was recently appointed as the
official communication agency for the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE)
to plan and launch a new image. The business was awarded to Leo
Burnett after a five-way pitch carried out by CSE earlier this year
to choose a communications partner to fuel its endeavours.
will support the CSE with a total communications approach ranging
from media buying to public relations and relationship marketing
to event activations. Leo Burnett will also bring in international
expertise from the Leo Burnett Worldwide Network as globally the
company has experience in handling international stock exchanges
such as the SXG of Singapore, the Athens Stock Exchange and the
public listing in Malaysia.
looking forward to working with this prestigious account as it has
a considerable impact on Sri Lanka's economy, "Brand Director
of Leo Burnett Solutions Inc Michael Holsinger said. He said there
is a need to make Sri Lankans aware of the importance of a stock
exchange to a country.
Stock Exchange is one of the finest and first in South Asia, yet
its image needs to be developed considerably."
UTA elects officials
bearers were elected at the recent AGM of the Unit Trust Association
of Sri Lanka for 2002-2003. They are:
S. Jeyavarman, Vice President- Indrani Jayasinghe, Secretary- Rachini
Rajapakse, Asst Secretary- Chitra Satkumara, Treasurer- Gehan Rajapakse,
Asst. Treasurer- Namal Kamalgoda, Committee Members- Prabodha Samarasekera,
Rohan Bogoda and Rajan Niles.