Financial Times

Police caught flat-footed on public-smoking arrests


More than 200 people have challenged arrests by police for violating the no smoking rule in public areas since it came into effect in 2007 and won their cases, because the law was not properly enforced, according to the CEO of Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC).

“The National Authority of Tobacco and Alcohol Act No. 27 of 2007 says smoking within an enclosed public space is prohibited. So in places such as the street, people can smoke, but they are still being harassed (by police) as the law enforcement agencies are not aware of the law,” Mustanser Ali Khan, Managing Director/CEO, CTC told the Sunday Times FT.

“We engage with our retailers and distributors on the clarification of the law. At times we engage with law enforcement agencies and give them some clarity, but the issue is in enforcement. However at the same time sensible regulations are more than welcome,” he explained. Sales in CTC products dropped by five to six percent last year due to the government’s “Mathata Thitha” initiative ((full stop to intoxication) which has led to the rigid enforcement of laws pertaining to smoking in public and advertising of these products. “We see more regulation in the near future, but we are more apprehensive about how they are implemented,” Mr Khan said.

With regards to the company's quarterly statements which show each successive quarter as better than the rest, he said that the CTC has recognized its expenses are not ‘equally’ spread in the four quarters. “We are trying to correct this,” Mr. Khan noted, when asked if the company is onto some earnings management as there is a stark seasonality in its quarterly accounts. Usually CTC’s first quarter shows profits, the next is better than the first, the third quarter is better than the second and the last quarter ending in December is very good.

Mr. Khan noted that there is a certain seasonality (in sales) in December accounts as people get bonuses and the fact that it is the festive season. “Also there is a price increase towards the year-end which gives a better picture towards that time in CTC accounts,” he added. CTC, despite its revenue decreasing has seen its margins increase during the last few quarters.

“The revenue has not increased due to the declining trend in the market, but we have reduced the cost structures which is why the margins have risen,” Mr. Khan explained. He said CTC is trying to manage its raw material cost. “This is the biggest chunk (in our cost structure) and we are trying to manage our manufacturing cost,” he said, adding CTC is looking at a 7% manufacturing cost reduction this year. Last year CTC contributed Rs. 8.4 billion as state taxes which is 80% of the company’s revenue.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
Other Financial Times Articles
Lanka’s forex reserves surge
F&G directors meet in Welikada prison on payment plan
Top investor Jim Rogers visits Sri Lanka
SLIC board's random decisions irk staff
Police caught flat-footed on public-smoking arrests
SLT facing an internal crisis
Kotelawala, GK directors meet at Central Bank
COMMENT - Jim Rogers was here!
Fallacy and the reality of IMF Standby Arrangement for Sri Lanka
CIMA/ICMA - Accounting qualification battle rages on
‘Small Miracle’ Tagline is no more
HNB opens commercial operations for remittances from Canada
Terminations, VRS and workforce restructuring on the rise
Developing nation consumers prefer mobiles for Internet access
Call for more engineers to be produced
Distilleries profits drop sharply
Summa Navaratnam ends mercantile career of over five decades
Managing properties in Sri Lanka and overseas as local industry takes off
The new silver frosted proof coins
Pakistan Civil Aviation hires MTI Consulting
Improved agricultural knowledge access through IT
Sri Lanka's banking technology leads region
SIA to fly to Melbourne with A380
Textured Jersey to supply fleece fabric for Pink, the No.1 lounge wear brand
New war strategies succeeded against LTTE
Dispute once again over SLT Tariffs
Lalith W wants the Public Service to be courteous
Seven judge SC bench to hear PBJ case
Garment exports down for second month in a row
Garment factories invited to go North
Bilingual education system showing good results – Education Ministry
Fewer students attracted to marketing field this year
EFC study on training needs of SMEs
Education opportunities in New Zealand
UK Sri Lankan Business Directory launched
Micro Cars to manufacture container trucks and tractors for the North and East
Upcoming IT park: Orion City ties up with Suntel
‘Garments without Guilt’ campaign gets another global award
A wise call on Colombo South Port
Competitors threaten to stop interconnect to Airtel
Sukuk certificates to attract Muslim millions for post-war development
HNB shows slight increase in profits
CCC receives applications for this year’s CSR awards
Allianz Lanka continues growth performance into 2Q09
SriLankan Airlines saves Rs. 6 billion through cost restructuring measures
Privatisation: Myth and reality
Singer net profit down for 1H09 and 2Q09
Lankan entrepreneur nominated for biz award
400 stalls at 2009 Colombo International Book Fair
NDB an attractive option for a merger
Local companies yet to face true global competition
LankaClear net profit drops in 2008/09 Financial Year
Huge remittances through Seylan Bank


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2009 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution