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‘Kiri hodi’ taxes for the people

Prices of common ingredients to prepare the common ‘Kiri Hodi” curry and other essential food items are rising based on the special commodity levy imposed by the Government in the November 2013 budget presentation The cess on imports of many basic food items was also revised but no indicative prices were given until this week [...]

Chairmen of 3 banks to retire this year

Chairmen of three commercial banks are due to retire this year at a time when the country’s financial landscape will change with Central Bank (CB)-ruled mergers and acquisitions. Stepping down are Dinesh Weerakkody (Commercial Bank), Rajan Brito (DFCC) and Arjuna Gunaratne (Nation’s Trust Bank), according to CB officials. This is in line with CB’s ruling [...]

Economic data unbelievable-BT Poll

Economic data unbelievable-BT Poll

Some 90 per cent of the respondents in a Business Times (BT) poll say they don’t believe the Government’s economic data. Asked, “Are inflation, cost of living and growth provided by the Government/Central Bank accurate”, 90.5 per cent of the respondents said “No” while 5.6 per cent said they were “Undecided”. The poll, which drew [...]

Tourism numbers dazzle in final countdown

Tourism authorities,in the final count, figured out that last year more tourists had popped onto the island than they had previously thought except in November when holidaymakers got scooped out in the numbers game! Amidst speculation of manipulating tourist arrival figures, authorities on Friday admitted to further discrepancies in data not just in the 2013 [...]

Krrish must complete project within 3 years or exit : Minister

The government would be forced to cancel the Krrish square project in Colombo if it is not completed within 3 years, a senior government minister said. “Although the Delhi-based investor requires making a major effort to avoid the dire consequences of failure to make the final payment nothing is impossible if you have money”, Minister [...]

Economic data ‘jilmart’ and development myth revealed

Economic data ‘jilmart’ and development myth revealed

The rosy economy presented by the Rajapaksa government to attract foreign and local investors as well as to raise sovereign bonds overseas to repay foreign debts has suddenly turned to an inflated economy with startling revelations of concocting fundamenal economic data by the authorised state body, a leftist party parliamentarian asserted. JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara [...]

Merger rules raise fresh fears among finance firms

The recent directive by the Central Bank for smaller finance companies to merge with one another or larger ones and licensed banks to acquire finance companies has created an air of uncertainty and fears in the industry with divided opinion amongst key players, industry sources said. While acknowledging that at least 10 companies are struggling [...]

Hullabaloo over tourism arrivals

Tourism authorities have re-adjusted arrivals figures for 2013 or in their own parlance ‘validated figures’. Picture shows the ‘validated’ arrivals per month in 2013. Figures for every month of the year have been amended.

Credibility of statistics under attack

A group of leading chambers is urging the Government to probe allegations that economic data has been tampered with and may be inaccurate. Recent newspaper reports have led to doubts being cast on the GDP growth rates published by the Department of Census and Statistics, the Joint Chambers of Commerce said in a statement. “If [...]

Flawed economic data

The talking point this week was about growing concern that official data on the economy and other areas could be flawed, and furthermore, doctored. From all reports, there is an admission (through an official) that economic growth figures have been inflated while on the other side there is a statement by tourism authorities that there [...]

Public sector work ethic doctrine urged by good governance campaigner

A Public Sector work ethic doctrine to ensure good governance has been suggested by good governance campaigner Chandra Jayaratne. In a letter to Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, Mr. Jayaratne has said this suggestion mirrors the work ethic culture prevalent in many leading private sector business establishments and international organizations. “I believe that the [...]

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

In most countries, people don’t believe statistics and economic data trotted out by government, particularly on cost of living and inflation. Here is an amusing email on statistics (that confuse many) doing the rounds this week in Sri Lanka: COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in the UK. ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible [...]

Transparency Int. urges Parliament to discuss economic data crisis

Transparency International Sri Lanka, (TISL), the national chapter of the global anti-corruption movement, has called for the formation of Parliamentary Select Committee to examine allegations that economic data is inaccurate and futhermore being doctored. “TISL has requested Parliamentary Speaker Chamal Rajapakse and all the party leaders to take immediate action to appoint a Parliamentary Select [...]

CSE to replace Central Depository System

CSE to replace Central Depository System

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will replace its Central Depository System (CDS) after nearly two decades, officials said. “After 18 years we’ll be replacing the CDS and introducing the new system in June,” Rajeeva Bandaranaike, the new CSE CEO told the Business Times. He said the new CDS will encompass better support from the vender, [...]

Why did Mandela earn such colossal respect?

More than 100 heads of state of the past and present voluntarily attended the Mandela funeral and memorial service. Millions of people paid their tribute to the world’s 20th century liberation leader lovingly called ‘Madiba’. His legacy that now lives on is a measure by which our own leaders can be validated, in fact a [...]

More details of the proposed 565-acre, $15 bln-worth Colombo Port City on Jan. 16

The Shippers’ Academy Colombo (SAC) in partnership of Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) has organised an interactive forum on January 16 with the Chairman Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to educate the investor community and the industry on the development projects and discuss the plan of the SLPA beyond 2014. It will be held [...]

Unrest in neighbouring countries can affect Lankan tourism :Basil

Major incidents of natural disasters, war related incidents, political unrest and bad publicity, in the region or a neighbouring country are strong enough to reduce the tourist arrival numbers in Sri Lanka although peace prevails in the island nation, a powerful government minister said in Colombo. Tourism is a volatile and sensitive industry, and one [...]

New SEC disclosure rules: Too many escape clauses for the mafia

New SEC disclosure rules: Too many escape clauses for the mafia

A group of stock market investors, concerned about good governance in the Colombo market, is urging the authorities to take stern action against manipulators and wheeler-dealers if sanity is to prevail. “Many failures of timely disclosure requirements, transfer valuations and manipulations overlooked by the SEC and the CSE have to be exposed, if further ignored, [...]

JF Tours eyes steam engine enthusiasts

Steam engine enthusiasts were the targeted travellers to hop onboard the “Viceroy 2” launched recently by JF Tours on a cross-country train ride around Sri Lanka, an official said. “We get rail enthusiasts and people who are particular about the engines and their nuts and bolts and are basically rail fans,” JF Tours Head of [...]

Not-for-profit company handles Halal Compliance Certification

A new, not-for-profit company that has been formed in Sri Lanka to handle Halal certification asserts that such certification is not being forced on anyone. “This certification is not forced upon anybody,” said Ali Fatharally, CEO of Halal Accreditation Council (Guarantee) Ltd (HAC), in a statement issued this week. “HAC was established to cater to [...]

Colombo port sees marginal growth to 4.3 mln TEUs in 2013

Colombo port has recorded container throughput at 4.3 million TEUs last year recording a marginal growth of 2.8 per cent compared to 2012, a media release issued by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) stated. The port has handled a total container throughput in transshipment operations figures to 3,208,117 in 2013 against 3,064,767 in 2012 [...]

Clash over economic data assessment and lack of public criticism

Present and former central bankers clashed this week presenting divergent views on economic data and the development path. Central Bank (CB) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, speaking on the recent CB roadmap for 2014 at a panel discussion held in Colombo, said Sri Lanka is expected to maintain a growth rate of 8.2 per cent in [...]

HSBC Sri Lanka named Best Domestic Cash Management Provider by Euromoney

HSBC Sri Lanka has once again been named the Best Domestic Cash Management Provider in the 2013 Euromoney customer survey, retaining and reinforcing its leadership position in the country as the best cash services provider. Amesh Dissanayake, Head of Payments and Cash Management Sri Lanka said, “We like to thank our clients and business partners [...]

India Infoline to exit from Sri Lankan brokerage arm

India Infoline Ltd (IIFL) is exiting from its Sri Lankan brokerage arm IIFL Securities Ceylon (Private) Ltd by divesting its entire holding to its local joint venture partner Priyani Ratna-Gopal for Rs 50 million (Indian Rs 2.37 crore or, as per a stock market disclosure in India. IIFL Securities Ceylon was set up in July [...]

Atlas sets up Rs.20 mln R and D research facility at Moratuwa University

Atlas has signed a MOU with the University of Moratuwa to set up a Rs. 20 million research and development laboratory at the university. The decision to set up the R&D laboratory at the University rather than within the company premises was made with the intention of enhancing the opportunities and resources available to local [...]

Telco consolidation just ‘a matter of time’ : Airtel SL chief

Telco consolidation just ‘a matter of time’ :  Airtel SL chief

Consolidation is inevitable for Sri Lanka’s telecommunications industry, according to industry veteran and current Airtel Sri Lanka Chief Executive Suren Goonawardene who previously headed local fixed line operator Lankabell. Adding that this pending industry consolidation would benefit both consumers and operators, he further commented that it was only a matter of time before the larger [...]

Technomedics to implement at the agreement Bileeta ERP 6.0

Technomedics to implement at the  agreement Bileeta ERP 6.0

Local ERP developer Bileeta announced recently that it had signed up with Technomedics International to implement its ERP 6.0 product. Technomedics International is a Sri Lanka-based company supplying critical care solutions and devices to the domestic halthcare sector. Further, according to Bileeta’s announcement; “Since inception, due to its innovativeness and efficiency, Technomedics is considered to [...]

CMC and ICTA facilitate taxes paid online

Sri Lanka’s state-run ICT Agency (ICTA) will be aiding the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to facilitate Colombo City tax payers to pay several categories of CMC taxes online, according to a statement issued this week by ICTA. This facility went live on January 8. Further, the statement also noted; “For this the tax payers are [...]

Micromax launches ‘Canvas Tab P650′ in Sri Lanka

Micromax launches ‘Canvas Tab P650′ in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan unit of Indian mobile maker Micromax recently extended its locally available product range by introducing the “Canvas Tab P650″ tablet PC, according to a recent launch announcement. Priced at Rs. 29,990, with promises of five hours of browsing time, this 3G tablet PC is described as offering a “light and sleek design [...]

SriLankan miles for Mobitel loyalty club members

Locally-based celco Mobitel is partnering with national carrier SriLankan Airlines to offer Mobitel customers, who are also members of the airline’s loyalty programme, free FlySmiLes miles in exchange for payment of post-paid bills as well as pre-paid recharges or top-ups. According to a statement by the celco; “Mobitel customers who are members of SriLankan Airlines’ [...]

Mobitel offers Huawei Ascend Y220 contract with free phone

Locally-based celco Mobitel has teamed with phone-maker Huawei to offer an 18-month contract plan on its Ascend Y220 smart phone, which will see those who sign up receiving a new smart phone, valued at Rs. 10,000, free of charge at the end of the contract period. According to the announcement of the deal; “The contract [...]

Cyber threats businesses face in 2014

Cyber threats businesses face in 2014

The year 2013 brought another reality check to IT and security professionals. While Sri Lankan businesses continued to transform, by embracing mobility, moving to the cloud, expanding social collaboration and creating and sharing extraordinary volumes of data, cybercriminals likewise continued to transform and scale-up their operations. Threat Predictions for 2014 are: 1. The malware designed [...]

SL-owned Maldivian resorts treat Sri Lankan workers better : Study

Recent research into the working conditions of Sri Lankan migrants working at resorts in the Maldives has concluded that “[many] of the issues faced by Sri Lankan workers in Sri Lankan resorts are similar to those faced by Sri Lankans in foreign owned and managed resorts. However, these issues are of a less severe nature [...]

Over 12,000 new entrants to CA Sri Lanka in 2013 intake

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) continues to attract an unprecedented number of new students with over 12,000 new student registrations in 2013 alone, the institution said this week. With these new student registrations, CA Sri Lanka has secured a phenomenal growth in its active student base which has now [...]

Etihad Airways celebrates record-breaking 2013 with double-digit passenger and cargo growth

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is celebrating a year of record-breaking success after achieving its highest ever passenger and cargo volumes in 2013. Nearly 12 million people flew on the airline last year, marking a significant increase of nearly 16 per cent in comparison to 2012’s figure of 10.3 million, [...]

EDEX launches job fair in addition to exhibition

The Royal College Union (RCU) (Old Boys’ Union) which has introduced EDEX Expo to assist parents and students to choose students’ future career development and higher education prospects, 10 years on and now in its 11th year is known to be an organisation to venture new avenues. In addition to the education exhibitions, their newest [...]

Sri Lanka raises $1bln through new bond issue

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) said on Tuesday it has raised US$ 1 billion through a 5-year International Sovereign Bond (Issue) at a yield of 6 per cent per annum. The issue was announced on January 6 with an initial price guidance of 6.25 per cent per annum. With the firm support from [...]

LAUGFS Anantaya to open soon in Chilaw

LAUGFS Anantaya to open soon in Chilaw

Anantaya Chilaw, the first four-star luxury beach resort in the north of Colombo will be opened for business soon by LAUGFS Leisure, the hospitality arm of LAUGFS Holdings. It is the company’s first resort in a chain of resorts planned. Situated 66km north of the Bandaranaike International Airport on the uncongested A3 highway, Anantaya Chilaw [...]

‘Jaffna’s first ever luxury apartment complex’ unveiled

‘Jaffna’s first ever luxury apartment complex’ unveiled

A recently unveiled ‘exclusive niche development’ known as “Tulasi Mahal” is laying claim to the title of “Jaffna’s first ever luxury apartment complex”, according to the announcement by its developer Peninsular Property Developers. Further, the announcement also noted; “Designed by renowned architect Sujith Mohoti, each apartment is completed with a unique combination of style and [...]

Brandix & HSBC build water supply schemes for two villages in Pooneryn

Brandix & HSBC build water supply schemes for two villages in Pooneryn

More than 800 families in two villages on the outskirts of Pooneryn, a township on the northern coast below the Jaffna peninsula, have been provided with life-sustaining year-round water supply through an initiative by Brandix and HSBC. The first of the two-phase initiative consisted of building two solar-powered water supply systems for the villages of [...]

Instant cold coffee machine, another innovation to reduce cost of labour

Sri Lanka being a country that is heading towards development, new innovations need to come into play. Cost of labour is a major crisis that the country is facing today. Brand new innovations could bring down the cost of labour, said Ganesan Ampalavanar, Managing Director of Nestle Lanka PLC. He made these comments at the [...]

CA Sri Lanka – IPM join hands to develop SL’s management capability

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Personnel Management Sri Lanka (IPM Sri Lanka) to offer a joint finance course for non-finance executives. The MoU was signed between CA Sri Lanka President Sujeewa Rajapakse and IPM Sri Lanka President Samitha [...]

New alternate director at Colombo Land

Sarva Ameresekere has been appointed to the board of Colombo Land and Development Company PLC as alternate director to Director, Admiral (Rtd) Wasantha Karannagoda. The company said that Mr. Ameresekere is Director/CEO of Triad, responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of one of Sri Lanka’s leading advertising agencies. He holds a Masters in Engineering [...]

DFCC, NDB start discussions on merger

DFCC Bank (DFCC) and National Development Bank (NDB) have begun ‘preliminary’ discussions on merging and consolidation of the two development banks under Central Bank guidelines, according to a joint statement issued on Friday. The proposal to merge the two banks was announced in the 2014 Budget. According to Friday’s statement, the boards of the two [...]

Expolanka’s Expo Medix treats 100,000th patient

Expolanka Holdings PLC recently reached a milestone 100,000th patient in its flagship CSR programme ‘Expo Medix’, a fast growing chain of affordable and not for profit medical clinics. ‘Expo Medix” treats patients in Mattakkuliya, Slave Island, Grandpass, Wattala, Panadura and Kalutara with an average of over 200 patients visiting each clinic weekly, the company said. [...]

Senior citizens living on EPF deposits ignored in budget

During the recent budget, it was mentioned that the allowance for pensioners would be increased. It was also stated that the cost of living allowance for government employees would be increased by Rs. 1200 from January 2014 and a proposal to increase the educational allowance of university lecturers by 5 per cent would be presented. [...]

Kent Ridge extends University of Moratuwa Research

Kent Ridge extends University of Moratuwa Research to the industry Kent Ridge (Pvt) Ltd, the innovative Human Resources Management solutions provider, and the University of Moratuwa (UoM). Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) have jointly published a research compendium comprising the research work of MBA in IT programme students of UoM. The main aim [...]

CMA Sri Lanka signs MOU with MIA Malaysia

CMA Sri Lanka signs MOU with MIA Malaysia

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Malaysian Accountants (MIA) at the MIA International Conference held in Kuala Lumpur recently. It was signed by the President of CMA Sri Lanka Prof. Lakshman R Watawala and the President of MIA John Idris, according to a CMA Sri [...]

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