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Clarity needed over definition of senior citizen, BT poll reveals

Clarity needed over  definition of senior  citizen,  BT poll reveals

This question was posed in a Business Times (BT) poll in the context of some confusion as to the age of a senior citizen, and most respondents (40.5 per cent) said it was 60 years. The question asked was “who is a senior citizen. Is it one aged (a) 60 years, (b) 55 years, (c) [...]

Budget: Treasury grappling with ‘how to find funds’ syndrome

While the Government and the Central Bank project a vibrant economy in the country on the back of unprecedented goodies offered in the 2015 budget, the Treasury officials have been confronted with numerous issues in giving effect to the budget proposals.Finance Ministry and Treasury officials are grappling with the task of issuing relevant circulars, gazette [...]

200 more senior journalists, artistes to receive interest free vehicle loans

Some 200 more senior journalists, artistes and the writers will receive an interest free vehicle loan of Rs.1.2 million under the second phase of the loan scheme announced in the 2015 budget, according to Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath. The second batch of around 200 journalists, artistes and the writers eligible for [...]

Motor vehicle prices to fall amidst VAT confusion

Motor traders say that new tax system enforced in the budget should be clearly clarified in a gazette notification for them to determine the price of the vehicle although there will be a definite price reduction in all motor vehicles. Under the budget, five types of taxes have been replaced. There will be a single [...]

Treasury bonds for state banks to cover higher interest to senior citizens

The Treasury is planning to issue a bond to banks in a bid to compensate the losses incurred by them in increasing the deposit rates for senior citizens, highly placed sources say. Last month’s budget proposed to offer a 12 per cent annual interest rate for deposits of pensioners and elders, who maintain their deposits [...]

Gamani Corea Memorial Lecture on Nov 3

The inaugural Gamani Corea Memorial Lecture earlier scheduled for November 4 will now be delivered on Monday, November 3, on the eve of his 89th birth anniversary. The lecture would be delivered by Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka on the theme “Recent Trends in International Trade: [...]

Economic issues, cost of living priority concerns among most Sri Lankans, CPA survey shows

The state of the economy and cost of living continue to adversely affect Sri Lankan households with people compromising on food quality and medical care, a new survey shows. Social Indicator (SI), the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, said that with Presidential elections due early next year, the survey revealed that [...]

Agarwood promoted as an investment amidst concerns over losses by other plantation investors

Only 40 per cent of the demand for Agarwood – ‘Aqularia Crassna’ – a key ingredient in producing most expensive perfumes worldwide, is met by the current production levels in various countries. Sadaharitha Plantations Ltd, a Sri Lankan company, is now aiming to penetrate into this 60 per cent balance demand by cultivating this plant [...]

Kanrich Finance raises Rs. 750 mln from capital markets for expansion

Kanrich Finance has raised Rs. 750 million to fund its micro finance operations through an issue of asset receivable backed trust certificates. Kanrich’s micro finance portfolio of over Rs 5 billion generates substantial amount of cash receivables on weekly basis enabling the company to issue asset receivable backed trust certificates, Shiran Weerasinghe, Director/CEO said in [...]

Gamani Corea Memorial Lecture on Nov 3

The inaugural Gamani Corea Memorial Lecture earlier scheduled for November 4 will now be delivered on Monday, November 3, on the eve of his 89th birth anniversary. The lecture would be delivered by Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka on the theme “Recent Trends in International Trade: [...]

People’s Bank pensioners praise budget, say lot of relief for elders

The Peoples Bank Pensioners Association has expressed its deep appreciation of the reliefs spelled out in the budget proposals towards the welfare of the elderly population of the country in general and more specifically to the pensioners in the public sector. Association President T. Rusiripala said in an announcement that it was encouraging to note [...]

Koslanda tragedy and budgets

The Koslanda tragedy in which an unknown number of people have died is one of the worst local natural tragedies in recent times. The Business Times condoles with those who have lost their loved ones and would do everything possible to support and assist the victims in rebuilding their lives including the children orphaned by [...]

Moving from market-oriented econ policies to state interventions and handouts

Moving from market-oriented econ policies to state interventions and  handouts

The Budget 2015 presented to Parliament a few days ago reflects the government’s effort to please as many as possible, perhaps in view of the upcoming elections. As veteran economist Dr. Nimal Sanderatne rightly stated in hisregular column in this paper last Sunday, “Political compulsions rather than economic imperatives determine an election year budget”. The [...]

MRL Corporation to start commercial production of spherical graphite

MRL Corporation, an Australian mining company exploring graphite in Sri Lanka, is to start commercial production of spherical graphite for use in batteries next year – based on tests being carried out currently, Peter R.Youd, Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary told Business Times. The company is sending bulk graphite samples from its [...]

Inaccurate data by SL health authorities affect the country’s good quality standards

Due to inaccurate and unclear statistical information provided by the health authorities, UN agencies rank Sri Lanka as a very low quality information provider, though Sri Lanka has been recognised as a country with good health sector standards. This was revealed by Dr. Srilal de Silva, Senior Consultant Paediatrician and Past President, Sri Lanka College [...]

No bribes in 2015 budget – Treasury asserts

Sri Lanka’s latest budget hasn’t given any ‘bribes’ as is popularly believed, but it has looked at all aspects, a top Treasury official said, dispelling that Budget 2015 is full of handouts. “This is not a standalone or a one-off budget but a continuity of consistent pragmatic and prudent policies pursued since 2005,” Deputy Secretary [...]

More non-rubber areas being brought under rubber production in SL

More non-rubber areas being brought under rubber production in SL

Export of rubber products amounted to US$887 million and natural rubber amounted to $71 million – a growth of 3.6 per cent in 2013 while Sri Lanka has become the global leader in solid tyre exports which accounts for over 20 per cent of the global demand. This was stated by Bandula Egodage, Chairman, Sri [...]

Second largest Gulf investment giant looking for Sri Lanka projects

The second largest sovereign investment giant in the Gulf region said last week that it is checking out Sri Lanka to invest in already- implemented projects and in the stock market. “In Sri Lanka, we do not want to start any new development or construction projects but are looking for outright purchase of completed and [...]

Budget: CCC cautions on over-emphasis on subsidies and welfare

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), following the current practice where all chambers have welcomed the budget, has said that the proposals must be complemented with measures that help achieve the economic transformation envisaged by the government in its ‘Vision 2020’ and ‘Five Hubs’ strategies. “Overall, while acknowledging that any budget must be seen in [...]

Future of tea lies in the hands of the workers, plantation managers say

A marginal increase of at least 2 kg in the daily plucking average of each tea plucker can significantly boost Sri Lanka’s entire plantation industry and benefit all stakeholders by bringing down the skyrocketing unit cost of production of tea by nearly seven per cent, the Planters’ Association (PA) of Ceylon said this week. Thus, [...]

INFOTEL brings new hope for the ICT industry in Sri Lanka

While hosting the 13th consecutive largest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) exhibition in the country, INFOTEL hopes this will trigger more robust technological advancement with new innovations. Speaking at the launch of the exhibition at the BMICH held in Colombo recently, FITIS Chairman Chinthaka Wijewickrama said, “Human Capital is the main investment the ICT industry [...]

Unilever Sri Lanka wins big at NIOSH Excellence Awards 2014

Unilever Sri Lanka won several awards at the recently concluded National Safety and Occupational Health Excellence Awards 2014 at the BMICH, Colombo. These awards were presented to Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd at the event hosted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) under the patronage of Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and Labour [...]

JAT Holdings CSR Venture gets under way

A JAT training and Simulation Centre is to be set up under the auspices of the Sri Lanka College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (SLCOG.) at Model Farm Rd, Colombo 8, and for this purpose its foundation laying ceremony for the estimated Rs. 30 million centre was held last week. Present on the occasion was Prof. [...]

SLIM-Nielsen Power of Research Workshop with a top panel of corporate speakers

The SLIM Nielsen People’s Awards, an annual, marketing event, is organizing a ‘Power of Research’ workshop on November 4. With an experienced and highly qualified panel of speakers, the Power of Research workshop aims to educate the corporate community on the importance of research in today’s dynamic market environments. Shaheen Cader, Nielsen Managing Director will [...]

SLTPB signs agreement with a Chinese city aimed at promoting tourism

With China becoming bigger day by day in the Sri Lankan calendar, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zhongshan Municipal Tourism Bureau (ZMTB) of China. It was signed between SLTPB Chairman Bhashwara Senanka Gunarathna and ZMTB of China Deputy Director General Dong Zuwen during a [...]

Sri Lankan tourism professional Hiran Cooray on top WTM panel discussion

Sri Lankan  tourism  professional Hiran Cooray on top WTM panel discussion

Hiran Cooray, Chairman, Jetwing Hotels Ltd and Sri Lanka’s best known tourism professional, has been invited to speak at this year’s International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) World Travel Market (WTM) event “Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations through Tourism, Culture and Sports” in London this month. This special event will be held [...]

Problems in local school exams matter for concern, says former education minister

An economist and former a Minister of Education and Vice-Chancellor, remarked that during his time he has not heard of anyone petitioning the Human Rights Commission to make complaints on question papers. Dr. Karunasena Kodithuwakku, a former Vice Chancellor, Sri Jayawardenapura University and Minister of Education indicated that he never tried to contact or instruct [...]

Amãna Takaful partners with IFN Roadshow in Sri Lanka

Amãna Takaful PLC, the only fully-fledged Takaful operator in the country, recently partnered with the world renowned REDmoney group to sponsor the Islamic Finance News (IFN) Roadshow. The event was held in Colombo and Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka graced the event as the Chief Guest while Dr. Azeema [...]

Sri Lanka receives Netherlands, Australian loans to develop dairy industry

Sri Lanka recently received a total of US$20.7 million as loans from Netherlands and Australian financial institutions to develop the dairy industry in the island, official sources said. Under this, 2,500 high yield milch cows are to be imported for the Ridiyagama farm in the Hambantota district and a new farm complex will be constructed [...]

50% of SL’s IT/BPM companies to move outside Colombo

While 95 per cent of Sri Lankan IT/BPM companies are based out of the country’s business capital, Colombo, over 80 per cent of the workforce are from other regions, according to top IT industry leader Mano Sekaram, who is also the Vice Chairman of private sector IT/BPM body SLASSCOM. As such, one goal of SLASSCOM [...]

Com Bank launches ‘PAYCOM’ Sri Lanka’s first multilingual Mobile POS application

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon and Paycorp International (PYCI), a leading provider of enterprise payment processing solutions to banks, corporates and industry specific vertical markets, have formed a strategic alliance to launch ‘PAYCOM,’ Sri Lanka’s first Multilingual Mobile POS solution. The PAYCOM solution will allow any business to accept credit card and debit card payments [...]

‘Quality of Life Beyond GDP’ issues get attention at SLEA Annual Sessions

aThe need to construct a broad set of indicators beyond the traditional measure of GDP to reflect the quality of life of people was discussed at this year’s Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) held at the Centre for Banking Studies, Rajagiriya last week. The symposium themed “GDP as a Measure of [...]

Sinhaputhra’s outdoor capsule sleepers for tourist campers

Sinhaputhra’s outdoor capsule sleepers for tourist campers

Sinhaputra Finance PLC has diversified into the budget tourism sector with the introduction of capsule sleepers made popular in Japan and widely used in different parts of the world. This concept involves a sleeping capsule built into a concrete Hume pipe, complete with bedding, air-conditioning and a finished interior with easy access to common usage [...]

Chari de Silva honoured by CA Sri Lanka

Chari de Silva honoured by CA Sri Lanka

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently paid tribute to an eminent Chartered Accountant, Charitha Prasanna de Silva in appreciation of his outstanding contribution to uplift the accounting profession, the institute and the nation. At a ceremony held at Waters Edge, Battaramulla, Mr. De Silva, was honoured with the Lifetime [...]

Trillium launches super luxury apartments at Col -7

Trillium Colombo 7, a super luxury apartment complex under the Trillium brand will be developed in a very prestigious location in Torrington Avenue Colombo 7. The complex will consist of 18 stylish super luxury 3-bedroom apartments ranging from 1500 sq ft to 1800 sq ft and two 3000 sq ft penthouses with an infinity swimming [...]

Mixed 2015 budget has attractive proposals to boost stock market

Investors will benefit from Unit Trusts and it will be marketed extensively next year with the budget proposal exempting profits and income arising or accruing to any Unit Trust from investments made, on or after 1 January 2015, in USD deposits or USD denominated securities listed in any foreign stock exchange, analysts say. The budget [...]

Budget Watch

Budget Watch

Haycarb records turnover of Rs. 5.2 billion for 1H 2014/15

The Sri Lankan multinational Haycarb PLC reported a turnover of Rs. 5.2 billion and profit before tax of Rs. 362 million for six months ending 30th September 2014, a company media release said.The company’s profit after tax stood at Rs. 304 million. Haycarb PLC Managing Director, Rajitha Kariyawasan was quoted as saying, “the continuing trend [...]

Budget 2015 needn’t be ‘shy’ to say ‘One eye on the election’, says CCC chief

Sri Lanka’s Budget is with one eye (focused) towards the elections and one shouldn’t be ‘shy’ to say it, Suresh Shah, Chairman Ceylon Chamber of Commerce says. On a panel discussion at a budget seminar organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (CA) recently, he appreciated the government’s commitment towards maintaining targets in the Budget. [...]

Kerala-based Muthoot Finance acquires controlling stake of Asia Asset Finance

Muthoot Finance Ltd, one of the largest gold financing companies operating on a global scale whose head office is based in Kerala, India, made its first investment in the Sri Lankan market with the acquisition of a controlling stake of Asia Asset Finance PLC, a top official of the company said. In August, Muthoot acquired [...]

Positioning for electoral success in Sri Lanka

“It’s the battle for your mind” “It’s the battle for your mind” voiced the lanky character in the “Hampada” denim and casual T shirt in classroom no 4. His husky voice reverberating through the corridor. It was our Marketing Instructor lecturing in a cramped-up room many years ago in downtown Colombo. I was able to [...]

SriLankan Airlines new Airbus A330-300 arrives at BIA

SriLankan Airlines new Airbus A330-300 arrives at BIA

SriLankan Airlines’ new Airbus A330-300 touched down at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake on Friday, to a ceremonial welcome at an event attended by the Minister of Civil Aviation, Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation, Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines, Aviation officials, Corporates, Diplomats, members of the clergy and [...]

Lanka Hospitals awarded prestigious JCI accreditation

Lanka Hospitals said this week that it it has received the prestigious JCI accreditation and its gold seal of approval after a rigorous onsite evaluation by an international surveyor team, elevating the hospital to an exclusive group of healthcare organiations worldwide that have met every stringent clinical quality standard set by Joint Commission International (JCI). [...]

Panic or Economic crisis

There is a political rush in Sri Lanka. The Budget Speech was made a month ahead of schedule, the Pope is to visit in January, and now Presidential Elections may be jammed in before or after that. Is this a moment of panic? Is the ruling regime worried about losing its electoral base? Or is [...]

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