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Baby steps towards curbing corruption

Baby steps towards curbing corruption

This may seem like a small effort towards curbing corruption, a buzzword in Sri Lanka these days. Yet this is a start. State transport authorities are fitting SLTB buses with GPS trackers. Cameras fitted on the ceiling near the driver’s seat (as seen in this picture by Athula Devapriya) to help officials track bus locations [...]

Govt. reviews feasibility of Colombo Port city project

The new Sri Lankan government is seriously considering the controversial US$900 million Colombo Port city project and could scrap it if it fails to fulfill environmental impact, administration and other connected legal issues. Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Kabir Hashim told the Business Times on the sidelines of the ceremony organized in connection with [...]

DFCC – NDB merger in the balance

The much-talked of DFCC – NDB merger is in the balance with the two banks awaiting direction from the regulator in the new government structure, officials of both entities said. “We have done a lot of groundwork towards consolidation, but we didn’t go to the shareholders as yet. We are awaiting more clarity and direction [...]

Mini budget replaces Rajapaksa’s 2015 election budget

Perhaps for the first time in at least 15 years, the country’s once, most powerful official – P.B. Jayasundera – will be missing from the budget process when President Maithripala Sirisena presents a temporary budget on Thursday January 29, officials said. The vote on account will cover four months of spending to April and tackle [...]

No more flights to Mattala by SriLankan Airlines

SriLankan Airlines has cancelled flights to the Hambantota International Airport at Mattala since Thursday, officials said on Friday. “This is because the official carrier is losing massive amounts of money by operating flights to this new airport built at a cost of Rs. 27 billion in an area of 2,000 hectares by the previous regime,” [...]

Former President spent over Rs.2 bln in state funds on election ads

Normally money talks loud and convincingly in influencing the masses to a great extent in deciding a winner in Sri Lanka’s previous elections, but this time at the 2015 Presidential election, the highest spending candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated by opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena who resorted to a low key campaign with a smaller [...]

Liberalisation and political decay

Liberalisation  and political decay

While corruption, nepotism and the politicisation of state institutions figured centrally in the lead up to the presidential elections, the Opposition’s economic policy orientation remained unclear. As the election campaign gained momentum with criticism of the Rajapaksa regime’s economic development policies, some actors such as Ranil Wickremesinghe hinted at the need for more liberalisation. However, [...]

People have spoken, get to work!

The new Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe partnership has got perhaps the shortest, possible honeymoon ever for a Government starting out after a tense and closely-fought election. Less than a week after Sirisena beat a once-unshakable Mahinda Rajapaksa for the plum post of Sri Lankan President, the screws are on the ruling coalition with new appointments being [...]

Housing loans and tax benefits that most Sri Lankans are unaware of

Housing loans and tax benefits that most Sri Lankans  are unaware of

“…the right of a house is something that one should earn through his own efforts …” stipulates the National Housing Policy objectives (refer The policy further refers to “Strengthening the asset base of the people through housing development processes and alleviating poverty”. In this context no emphasis is needed that the tax policy of [...]

Janashakthi employees do well at Chartered Insurance Institute Examinations

Janashakthi employees do well at Chartered Insurance Institute Examinations

Ayodhya N. Perera, Janashakthi Insurance’s Senior Assistant Manager- General Claims was recently named the most ‘Outstanding’ candidate at the Chartered Insurance Institute Examinations 2013. The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is the premier professional organisation in the insurance and financial services industry. As an examination body, the CII is recognised by the UK examinations regulator, the [...]

EGM at Orient Garments to raise capital and save 4,000 jobs

Directors of Orient Garments Plc, the only listed garment manufacturer in the Colombo bourse, have called a special general meeting (EGM) of shareholders next week to seek an urgent cash infusion and stave off a major crisis at the 4,000 employees-strong firm The firm decided to go ahead with a rights issue, first announced on [...]

Job seekers are more than higher education starters

Many educational exhibitions have been held in Sri Lanka in recent times. A larger number of students who have completed O/L and A/L and undergraduates from various parts of the country visit these exhibitions every year to gain knowledge and awareness on how they could plan out the next step of their career. The Job [...]

Celltick and Mobitel Partner offer Interactive Home Screen Service to Sri Lankans

Celltick, a global leader in mobile initiated commerce, said this week that it has partnered with Mobitel to deliver an interactive high value location based service, based on its patented LiveScreen platform. The partnership will enable Mobitel to provide high value services to millions of customers in Sri Lanka. Celltick’s LiveScreen service provides a network-efficient [...]

6th Jaffna International Trade Fair – Gateway to the North

The Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF), the most comprehensive and ‘looked forward to’ exhibition in the North will be held for the sixth consecutive year in the heart of Jaffna from January 23 to 25. “The exhibition which was the first of the kind to be held in the Northern region of the country has [...]

Misdeeds of SL tourism officials during poll exposed

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) has allegedly misused state resources and public money amounting to millions of rupees to promote the former president and the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) during presidential and the recent Uva Provincial Council elections, trade unions alleged. A trade union official told the Business Times that the SLTPB [...]

Lanka’s insurance industry will also see consolidation

Some nine Sri Lankan insurance firms have segregated in a process which will see them undergo a comparable consolidation to that of the finance sector, industry experts say. “Already these companies have split into two entities which will see their life and general segments functioning as separate businesses,” an industry expert said. The new regulatory [...]

LOLC wins Gold for Social Dialogue and Workplace Cooperation

LOLC wins Gold for Social Dialogue  and Workplace Cooperation

The LOLC Group was ranked first and awarded the Gold Award under the service sector and large scale category in the island-wide competition on Social Dialogue and Workplace Cooperation organized by the Labour Department of Sri Lanka. The organisation competed with a number of leading private and semi-government institutions. This competition is held nationally and [...]

Guardian Acuity Equity Fund outperforms ASI three years in a row

The Guardian Acuity Equity Fund has appreciated 37.89 per cent last year, beating the ASI (the CSE All Share Index) which rose by 23.44 percent during the same period. The fund, which has been in operation since February 2012, has appreciated by 67.4 per cent during that period, whereas the ASI in the same period [...]

New regime urged to clean the Finance Ministry institutions

Amidst an urgent call from newly appointed Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to prepare a report on the financial position at the Treasury, Finance Ministry officials are urging the new regime to clean up the top administration in major revenue collection institutions and economic nerve centres immediately as the heads of these institutions will definitely present [...]

Reconstitute the Securities and Exchange Commission, punish the wrongdoers

The presidential election has revitalised political democracy, bringing in diverse sections and all shades of majority and minority, to achieve the most desirable national goals. The Securities and Exchange Commission/Colombo Stock Exchange (SEC/CSE) and errant regulators must be reconstituted to re-establish real economic democracy, a market free of the aberrations, manipulations and the mafia. Former [...]

Local chambers welcome new president, cabinet; say prepared to help in governance reforms

Business chambers and industry chambers this week sent customary messages welcoming Sri Lanka’s new cabinet and president. Among the first to do so was the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce which extended its ‘best wishes to Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prime Minister, the newly appointed Cabinet of Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers’. The chamber said it [...]

Audi sends car to US electronic show from a neighbouring city, without a driver

Audi sends car to US electronic show from a neighbouring city, without a driver

Headlining this year’s Business Times coverage of the US-based Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s largest four-day new tech product showcase featuring 170,000 visitors and 3,600 exhibitors this year alone, is a mix of new tech, in the form of expanding options for 3D printers and Virtual Reality (VR) systems and even a self-driving car [...]

Commercial Bank landscapes 1.5 acres of National Hospital gardens

The Corporate Social Responsibility Trust of Commercial Bank is joining the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo (NHSL) in gardening and landscaping project covering one and half acres of the hospital’s gardens. The project is intended to facilitate the mental well-being of patients and includes the planting of C02 -absorbent trees in specified plots of [...]

President Xi vows to wage ‘Enduring anti-corruption campaign’ in China

BEIJING (Bloomberg), Jan 14 -BEIJING (Bloomberg), Jan 14 -President Xi Jinping said there will be no let-up in his “fierce and enduring” battle against corruption, which has already taken down thousands of senior officials including the country’s former security chief. Xi vowed to maintain “high pressure” and “zero tolerance” on graft this year, as corruption [...]

Government to review laws on corruption, boost CPIB manpower: PM Lee

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times), Jan 13 – The Government is reviewing Singapore’s laws on corruption, and will increase the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s (CPIB) manpower by more than 20 per cent, as part of efforts to keep corruption at bay. A one-stop Corruption Reporting Centre will also be set up, to make it easier for [...]

Corruption: Tall order for new regime to clean up

Corruption was one of the core issues on which the main opposition canvassed support for its candidate, Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8 presidential poll. It is in this context that the Business Times is publishing some of the current stories in the world pertaiing to the battle against corruption. Mostly focusing on events in [...]

Long, tough road to make India ‘easiest’ place for business

GANDHINAGAR, (AFP) – Narendra Modi may have pledged to make India the “easiest” place to do business but experts remain skeptical about how the prime minister intends to overcome obstacles such as corruption, red tape and an arduous tax regime. Hundreds of executives gathered this week in Modi’s longtime fiefdom of Gujarat to hear him [...]

US agency beefs up resources against foreign corruption

WASHINGTON (AP), – The FBI is stepping up efforts against international corruption, creating new squads to search for cases of bribery that are rooted overseas but reach to the United States, law enforcement officials said. The three squads, based in the FBI’s largest field offices, will concentrate on a crime that the Justice Department has [...]

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