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Helmet ban saga:Like an old, misfiring motor cycle

Helmet ban saga:Like an old, misfiring motor cycle

The proposed ban on full face helmets – which has gone through a stop-start process for the past few months – was temporarily halted by the Appeal Court on Thursday. Here a motor cyclist checks out a legal helmet at a shop. Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara

Eureka … Finally 15% interest to all senior citizens

Eureka … Finally 15% interest to all senior citizens

Eureka … that’s how one elderly customer of a Sri Lankan bank expressed his delight this week on learning that the 15 per cent interest on deposits of senior citizens would be provided to all irrespective of how much they had in a bank. There had been utter confusion in commercial banks for several weeks [...]

SEC requests info on suspect stock transactions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has request the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to provide information on suspicious transactions during 2011-2013, sources close to CSE said. “There were certain transactions that were allegedly fraudulent and those which were ‘literally swept under the carpet,” a source told the Business Times. According to him most probes were [...]

Fresh tenders for Kalpitiya islands

Sri Lanka’s new administration will be calling fresh tenders for 11 islands under the Kalpitiya development project to be given on 30-99 year leases. Three out of 14 islands were given on lease previously to investors however, work is yet to commence on these, officials said. Fresh tenders will be called for Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka [...]

SL Tea Board agrees to pay for trade fairs

Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) will introduce a scheme that will allow increased private sector participation at international tea trade fairs. Through this scheme at least 50 per cent or a full cost of participation would be borne by the board that would help small scale tea owners to participate, Sri Lanka Tea Board Director [...]

Central Bank to exit EPF

The Government is in the process of changing crony directors installed by the previous regime in several banks, and plans to separate the functions of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) from the Central Bank (CB), a state Minister says. Policy Planning and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva told the Business Times that [...]

Form of Government suited for development: Presidential or Parliamentary?

There is now an intense public discussion as to what form of government suits Sri Lanka (SL) after the presentation of the 19th Amendment of the constitution to parliament. Reasons for amendment Why should, in fact, the 1978 constitution be amended? Firstly it exceeded the power of parliament to govern the country; there were no [...]

Sunset to sunrise for Sri Lanka’s senior citizens

Having been criticised for weeks over flawed handling of the 15 per cent interest for deposits of elders, the authorities now deserve to be praised for finally implementing the proposal as promised in the budget. Apart from this much-looked-forward to concession, senior citizens received another bonanza this month when a proposal in the Mahinda Rajapaksa-2015 [...]

Trincomalee teacher creates wonderful invention that could protect the planet’s scarce water resources – thro’ commode power!

Trincomalee teacher creates wonderful  invention that could protect the planet’s scarce water resources – thro’ commode power!

TRINCOMALEE – The level of state machinery available to identify, monitor and promote talent and innovative ideas in Sri Lanka – without any doubt – is weak in this country. This was seen as a result of the Business Times (BT) opening up its columns to raise the profile of these struggling inventors and their [...]

JKH considering scouring capital markets to fund waterfront project

John Keells Holdings (JKH), which intends to continue the Waterfront Properties project as planned despite the new government’s amendment to restrict the ability to rent space for gaming, is contemplating going to the capital market for additional funding, officials said. This has come on the back of a delay in securing a 7-year syndicated loan [...]

Cinnamon Lakeside partially shutdown for repairs

sCinnamon Lakeside will be closed partially (for about seven months) resulting in at least 40 per cent of the rooms being unavailable for use while work is carried out on its pergolas for emergency health and safety repairs, Cinnamon Hotels GM Rohan Karr said this week. However all the public areas in the hotel including [...]

PrivyText app promises ‘instant cash reward’ to promo viewers

An Android and iOS app, introduced by Sri Lankan developer PrivyText, is promising an “instant cash reward” to viewers of its promotional offers, according to a statement by the company. It said, “the customer receives an alert when he/she is in the vicinity of the merchant. The app has been designed to target the retail [...]

BOI – Taste of the pudding is in the eating

Sri Lanka has taken more than 60 years to transit from a low income to a lower middle income economy. The country faces strategic and structural development challenges especially in fostering private sector development and private investment including foreign direct investment (FDI) in its transition to an upper middle-income country. FDI is important to bring [...]

Pocket-sized computer from Intel

Barring the monitor, an entire computer could be carried in a person’s trouser pocket according to the latest improvement ‘Intel’ has made to Information Technology — called ‘The Intel Computer Stick (ICS). A media briefing was held in Colombo last week to introduce this newest innovation in the Sri Lanka market. Indika de Zoysa, Country [...]

Creative Solutions holds successful hackathon

Creative Solutions holds successful  hackathon

Creative Solutions in collaboration with Cambio Software Engineering recently completed a successful 24 hour Hackathon titled “Innovate 2k15”. Eight teams from both Creative Solutions and Cambio Software Engineering took part in the event. Cash prizes worth Rs. 300,000 including an individual prize for the most socially active participant were on offer. A panel of adjudicators [...]

Sri Lanka Tourism’s 2015 China strategy launched with private sector

The marketing strategy by Sri Lanka Tourism to market China for 2015 was launched with a private- public partnership in the presence of the Deputy Mission in Charge of the Chinese embassy in Sri Lankan this week. Also present were the top 65 photographers from the Shanghai Photographic Association capturing the beauty of Sri Lanka [...]

Inflation declines further in March 2015, CB says

Inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI) computed by the Department of Census and Statistics, eased by 0.1 per cent on an year-on-year basis last month from 0.6 per cent in February, the Central Bank (CB) said. Annual average inflation also declined to 2.5 per cent in March from [...]

Over 100 Young Inventors in the fray for the YIC Trophy

YIC (Young Inventors Club), the first ever TV reality show organised by the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission for the school level inventors, is telecast every Sunday at 10.30 on ITN. YIC is co-sponsored by Sampath Bank. This is the second successive year this programme goes on air which won the coveted best educational quiz programme [...]

Elderly population growing very fast in Sri Lanka compared to the rest of the world

Statistics provided by the Central Bank on overall poverty and the poverty levels of elders are not reliable as there are differences and therefore these computations have to be reviewed. This was pointed out by Suminda Singappuli, Director, National Secretariat for Elders at the ‘National Conference on Inclusive Micro Finance System for Elders’ at the [...]

National conference discusses health and safety standards in construction industry

Lafarge Mahaweli Cement together with the Ministry of Housing and Samurdhi, National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL), Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA), and the Advanced Construction Training Academy (ACTA) recently hosted a health and safety conference to highlight the issues, challenges and responsibilities on ‘Health and Safety in the modern construction industry’. The conference [...]

Philippines to renew trade with Sri Lanka on a larger scale

The Philippines is ready to renew trade with Sri Lanka on a larger scale and maintain close relations with the new government, its ambassador in Sri Lanka Vicente Vivencio T. Bandillo told the Business Times on the sidelines of a Philippines trade and investment seminar in Colombo this week. He noted that the new Sri [...]

Prime Minister to address AmCham luncheon this week

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will address the American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (AmCham) membership on Wednesday April 8 at a luncheon meeting titled, “The Prime Minister Speaks”. Mr. Wickremesinghe will share with the business community the views of the Government on the business and economic environment. His address will be followed by an [...]

HDFC Bank signs MoU with CB for Saubhagya loan scheme

HDFC Bank signs MoU with CB for Saubhagya loan scheme

HDFC Bank of Sri Lanka recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) to offer a new loan scheme, “SAUBHAGYA”, which will focus on micro, small, and medium scale entrepreneurs (MSME) who are engaged in production and services relating to agriculture, industry and other services. Under this scheme, loans [...]

Oasis Marketing in MoU with Institute of Fundamental Studies

Oasis Marketing (Pvt) Ltd, underscoring the need to distribute environmentally-friendly compost and fertiliser to local farmers, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) at Hanthane recently. The agreement is a landmark one in that it marks the first time in which a leading fertiliser company has signalled its [...]

Pathfinder Foundation enters into dialogue with Nippon Foundation

Milinda Moragoda, Founder of the Pathfinder Foundation, recently met with Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon/Sasakawa Foundation, at its Tokyo headquarters to discuss collaboration opportunities between the two organisations. The Nippon Foundation is the largest private foundation in Japan, the foundation said in a media statement. Japan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Nobuhito Hobo was also [...]

Thin turnover at Colombo bourse with foreigners on the sidelines

Low turnover levels at the Colombo stock market in the past few months was mainly due to foreign investors being on the sidelines, industry officials say. This is mostly owing to the impending general elections and investors fretting over the evolving uncertainties in the political front and the entire political setting in the country, they [...]

fbb Femina Miss India 2015 title holders to conduct official photo and video shoot in southern Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts have further strengthened its partnership with the Times of India Group, the largest publishing group in India, by developing a comprehensive communication and marketing plan around the fbb Femina Miss India beauty pageant. A strong marketing campaign is usually the cornerstone of any partnership; and as a first step, a sub [...]

Tourism industry to get more new regulations

Tourism authorities will be issuing a new gazette on regulations for tourist hotels with a new code for different categories in addition to other new standards set in to streamline various aspects of the industry. Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Director General Malraj Kiriella said in an interview with the Business Times that new regulations [...]

Business meeting with representatives from China Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Forum and the Sri Lanka-China Business Council

A 6-member delegation representing the China Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Forum visited the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to meet the Committee of The Sri Lanka – China Business Council last week. The delegates were from Beijing, Shenzhen, Fujian, Ningxia and Zhejiang. The main objective of their visit was to learn about the business environment and [...]

BOI facilitates round-the-clock service for exporters

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) this week provided its Green Channel facility to an additional 24 enterprises. A total number of 108 enterprises have been awarded the Green Channel facility since 2006. This facility is given to BOI export oriented companies based on their excellent performances and compliance to BOI regulations. With [...]

Vehicle assembly rackets continue unabated

Several Sri Lankan motor vehicle assembly companies are still continuing to evade taxes as a result of the government’s delay in implementing the 2015 interim budget proposal aimed to crack down on such firms and collect due taxes in full from them, official sources revealed. The government had proposed in the budget to review the [...]

Government bows to CMTA demands, reviews valuation system on vehicle imports

The government has reviewed the valuation system on vehicle imports, heeding the demand made by the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA). The association urged the authorities to accept the actual transacted Free On Board value (FOB) of the vehicles together with the principle of using agents’ transacted value (based on invoices by highly reputed manufacturers) [...]

Appeal Court suspends full-face helmet ban

Appeal Court suspends full-face helmet ban

The Appeal Court on Thursday suspended a ban – due to be enforced on April 2 – on full-face helmets used by motorcyclists pending an inquiry by court. The order came after the Government decided to enforce the ban after earlier suspending it. Over the weekend 100s of motor cycle riders – brought together through [...]

Ceylon Motor Show 2015 ready to attract Sri Lankans

Ceylon Motor Show 2015 (CMS), the biggest event for the automobile franchise holders in Sri Lanka, will display globally known automotive brands, and a variety of new cars, SUVs, commercial vehicles and motor cycles, as well as classic cars when it opens on May 8-10 at the BMICH in Colombo. The Ceylon Motor Trader’s Association [...]

Indian international truck makers gain their dominance in Sri Lanka

Indian international truck makers gain their dominance in Sri Lanka

India’s international truck makers are gaining their dominance in Sri Lanka, where the country’s commercial vehicle demand is expected to rise with the island’s trade and commerce development, industry sources said. Truck sales in Sri Lanka, which almost entirely depend on imports, have been increasing gradually with major truck importers stepping into introduce a new [...]

Prime Minister outlines Sri Lanka’s next generation economic reforms

The new government will go ahead with next generation economic reforms with the aim of becoming the most competitive economy in South Asian and South East Asian regions, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the 65th anniversary ceremony of Associated Motorways Ltd in Colombo, this week. Addressing top business leaders, automobile industry heads, politicians including [...]

Next generation MillenniumIT platform provides technical innovation, versatility and reliability

MillenniumIT, a provider of agile and resilient capital markets solutions and part of the London Stock Exchange Group, this week announced that Aequitas NEO Exchange has successfully gone live in Canada using MillenniumIT’s integrated technology solution. The complete project from contract execution to exchange go-live took less than 12 months, further enhancing MillenniumIT’s reputation for [...]

HNB raises $100 mln facility with ADB

HNB raises $100 mln facility with ADB

HNB this week said it entered into a landmark agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to raise US$100 million by way of a 7 year senior debt. This is the largest transaction by ADB with a Sri Lankan private sector bank and the funds raised would be deployed towards infrastructure development projects with special [...]

CSE-SEC talks on making double ratings mandatory for listed debt

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is in talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on making two ratings mandatory for debenture issues, sources said. “We are seriously contemplating changing the rules of debt listings. As a start we want companies issuing debentures to get two ratings (from two agencies). This is done internationally and [...]

Main suspect in the abduction of Sri Lankan hotelier identified

The main suspect in the 2013 abduction of veteran hotelier Anura Lokuhetty at Wadduwa was identified at the identification parade conducted at the Panadura magistrate’s courts on Wednesday, police said. Two witnesses identified the main suspect Namal Priyankara Perera, who was arrested last month. The CID informed the court that further investigations are being conducted [...]

Sri Lanka helps develop aviation professionals across South Asia

With the global aviation industry moving forward in terms of technology to make air travel the safest and the most convenient mode of transportation, it becomes a daunting task for the Sri Lankan Aviation College to deliver aviation professionals who can adapt to the industry’s needs, said the Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation Lakshman Yapa [...]

OPA Conference on Sustainable Development in August

The Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) is organising its 28th annual conference on August 18 – 19th at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo themed “Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development”. In a media statement, the OPA said the conference is planned to produce a “perfect atmosphere to unite and interact with like-minded people [...]

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