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Either way, media a huge beneficiary

Either way, media a huge beneficiary

Newspapers had huge sales on the eve of Monday’s parliamentary election. Seen here is a crowd at a newspaper agent’s stall near Anuradhapura. Pic by Karuwalagaswewa Jayaratne.

Corporate chiefs, economists urge ‘tough’ decisions

Even as a new government takes office with the promise of economic reforms that would last the next five years, Sri Lankan economists and corporate leaders are urging ‘tough’ economic decisions, overhauling the bureaucracy and trimming the fat at state enterprises to take the country forward. Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne, noted economist and Lecturer, Department of [...]

Budget 2016 in November as usual

Among the first tasks of the new government is to kick-start preparations for Budget 2016 soon and legislate at least 25 revenue proposals from the 2015 budget after the new parliament opens next month, official sources revealed. “The new budget will be for 2016 and it will be presented at the regular time,” Dr. Harsha de [...]

Unions confident of wage hike legislation

Labour unions were positive that the new UNP-led regime would bring about legislation to grant the Rs. 2500 pay hike for private sector workers with retrospective effect from May 2015 in addition to other demands. Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union General Secretary Anton Marcus told the Business Times that they were confident [...]

Chinese-run tour agencies in Colombo eye Chinese influx

In the wake of intense promotions to attract Chinese travellers to Sri Lanka, Chinese-run companies are giving tours of Sri Lanka to their nationals causing a stir among the local tourism industry. Chinese nationals have established at least six unregistered Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in Sri Lanka most of which are unlicensed and this number has [...]

Finding solutions to 3 fundamental economic problems – huge challenge for new Government

Finding solutions to 3 fundamental economic problems – huge challenge for new Government

As a country with a high literacy rate, Sri Lankan voters have already taken the right decision. The majority believes the UNP-policy package would produce feasible and justifiable solutions to improve the economic growth and result in the societal wellbeing of everyone in Sri Lanka. Many voters have accepted the UNP Government’s policy package because [...]

SL’s ‘whisky’ economy on ‘arrack’ income – Comment

Just as the new cabinet – or an extended version of President Maithripala Sirisena’s cabinet of January 2015 – is appointed in the next few days, there are interesting points of view in the Business Times today that point the direction Sri Lanka should follow. In an out-of-the box approach, Sheriff A. Rahuman refers to [...]

Bank of Ceylon provides support to tea factory owners to build working capital

Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has launched a special loan scheme for tea factory owners to build working capital under guidelines received from the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB).  The opportunity is open to tea estate owners who have registered with Sri Lanka Tea Board, the BOC said in a media [...]

JAT subsidiary to encourage economical plantations

JAT Holdings, in its diversification strategy, has opened up a new subsidiary to the company’s portfolio via Esteem Plantations (Pvt) Ltd.  JAT Holdings, being leaders in the production of wood coatings, has already acquired plantations of Sandalwood and Mahogany, the company said. Its General Manager, Dinal Samaranayake said that the strength they see in JAT’s [...]

DMCs threatened by online bookings

Many Destination Management companies (DMC) are changing their company profiles to accommodate the business of Online Travel Agencies (OTA) as they are facing stiff competition from online hotel / travel booking by OTAs, industry analysts say. “DMCs handle ground handling. When the war was concluded, OTA gained in popularity. So, DMCs are facing an issue,” [...]

Ceylinco Life begins search for 160 more young achievers for Pranama schols

As the search begins for candidates for the next batch of ‘Pranama’ scholarships presented annually by Ceylinco Life, Sri Lanka’s life insurance leader has announced an increase in the value of some categories of scholarships, to be presented for the 15th year in early 2016. The collection of applications for the next edition of the [...]

Leesons hospital, Ragama installs advanced MRI scanner

Leesons Hospital (Pvt) Ltd has installed an advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner at its hospital at Ragama. The newly installed MRI scanner (with contrast) will be utilised to diagnose patient’s whole body without any pain, in a safety environment with less cost and time, the hospital company said in a media release. Initiated 35 [...]

SL’s main chambers congratulate new rulers after poll

Sri Lanka’s main commerce and business chambers sent congratulatory messages to the President and Prime Minister on this week’s parliamentary polls’ victory by the UNP-led coalition.  The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said the elections were conducted in a free and fair manner, allowing the people to peacefully exercise their franchise. While thanking the Commissioner [...]

Hayleys Toastmasters installs new office bearers

Hayleys Toastmasters installs new office bearers

The Hayleys Toastmasters club installed its new office bearers for the year 2015/16 in a grand ceremony themed “Bring it On” which was held recently.  The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises Lasith Abeyagunawardana (President), Ms. Erangika Abeysirigunawardena (Vice President – Education), Nalaka Ratnayake (Vice President – Membership), Shenal Edirisinghe (Vice President – Public Relations), S. [...]

Well-known writer on rubber industry passes away – Appreciation

Dr. N. Yogaratnam, former Deputy Director Research, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka (RRISL) passed away on August 16 at the age of 76.  He was well known among rubber planters of Sri Lanka as a regular writer to newspapers about the developments in all areas of the global rubber industry. His articles were eminently [...]

Excelsoft re-launches as xcendant

The company in a media release said that over the last 14 years it has made its mark in the IT industry, continuously raising the bar in the delivery of high-end services and solutions.  The re-launch includes a revamping of the existing systems and an overall focus on improving speed and innovation – cascading down [...]

HDFC Bank profits up in 1H 2015, says many rural people still don’t use banks

The Housing Development Finance Corporation Bank of Sri Lanka (HDFC Bank) has recorded Rs. 388.9 million in pre-tax profit (PBT) in 1H2015 against Rs. 310.5 million in the corresponding period of 2014. Post-tax profit was Rs. 276.2 million as against Rs. 185.1 million earlier. In a media statement the bank said interest income rose from [...]

CIC introduces new sweetener – Stevia

CIC’s Industrial Solutions Division has said it is the sole agent for Stevia provided by PureCircle, a major provider of natural sweeteners to the global food and beverage industry.  Stevia is a naturally sourced, zero-calorie sweetener that has been used as a natural sugar substitute and flavouring ingredient for hundreds of years. CIC supplies this [...]

Tokyo Cement adds fifth vessel to transportation fleet

Tokyo Cement adds fifth vessel to transportation fleet

Tokyo Cement last week announced the addition of a fifth vessel, ‘MV Mohar’ to its fleet of cement transport ships. The 22 thousand metric tonne, pneumatic bulk cement carrier was inaugurated by Arjuna Ranatunga, former Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation and Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman, Board of Investments, Sri Lanka. Dr. Harsha Cabral, Chairman, Tokyo [...]

Volatility will reign at CSE in short term; tough reforms needed to improve market – Analysts

In the wake of a new government, the Colombo bourse will show some instability in the short term with analysts calling for some tough reforms in the financial markets and a strong will to do so in the ensuing months.  Murtaza Jafferjee, CEO JB Stockbrokers told the Business Times that the macro economic situation along [...]

Appreciation – Uditha Liyanage, a thought leader of our times

Appreciation – Uditha Liyanage, a thought leader of our times

It was in early eighties. I had just started my work life and studying marketing at the same time developed a keen interest in Buddhist teachings with a sense of seriousness. I had this dilemma, as to how can one be a good Buddhist while being a good marketing professional. I posed this question to [...]

Over 4.2 million active social media participants in SL – Etisalat

Facebook is the largest social media platform in Sri Lanka, with 2.3 million users, or 11.5 per cent of the country’s total population, while over 4.2 million participate actively in social media and more than 20 per cent of all Sri Lankans have access to the Internet, says Etisalat Lanka. In a statement which highlighted [...]

Revenue and room inventory up at Citrus Leisure

Citrus Leisure PLC has sharply increased revenue by over 200 per cent in 1Q FY2016 against the 2015 comparative period with Waskaduwa Beach Resort contributing Rs. 100 million to the top line. Waskaduwa Beach Resort, the largest in the Citrus chain, began commercial operations in June 2014 with the addition of its 150 rooms raising the [...]

Tour operators commend PM’s re-election

Sri Lanka tour operators have expressed their commitment to working with the new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a congratulatory letter sent on Wednesday by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO). The letter states the industry’s commendation for including tourism in the 5-point plan to develop tourism mega zones in the South, [...]

Leo Burnett successfully completes third Masterclass programme for industry interns

Leo Burnett successfully completes third Masterclass programme for industry interns

Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. recently completed its third Masterclass programme for 13 industry interns. The intensive 5-week internship culminated with a graduation ceremony which was attended by the agency’s senior management and several partners of the programme, the Colombo ad and communications agency said. Present at the graduation ceremony were Ranil de Silva, Managing Director, [...]

Sri Lanka cracks down on illegal ethanol imports

Sri Lanka’s revenue from excise duty jumped by 123 per cent to Rs. 251.6 billion in the first seven months this year due to a state crackdown on illegal ethanol exports by reducing corruption and tax evasion, official sources revealed. The estimated loss on unpaid taxes through ethanol imports was over Rs. 60 billion per [...]

Vallibel Finance profits up 28%

Vallibel Finance said this week that net profit in 2014-15 has risen by 28 per cent to reach Rs. 623 million against last year’s Rs. 489 million. “The company’s consistent rise in the financial sphere was further secured with net profits reaching Rs. 374 million, recording an increase of 23 per cent from the previous [...]

CCC Young Members’ Forum’s Career Guidance programme at Peradeniya University

The Young Members Forum of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, which recently launched a career guidance programme to help university students, conducted this event at the University of Peradeniya. Endorsed by the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Peradeniya, the full day programme held at the university premises focused on educating the final year [...]

Sri Lanka expedites Volkswagen assembly plant

Sri Lanka will expedite the setting up of a Volkswagen automobile assembly plant in Kuliyapitya considering it as high priority under the new government, officials said. Although it has been planned to commence operations within a time span of two years following the signing of the agreement recently between the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka [...]

Government’s tax reduction moves the vehicle market, doubling revenue

Sri Lanka’s revenue from vehicle imports more than doubled to Rs. 126.1 billion during the first seven months this year compared to same period in 2014 with the government’s move to bring down taxes on vehicle imports through the 2015 interim budget paying rich dividends, Finance Ministry sources said. The country has achieved 97 per [...]

Seylan Motor Show 2015 becomes the services hub in auto industry

Seylan Motor Show 2015 becomes the services hub in auto industry

The Seylan Colombo Motor Show 2015 opened at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre at BMICH this week, displaying a wide range of latest models of automobiles including modern electric and hybrid motor vehicles by the top dealers in the country. Apart from vehicle dealers the show has attracted leading automobile suppliers ranging from lubricants, [...]

AAC reinvigorates roadside assistance for motorists

Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) has re-invigorated its roadside assistance for motorists in the event of a vehicle breakdown or any type of car engine trouble they may encounter be it a flat tyre, dead battery or an oil block, AAC sources disclose. The association implements comprehensive range of services across all areas of automobile [...]

Sri Lanka’s tourist transport providers demand duty free vehicle permits

Sri Lanka’s inbound tourism transport sector is on the verge of collapse in the midst of a depleting vehicle fleet and the neglect of sustainable practices in the tourist transport service, industry officials warned. They blamed the Tourism Ministry and Treasury authorities for not making any attempt to strengthen the tourist transport service by providing incentives [...]

Gambling, liquor or companies involved in harming environment won’t get micro credit from Sarvodaya Finance, says Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne

The Deshodaya Development Finance Company (DDFC) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Sarvodaya Economy Enterprise Development Service (SEEDS), was re-launched as the Sarvodaya Development Finance Ltd last week.  DDFC has been providing financial services to the nation during the past 25 years under Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise (SEEDS) and subsequently named as the Deshodaya Development Finance Company [...]

Non-profit Berendina increases scholarships to 5,000 annually from 1,000

Non-profit Berendina increases scholarships to 5,000 annually from 1,000

Berendina, one of Sri Lanka’s leading poverty alleviation agencies in Sri Lanka which has a four pronged approach such as development services, micro-finance; micro investment and employment, is now also providing scholarships worth Rs.10 million. The support is offered under the programme ‘Rural Students’ Scholarship’ which identifies academically-oriented students who come from poor families living [...]

Economics in Sri Lanka: Giant leap backwards

Economics in Sri Lanka: Giant leap backwards

Copious volumes are being written about the path we have to take in order to develop ourselves economically, by increasing GDP, GNP, FDIs, etc. but the fundamental issue that I raised in my article “Development Dilemma” published earlier in the Business Times has not been resolved. I feel that without a solution to this problem [...]

Education for progressive change

Arguably, the Federation of University Teachers’ Association’s (FUTA) public agitation in 2013 renewed the discussion on education in the public sphere. Even more than the current government’s pledge to gradually increase government spending on education to 6 per cent of GDP—a pledge that made FUTA declare victory—a key triumph of FUTA’s action was to bring [...]

New tech ideas by Lankan startups impress investors at MIT-GSL ‘Demo Day’

After seven weeks of intense brainstorming guided by international and local trainers and mentors, seven prospective Sri Lankan startups pitched their ideas and business plans to a panel of investors in Colombo recently, bringing to a close the 2015 MIT lobal Startup Lab (GSL) Sri Lanka programme supported by top apparel exporter Brandix and enterprise [...]

Mahaweli Reach faces low leisure, MICE traffic

Mahaweli Reach Hotels profits plunged to Rs.37.6 million due to the lower occupancies and the dip in MICE traffic as well. The company has recorded a profit after tax of Rs.37.6 million for the financial year 2013/2014. Lower occupancy, higher costs of goods, energy, construction and wages have had an impact on results, Mahaweli Reach [...]

Hirdaramani’s Leadership Development Programme continues to support the development of employees

Hirdaramani’s Leadership Development Programme continues to support the development of employees

The Hirdaramani Group recently held a graduation ceremony to recognise employees who successfully completed the company’s 2014/2015 Leadership Development Programme (LDP).  At the event, special awards were presented to high performers who excelled in the programme, and the fourth edition of the LDP was launched for a new batch of over 200 employees, the company [...]

Altair wins Gold and Silver at 2015 awards

Altair, Sri Lanka’s architecturally inimitable luxury high rise development, says it has been honoured with two key awards for the quality and effectiveness of its website. The website was presented the Gold Award for the Best Advertising and Marketing Website in Sri Lanka, as well as the Silver Award in the overall category at the 2015 [...]

LOLC’s ‘Al-Falaah Takaful’ celebrates year of success

“Al-Falaah Takaful” the Motor Takaful window operated by LOLC Insurance Company Ltd is celebrating what it calls “a successful and promising first year in the fast expanding Takaful Industry”. In a media release, LOLC Group said it made headway in the industry in just one year by building a customer base touching 5000, and Gross [...]

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