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Beating budget deadlines

Beating budget deadlines

The Registrar of Companies office at D.R. Wijewardena was swamped by the public seeking to beat the January 1 budget deadline on company registrations and withdrawals. Seen here is the crowd on Thursday December 31. A similar rush was seen at the Immigration and Emigration Department. Pic by Anuradha Bandara

Krrish finally seals Transworks House land deal in Colombo

Indian real estate company Krrish Group has finally sealed the controversial Transworks House land deal, that drew allegations of huge pay-offs to politicians and officials, signing a lease agreement with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) in October.The new agreement, not known to the public until officials revealed it to the Business Times (BT) on Thursday, [...]

High profile brokers in the dock

Some high profile stockbrokers are in the dock over asset declaration related issues, the Business Times reliably learns.According to official sources, the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) has recorded the statements of these brokers over probes that are not related to market manipulation or insider dealing. “They were on questions on how they have accumulated [...]

Hotel industry says unwise for SriLankan Airlines to pull out of Europe

Hotel industry says unwise for  SriLankan Airlines to pull out of Europe

Both the Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) and The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) this week expressed alarm over the intended pullout of SriLankan Airlines from the European sector barring the UK (London).While there is no official intimation yet from the national carrier that it will withdraw from Paris, Rome and Frankfurt as the routes [...]

Confusion among Treasury officials over budget amendments

Sri Lanka’s Treasury is in the dark over the submission of finance bills, necessary circulars and guidelines to collect revenue following unprecedented amendments introduced in the 2016 Budget during and after the committee stage of the debate.The issuance of relevant circulars, gazette notifications and operating instructions to the relevant line ministries and agencies, giving effect [...]

Building the movement for a living wage

Building the movement for a living wage

The annual Asia Floor Wage Alliance meeting held on December 17-20th at the Sri Lanka Foundation was a critical opportunity to bring activists together from across the region to discuss the pressing needs of garment workers.Participants arrived from over nine countries to highlight issues in an industry that provides clothing for much of the world, [...]

Arthur Ranasinghe: Up close and personal

Arthur Ranasinghe:  Up close and personal

In the 1950s and ’60s decades, the Central Bank headquarters was located at Hemas Building, with the main entrance to our suite of offices facing York Street in Colombo Fort. Hemas boasted just this one lift for the Bank staff. The era of exclusive lifts for the Central Bank top brass came when the bank [...]

Focus on technology

Earlier this week, scientists reported that Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula would face rising sea level and polluted groundwater resources. In a worrying scenario, scientists have said the peninsula, once the scene of bloody fighting, would be battling a different war: how to keep the land above water.This is however not the first time scientists [...]

IronOne’s BoardPAC gains access to Bangladesh state entities with GRAM

IronOne’s BoardPAC gains access to  Bangladesh state entities with  GRAM

IronOne Technologies, the Sri Lankan developer of BoardPAC – the sophisticated and secure mobile solution for paperless communication, has made significant advances in Bangladesh, gaining access to government agencies and the military in partnership with GRAM Ltd, its recently-appointed partner in that country.”The partnership between the two companies ratified in Colombo paves the way for [...]

Broker-directors beware; the regulator is watching you

Stockbrokers on director boards of listed firms are on the radar of the regulator, according to informed sources.They said that now with efficient surveillance, these directors are being watched and can be detected unlike earlier. In the past there was a ‘red list’ at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) where names of brokers in listed [...]

Sri Lanka’s ageing fireworks industry gives little cheer during festive season

Sri Lanka’s ageing fireworks industry has little to cheer about this festive season, with sharply rising raw material costs, labour shortages and bad weather conditions frustrating production and sales, manufacturers said. This year’s festive period was the worst season for fireworks as sales came down by 80 per cent, head of Rawana Fireworks Negombo – [...]

Public lecture on higher education developments

Dr. Harsha Aturupane, Lead Education Specialist, The World Bank – Colombo will be delivering the Gamani Corea Memorial Lecture titled “Enriching and Accelerating Higher Education Development in Sri Lanka’ on Thursday, January 7 at 5:30 pm at the Conference Room C of the BMICH. It is open to the public.

CB doesn’t hike interest rates but tightens credit demand

The Central Bank (CB) on Wednesday didn’t hike policy interest rates as widely expected but reduced the amounts commercial banks will have on a daily basis to lend in the market.The CB’s Monetary Board, after its December 30 meeting, decided to raise the Statutory Reserve Ratio (SRR) applicable to all rupee deposit liabilities of commercial [...]

CBL’S new Sera coconut milk product has 1-year shelf life

CBL’S new Sera coconut milk product has 1-year shelf life

Ceylon Biscuits Ltd (CBL) has added a new brand and product line to its portfolio, with the launch of Sera, a premium liquid coconut milk conveniently available in 180 ml UHT packs, with a 1-year shelf life. The company has invested over Rs. 2 billion to set up the state-of-the- art factory that extracts, sterilises [...]

SL expats doubtful on stable government and sustainable policies

Sri Lanka’s one-year old government is working on enticing local professionals resident abroad to return to the country and share their skills and expertise.However most expatriates (expats) have reservations about returning flagging issues like the need for sustainable policies and a stable government.Recently the Business Times attended the 3rd annual ‘Work In Sri Lanka’ conference [...]

SL market penetration dependent on ‘more attractive pricing’ – Intel

The areas to watch in 2016 include “smaller PC form factors offering massive capabilities, the development of new sensory interfaces, and the transformation of everyday objects into smart devices,” says Indika De Zoysa, the computer chip maker’s Country business Manager for Sri Lanka.At the same time, in a statement to the media he says that [...]

DHL global study highlights ‘fair and responsible logistics’

Global logistics giant, DHL, in a November 2015 study, has highlighted the need for “fair and responsible logistics” while, at the same time, identifying 15 industry best practice examples. According to the report, titled “Fair and Responsible Logistics: A DHL perspective on how to create lasting competitive advantage”, which is currently available on the company’s [...]

IMF launches Youth Video Contest in Asia

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week launched the 2016 Advancing Asia: Investing for the Future Youth Video Contest.The competition-to be held in conjunction with the Advancing Asia conference, that will take place in New Delhi, India, from March 11-13, 2016-seeks videos from young videographers of all abilities capturing through their own lenses the realities, [...]

NDB introduces e-Statement to account holders

NDB has introduced – what it calls – a revolutionary e- Statement which is fully integrated with a complete review of the finances and it allows account holders to easily manage their savings, the bank said this week.”Through this futuristic approach the bank intends to move away from traditional hard-copy statements, posted to customers in [...]

OPEC says oil prices will recover to $70 in 2020

Oil producers’ group Opec has said it expects oil prices to recover to $70 a barrel by 2020, according to a BBC report.Prices have fallen from more than $110 a barrel in the summer of 2014 to less than $37 a barrel now due to oversupply and slowing demand.But Opec said oil prices would begin [...]

George Soros and Joseph Stigliz at Sri Lanka econ forum next week

George Soros and Joseph Stigliz at  Sri Lanka econ forum next week

George Soros, the global investor and philanthropist who has picked up his share of controversy, and Joseph Stigliz, Nobel Laureate and renowned economist/Professor at Columbia University, are the guests of honour at a high powered economic forum to be held on January 7-8 at the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo.The “Sri Lanka Economic Forum 2016″, [...]

Over 20 % of India’s Bajaj’s sales revenue in SL

A newly introduced taxi hailing app for local three wheel vehicles, also known as tuk tuks, is promising customers the ability to connect with taxi drivers within a few minutes.According to a media statement, this mobile application, named the Tuk Tuk App, which was launched by the Tuk Tuk Network, “makes it easy to get [...]

Sri Lankan government’s price control could trigger dhal and sugar shortage

Sri Lanka could face a shortage of imported essential commodities including dhal and sugar as a result of price control imposed by the government on retail traders amidst fluctuations in world market prices and the depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar, wholesale traders warn.Importers of dhal and white sugar have to pay high [...]

SL’s 2016 tourism strategy unveiled; 2.2 mln arrivals and $2.7 bln revenue

SL’s 2016 tourism strategy unveiled;  2.2 mln arrivals and $2.7 bln revenue

Sri Lanka Tourism this week unveiled its 2016 marketing strategy in which PR agencies are to be appointed to handle specific markets, arrivals are seen rising to 2.2 million and 500 agents and travel writers are to be invited on familiarisation tours.Revenue is also set to rise to US$2.75 billion, according to the tourism marketing [...]

Untapped opportunities of Chinese outbound travel in achieving tourism targets of Sri Lanka

As a research student in the field of tourism and hospitality management, I have been in China for one and half years and travelling around interacting with all sorts of people in this emerging super power of the world. A recent survey conducted in the scond fastest developing city in the world Chengdu (second to [...]

Foreign reserves comfortable, no cause for alarm, says CB Governor

Foreign reserves comfortable, no cause for alarm, says CB Governor

Foreign reserves are in a comfortable position and there is no cause for alarm while dormant bank accounts in Sri Lankan banks will be transferred to the Central Bank only after 10 years and not one year as reported in a local newspaper, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Thursday.Briefing journalists in Colombo, he [...]

Chrysotile Information Centre Asia educates SL medical professionals on safe usage of Chrysotile

Chrysotile Information Centre Asia educates SL medical professionals on safe usage of Chrysotile

Sri Lanka’s plans to ban the use of asbestos sheets (usually used for roofs) by 2018 for health reasons have drawn opposition from local producers.The World Health Organisation has said that all types of asbestos cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs). However local manufacturers say [...]

Lankan car dealers want more concessions

Sri Lankan car dealers are in talks with authorities for further concessions on duties imposed in the last budget, sources said. “Many car dealers are in discussion with the Ministry of Finance to reverse the taxes,” a source told the Business Times. According to him, they want the level of duty based on value of [...]

Chinese entrepreneurs interested in H’tota shipyard

Two business delegations from China visited the Hambantota shipyard last month on a fact-finding cum feasibility study, officials said. Eleven members from China Communication Construction Company (CCC) and China Merchant had inspected the yard, they said. They added that these parties on a 4-day visit had expressed interest in setting up shipbuilding, ship-repair and warehousing [...]

“Christmas Fest” launched as first in a series of annual events to attract tourists

Reference to your story last week under the above heading, I have a few suggestions to improve facilities for tourists. For example there should be soap in the toilets at the Department of Immigration and Emigration office at Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha, Colmbo. How much is a bar of soap? This is on the 3rd floor [...]

Hotel sector sees good season, will witness better quarter

Public quoted hotels of some major conglomerates witnessed low profits in the past quarter but this quarter (Jan-March 2016) will show a rise in their bottomlines owing to a ‘good season’ this December, industry analysts say. Top gainers at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) were hotels during some days last month, stockbrokers say. However they [...]

Company owners in mad rush to beat deadline on new registration revisions

Hundreds of people made a last minute dash to the Department of the Registration of Companies (DRC) and the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE) to beat the deadline of new revisions introduced in the 2016 budget with effect from January 1. The 2016 budget has increased the company registration renewal fees and introduced an [...]

TUs to launch massive agitation against government

Sri Lankan trade unions have warned of a “mass agitation” campaign against the government’s refusal to address their concerns and make necessary amendments to the budget proposals as promised.In a December 28 letter addressed to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, trade unions said that they would be compelled to resort to trade unions action and start [...]

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