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Dry weather and drought conditions across the country have also had its impact on the tea plantations. Some of the plantations have several areas with dried leaves forcing some companies to reduce work for estate workers. This is the scene of a plantation in Hatton last week. Pic by G. Krishanthan

Sri Lanka tax enforcement confusion affects business, society

Sri Lankan taxpayers are becoming increasingly confused with the lack of clarity in the implementation of tax proposals and subsequent amendments proposed with effect from January 1 this year. Drama and confusion continues to plague policy-making decisions governing Sri Lanka’s economy with the latest being an Inland Revenue Department (IRD) circular relating to the revision of [...]

Global tea promotion to kick off in October

Sri Lanka’s long overdue global promotional campaign for tea will kick-start this October at a cost of over Rs.5 billion to be spent on television and digital media advertising for the next two years.  Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Chairman Rohan Pethiyagoda told the Business Times that they would market Ceylon Tea as a brand [...]

Local banks strengthen vigilance on foreign transfers

Many Sri Lankan banks are beefing up monitoring and surveillance mechanisms following February’s near US$ 100 million hack-in heist involving banks in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and the US Federal Reserve, officials said.  ”As soon as we heard about this (heist) we reviewed our Know Your Customer (KYC) mechanisms and other surveillance according to the [...]

500 motor vehicle files ‘gone with the wind’

A government probe into a massive vehicle registration fraud running into billions of rupees at the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) has come to a standstill as some 500 files with motor registrations have gone missing.  The case of missing 500 files at the MTD came to light following a recent directive issued by the Parliamentary [...]

Weak external finance aggravates economic hardships with no signs of countervailing strategies

Weak external finance aggravates  economic hardships with no signs  of countervailing strategies

Sri Lanka’s external finance is in a fragile position with the loss of US$1billion in official foreign reserves in just three months ending February 2016. The total amount of official reserves which currently stands around US$6 billion is hardly sufficient to meet foreign debt service payments and currency swap arrangements committed for the next 12 [...]

Creating an organic tea industry as a way to beat the crisis in the sector

The tea sector is facing perhaps the biggest crisis ever since the plant was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 1820s. There seems to be no way out unless we think completely afresh or out of the box. There are no signs of market improvement. I would argue this is more than a crisis or [...]

Windows-powered Dialog WinPad breaks new ground

Dialog this week launched its latest device – the Dialog Winpad – a Windows 10 and Intel powered Tablet with a detachable keyboard. Powered by Microsoft Windows 10 OS and an Intel® baytrail Quad Core processor, the Dialog Winpad is where the tab meets the laptop to present users the ultimate in convenience and connectivity [...]

Walker Sons & Company Engineers completes work on two water purification projects

Walker Sons & Company Engineers, a subsidiary of MTD Walkers PLC recently completed the electro-mechanical works for the Water Purification Projects at Kolonna and Balangoda.  The scope of work carried out by the company included installing a state- of-the-art fully automated water purification and pumping system, and thereafter connecting it to the national water distribution [...]

Rolex takes top spot in global brand stakes

Rolex takes top spot in global brand stakes

COLOMBO – If you wear a Rolex, drive a BMW and have a Sony music and movie system at home then you must have impeccable taste, for these three brands are among the 10 companies with the best reputation in the world.  James Bond might have preferred a different timepiece on his wrist as he [...]

Working in Harmony

At an evening meeting in the presence of 30-40 people, economist Nishan de Mel captured the attention of the audience with a, one would call it, “wholesome talk’ on policy-making in the new regime, the relationship between the President and the Prime Minister, and the proposed Right to Information (RTI) law.  One statement stood out [...]

Near zero population growth would be reached after 2062

The publication Sri Lanka: 25 Million People and Implications, Population and Housing Projections 2012-2062, jointly by Prof Indralal de Silva and Dr. Ranjith de Silva presents comprehensive population projections for the period 2012-2062 incorporating the latest information revealed in the Census of Population and Housing 2012.  This book is valuable for many reasons. It contains [...]

Sri Lanka seeks US$3 bln in bond investments to tackle debt crisis

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB), amidst an emerging and serious debt crisis, is planning to raise up to US$3 billion through International Sovereign Bonds in the international market this year.  In a statement on Tuesday, the CB said the issuances in single or multiple tranches would be in US Dollar and Chinese Renminbi (Panda / [...]

Good business for wig trader

Good business for wig trader

You don’t often see wigs, to many a personal item, being traded on a bus.  Female commuters were attracted to this vendor’s offers and many bought his product. He held up to a dummy, demonstrated to commuters on ways in which a wig could be worn. Text and picture by BT reporter Raj Moorthy who [...]

Rising microfinance trends potential risk for Sri Lanka NBFIs

Rising exposure to microfinance at Sri Lankan nonbank financial institutions (NBFIs) could pose a risk to their credit profiles, says Fitch Ratings in a media release on Friday. The exposure among Fitch-rated NBFIs which stood at just 4 per cent of total loans of these entities as recently as March 2014, rose dramatically to 27 per [...]

Axienta launches ‘Big Data Analytics’ to Sri Lankan market

Axienta recently officially launched its Big Data solutions that enable customers to more efficiently collect, process and analyse their data. Axienta is already Sri Lanka’s most trusted field and sales force automation solution specialist and is now pleased to offer customers data analytics and visualisation, all aimed at simplifying Big Data for customers and driving [...]

Economics students of South Asia meet in Colombo

The 12th South Asia Economics Students’ Meet (SAESM) is being held on April 3-4 at the BMICH will create the next generation of economists who have the ability to make South Asia into a developed region, co-founder of SAESM, Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne said. The Department of Economics, University of Colombo, is hosting the event for the [...]

Sri Lanka developed BoardPAC presented at top governance conference in London

A breakthrough Board and Committee meeting automation solution developed in Sri Lanka has been showcased at one of the world’s leading annual forums on governance which concluded in London recently.  BoardPAC, the iPad enabled platform for paperless meetings, was presented by its developer IronOne Technologies at the 2016 conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries [...]

First-ever auction of funds for SMEs by ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched for the first time an auction of its US$100 million loan assistance to the SMEs, with local commercial banks due to the non-disbursement of previous credit lines in this regard.  ADB South Asia Department Senior Finance Specialist Donald Lambert told reporters in Colombo this week that this was [...]

International drug industry runs on the lines of a mafia-like operation with scant respect to consumers

Drug manufacturing has turned out to be a major mafia-type operation while another revelation is that using some western medicine to cure ailments could lead to other health hazards.  This was stated by Faizal Cassim, Deputy Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine while addressing the launch of Ayurveda Expo 2016 held in Colombo last week. [...]

Megapolis ministry unable to deter wetland-negative development in Colombo city

Many of Sri Lanka’s current generation of youth and youngsters are unaware of the fact that Colombo is a city built on a wetland which has a beautiful history behind, how people survived over the ages and made use of the natural resources sometime back.  With development increasing and tall buildings, malls, boutiques and multimillionaire [...]

Sri Lanka’s vehicle tax collection to fall dramatically

Sri Lanka’s revenue collection from taxes on vehicle imports this year is likely to fall dramatically owing to motor traders’ current stance of reducing imports due to a drop in sales, market analysts predicted.  Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has been quoted as saying that tax revenue in 2016 from vehicle imports is expected to reach [...]

Around 100 classic British cars paraded the streets of Colombo

Around 100 classic British cars paraded the streets of Colombo

Around 100 classic British cars attracted the attention of large crowds of vehicle fans when they visited the ‘British Car Day show ‘conducted by Land Rover together with The Classic Car Club of Ceylon recently.  The vehicles, which belong to well-known enthusiasts, were showcased at the venue before they embarked on a parade through the [...]

Sri Lanka’s vehicle sales continue lackadaisical trends

Sri Lanka’s vehicle sales continued its lackadaisical trend into February this year due to a mixture of the vehicle financing facility being reduced to 70 per cent from 90 per cent of the total value, high tariffs on vehicle imports, a depreciating rupee, surprising strength in the Yen and rising interest rates, analysts said.  Motor [...]

Toyota Lanka’s ‘Future World ‘showcased futuristic motor technology

Toyota Lanka’s ‘Future  World ‘showcased futuristic motor technology

Visitors to Toyota Lanka’s ‘Future World ‘-pioneering Future World Exhibition on Toyota Automotive Technology are being given a first- hand information on the future of mobility, and that it is cleaner, safer and more convenience.  Toyota Lanka has showcased a host of automated and zero-emission technologies (green hybrid and future technology) opening a window into [...]

Motor traders cry foul over Finance Ministry’s vehicle valuation system

Sri Lanka motor traders are complaining the Finance Ministry’s action to take over the vehicle valuation functions for tax purposes from the Customs Department, disrupting vehicle clearing operations.  Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has issued a directive to the ministry to determine the minimum value of vehicles being imported to the country for the purpose of [...]

Porsche 718 Boxster to hit Sri Lanka roads soon

Porsche 718 Boxster, the new mid-engine roadster with four-cylinder engines, is to hit the Sri Lanka roads.  ”Eurocars (Pvt) Ltd, local agent of Porsche will be launching this sports car very soon”, Sabrina Cramer, Brand and Customer Relations Manager, told the Business Times. Twenty years after the first Boxster made its debut, Porsche is restructuring [...]

Kia’s 2016 Rio Sedan arrives in Sri Lanka

The 2016 edition of iconic Korean car maker Kia’s Rio subcompact sedan has arrived in Sri Lanka, the brand’s sole local distributor Kia Motors (Lanka) Ltd. has announced in a media release.  Another representation of Kia’s credo of ‘performance without compromise,’ the four-door sedan is powered by a 1400cc die-cast aluminium low weight engine that [...]

Children around Sri Lanka paint for water in Brandix initiative

Children around Sri Lanka paint for water in Brandix initiative

A novel initiative to inspire children to give expression to their views on water conservation and management through art has resulted in the Brandix Group engaging with 37 schools in Sri Lanka to commemorate World Water Day 2016.  The ‘Diya Siththam’ (Water Frescoes) programme conducted by the Bindu Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility division of [...]

Laugfs to buy 3rd ship, lists subsidiary on Bangladesh Stock Exchange

Laugfs Holdings PLC, in rapid expansion mode in the last few months here and abroad, is awaiting its third cargo ship while gearing to go public on the Bangladesh Stock Exchange with its subsidiary over there, officials said. ”We’ll be bringing down our third cargo ship to transport downstream Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) by next month [...]

Who are the poor? More than one way of understanding poverty

Who are the poor? Do current poverty measurements really capture the poor? The questions are pertinent in the light of current media reports on the new national poverty line and revamping Samurdhi, the largest poverty reduction programme in the country.  The current poverty line at Rs. 3937 per person per month, is defined using a [...]

New PIM courses designed to create a society of entrepreneurs

The Postgraduate Institute of Management Alumni (PIMA) of Sri Lanka has expanded its network to link up with the prestigious New South Wales University of Australia enabling 3-5 Sri Lankans to obtain scholarship to follow PhD programmes abroad.  This was stated by Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, Director and Chairman of the Board of Management of the [...]

Sunshine’s Watawala Plantations expands with US$11.5 mln dairy investment, plans to own brand

Diversified Sunshine Holdings PLC, on the back of announcing plans to set up a mega commercial dairy operation worth US$ 11.5 million through its member firm, Watawala Plantations PLC, has plans to enter the market with its own milk brand in the longer term, officials said. “It’ll take 2-3 years to set up this farm, [...]

Govt to reintroduce share transaction levy on SEC plea

The government, responding to an appeal made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is to reintroduce the share transaction levy and scrap the idea to slap capital gains tax on capital market transactions, sources close to the Prime Minister’s office said. This follows SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne stating that the SEC has made representations [...]

CSE seeks foreign listings on proposed new dollar denominated board

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Maldives Stock Exchange (MSE), in association with the Capital Market Development Authority of Maldives (CMDA), acting under the MOU signed between the two exchanges conducted a roadshow for potential Maldivian Issuers and Investors. The forum hosted by the Capital Market Development Authority of Maldives was held on March [...]

Global role of Sri Lankan rice to feed the world

Global role of Sri Lankan rice to feed the world

Why was ancient Sri Lanka called the granary of the East despite the presence of many other rice growing countries which were much larger than ours in the region?  History reveals that Sri Lanka maintained a far-sighted philosophy, technology and culture associated with rice production and its impact was felt well beyond the shores of [...]

Some tea estate companies to divest; RPCs brew new model

In the wake of a slump in profits on the regional plantation companies (RPCs) some companies are contemplating moving out of the business, while a joint effort is underway to establish a new model for others remaining in the business.  Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake addressing the media on Wednesday at the ministry said authorities were [...]

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