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Government reverses liquor licence policy for tourism’s sake

Having pledged to eliminate tobacco and alcohol menace from the country, the government is now well and truly on reverse gear to promote liquor sales for the sake of tourist development in the country.  This policy reversal came to light following the decision taken at a high level meeting of the government think tank to [...]

Overwhelming opposition to Arjuna Mahendran’s re-appointment

Overwhelming opposition to Arjuna Mahendran’s re-appointment

More than 80 per cent of respondents in a Business Times poll this week on the re-appointment of the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran say he should not be reappointed while, to a second question, 61 per cent said he should resign. Details in the graphic. Also see Page 2 and inside pages for more [...]

CB ordered to allow Auditor General to probe T-bond deals

Central Bank (CB) Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri came under fire this week over their refusal to allow the Auditor General (AG) access to information pertaining to allegedly tainted Treasury bond sales.  On Wednesday, they were intensively questioned by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) over the refusal and eventually. Mr. [...]

Lankaputhra Bank slips show in Chairman drama

Lankaputhra Bank slips show  in Chairman drama

Embroiled already in controversy over allegations of corruption by the Rajapaksa regime at the state owned Lankaputhra Development Bank (LDB), its present Chairman Lasantha Goonewardena’s appointment has been invalidated by the Central Bank, a year after assuming office. The Bank Supervision Department of the Central Bank in a letter addressed to the General Manager/CEO of [...]

CSE in doldrums with capital gains tax

Stock market stakeholders are deeply upset over the decision to re-impose the capital gains tax on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), analysts said.  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a recent Cabinet Committee on Economic Management meeting had decided to slap the tax despite an earlier decision not do so, following representations made by the Securities [...]

Yahapalana Govt. must uphold the trust placed in good faith by the people

Yahapalana Govt. must uphold the trust placed in good faith by the people

When the United National Party (UNP), the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and a coterie of small parties formed a formidable alliance which met with success when Maithripala Sirisena won the January 2015 presidential poll, many Sri Lankans were elated.  A few problems arose thereafter – problems that one would expect in an uneasy parliamentary [...]

CB probing pyramid schemes, unregistered finance firm

Nearly a decade after GoldQuest, the controversial network marketing scheme operated here, the Central Bank (CB) is probing some three entities dealing in pyramid type-schemes, CB sources said.  ”CB is investigating some multi-level marketing firms who are dealing in pyramid schemes,” a CB source told the Business Times adding that most of these schemes are [...]

Confusing signals at Lankaputhra Bank

Confusion reigns at institutions like the Lankaputhra Development Bank (LDB) where an appointment made by the Treasury has been rejected by the Central Bank and questions regarding its validity are being posed to the Public Enterprises Ministry who is in charge of loss-making state institutions.  With subjects and ministries being changed there is more confusion [...]

SriLankan Airlines joins landmark global crackdown on illegal wildlife trade

SriLankan Airlines on Thursday joined a landmark worldwide drive to crack down on the illegal global trade in wildlife that has brought many of the world’s rare species close to extinction.  The airline was among several international airlines which pledged their full support for the ‘United for Wildlife’ initiative, at the AGM of the International [...]

Sri Lanka goes green with eco-friendly tuk-tuks

With a view to popularising green transportation in Sri Lanka, the Government will soon take a policy decision on promoting eco-friendly three-wheelers. The Transport Ministry has forwarded a proposal seeking a policy decision of the cabinet to discourage the import of 3-wheel petrol tuk-tuks and instead promote eco –friendly electric or solar powered 3-wheelers in [...]

Sri Lanka relaxes gold import norms

Amidst considerable concerns of local jewellers, Sri Lanka is taking a major step towards liberalising gold imports by introducing some procedural simplifications and changing regulations in the coming days.  The removal of gold import restrictions is on the cards and the end result for gold investors is an increase in demand for the yellow metal, [...]

Lessons and learnings from Kosgama army camp disaster

Lessons and learnings from Kosgama army camp disaster

It just was a tiny spark in the first few seconds.  Then arose the destined flicker. It popped up a roaring flame. Next it was a violent blaze that refused be disciplined, even by the stern military. In minutes, it led to unceasing thunder and unceasing explosions on that dreadful night. Twenty-four hours later it [...]

Ceylinco Life donates classroom for special-needs children in Mannar

Ceylinco Life donates  classroom for special-needs children in Mannar

Ceylinco Life recently presented a purpose built classroom to the Sithyvinayakar Hindu College in Mannar, a government school of 1,700 students and 80 teachers. This was the 65th classroom building built and donated by Ceylinco Life under a corporate social responsibility initiative of the company to help rural schools in underserved areas of the country. [...]

Work on the longest overhead bridge in Sri Lanka inaugurated

Work on the longest overhead bridge in Sri Lanka inaugurated

The construction work on the proposed Rajagiriya overhead bridge which is considered to be the longest in the country was inaugurated in front of the Welikada Police Station, Rajagiriya this week under the patronage of the organiser of Sri Jayawardenapura, Kotte and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva and Minister of [...]

Passengers prefer tech to people – but one size does not fit all, SITA survey shows

Airline passengers across the globe are so comfortable with technology today that they are choosing to use it rather than interacting with people. This is according to the 2016 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, a global survey released today by IT provider SITA and co-sponsored by Air Transport World.  SITA’s survey, as explained in a [...]

New 4-year development strategy to be announced soon by govt.

Several new bills pertaining to the economy and the Monetary Act will soon be tabled in Parliament for approval.  The Sri Lankan Exchange Control Act which is draconian in nature will not be amended but will be totally repealed. “In the next few weeks we will bring necessary controls to the Monetary Act and to [...]

SL unions want stop to intimidation of employees

Sri Lankan unions are expressing concerns about threats, intimidation and union busting by employers.  Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employee Union Anton Marcus addressed these concerns in a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this week, stating that they had previous correspondence and meetings with the Prime Minister and Minister [...]

75,000 widows and women-led families in Mannar district need to be empowered to be self-sufficient

75,000 widows and women-led  families in Mannar district need to be empowered to be self-sufficient

MANNAR – The district of Mannar is no different from the rest of Sri Lanka when it comes to the most lucrative, fastest form and no-wait-for-a-government-handout type of development.  Since the end of the civil conflict, the speediest development in the country has been in the leisure sector with hotels springing up all over the [...]

Plight of pensioners at the Department of pensions

It all began in October 2013; when my mother’s pension (which had been regularly paid by the Bank of Ceylon -BOC -since 2004) was not deposited into her account at BOC. On inquiring from the bank I was informed that she had not submitted her ‘Life Certificate’ (Certificate authenticated that the said pensioner is alive) [...]

Treasury to restrict commercial banks’ exposure to leasing

Sri Lanka’s commercial banks ‘ exposure to leasing activities will be restricted to business over Rs. 5 million revising the 2016 budget proposal to completely take leasing out of the banking portfolio, official sources disclosed.  According to the budget proposal the ban on commercial banks from engaging in leasing was scheduled to be implemented from [...]

MTD to issue drivers’ licences online

The Motor Traffic Department (MTD) will soon implement an e-Motoring project for motor vehicle registration and to issue drivers’ licences online, MTD sources revealed.  A senior MTD official said, the services provided to motorists by the department would be automated under the e-Motoring project. The MTD will offer facilities for Sri Lankans to submit their [...]

Blogging: Going places, getting followed, money spinner

Blogging: Going places, getting followed, money spinner

Blogging has become a hit among readers who follow the growing number of travel writers touring the world and selling their story on their blog sites that has now become a lucrative venture.  This new vocation saw youngsters and keen adults gather in Colombo for the second Travel Bloggers Conference Asia hosted by Cinnamon Hotels [...]

Sri Lanka- German Training Institute to facilitate a better future for young Northerners

The Sri Lanka – German Training Institute (SLGTI), bringing the advantages of higher education and with it, better opportunities, is scheduled to open in mid-July in Kilinochchi.  This institute of excellence is expected to bring life-changing opportunities for students from across the island to further their knowledge and employability by studying through National Vocational Qualification [...]

Sharing office space by two or more companies becoming popular, research shows

Latest research by flexible workspace provider Regus reveals that co-working is now considered a long-term option for businesses instead of a temporary solution. Sharing an office space used to be seen as little more than a short-term answer for start-ups on a budget or entrepreneurs seeking company. In a media release this week, Regus stated [...]

Ceylon Cinnamon Academy – changing lives in SL

With 31,000 hectares under cinnamon cultivation employing approximately 400,000 people directly and indirectly, the cinnamon industry still faces shortage of labour and a lack of formal training for enhancing the skills of its workforce.  This status quo has now been changed with the establishment of the Cinnamon Training Academy (CTA), which aims to attract job-seekers [...]

Bureaucratic bungling delays Kantale Sugar mill revival

The much hyped revival of the Kantale Sugar factory has been further delayed due to the Treasury’s inability to speed-track the shareholder agreement with the foreign investor although the Board of Investment (BOI) had entered into an investment agreement one year ago.  The BOI has brought to the notice of the Cabinet Committee on Economic [...]

Wide gap between the application of Sri Lankan research in transport and logistics projects

The first Conference on Research for Transport and Logistics Industry (R4TLI) 2016 organised by the Sri Lanka Society of Transport and Logistics (SLSTL) and The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (TCILT) was held last week at a time when critical transportation issues are emerging in Sri Lanka.  A major finding at the R4TLI was [...]

Veteran NGO activist Dulan de Silva honoured by UN association

Dulan de Silva, Executive Chairman of Give2Lanka, former Executive Chairman of Berendina Group and founder of CEO SEEDS was recently bestowed as an Honorary Fellow of the UN Friendship Organisation at a function held in Colombo.  Among the service oriented work Mr. de Silva has pioneered in meriting this honor, were the establishment of the [...]

Of golf courses, peacocks and kite flying – Shangri-La offers it all on the menu

Of golf courses, peacocks and kite flying – Shangri-La offers it all on the menu

HAMBANTOTA – Shangri-La’s newest resort, and the first in Sri Lanka, opened in Hambantota last week with a grand ceremony graced by President Maithripala Sirisena and senior, Hong Kong-based officials of the hotel chain.  However the lavish and elegant ceremony was unfortunately marred by a fire. Sparks from a burst of fire crackers which lit [...]

Locally produced product to detect defects in diesel engine injector saves foreign exchange

Locally produced product to detect defects in diesel engine injector saves foreign exchange

The National Science Foundation (NSF) which has been providing grants to innovative projects and creations recently provided a grant to S.I. Uyanahewa of Sandanee Industries who has turned out a local ‘Diesel Injector Pump Test Bench (DIPTB)”.  The Business Times (BT) serialises in its pages of unique innovations and inventions supported by the NSF accompanied [...]

An Environmentally-friendly Vehicle Tax System for Sri Lanka

An Environmentally-friendly Vehicle Tax System for Sri Lanka

There were many complaints in the news media regarding the increase in the Excise Duty of Toyota Prius cars which are used by most taxi companies for the transport of tourists from the airport, because of the high fuel efficiency, internationally accepted safety standards and the long term durability of the vehicle. When a former [...]

Etihad Airways launches third daily flight from Colombo

Etihad Airways is offering travellers from Sri Lanka greater choice and more travel options to the GCC, Middle East and Europe with the launch of a third daily flight from Colombo which was effective from June 1. Timed to coincide with the peak summer travel months as many travellers head west, a media release from [...]

Jetwing training brings a smile to Bellhop Banda and his wife

Jetwing training brings a smile to Bellhop Banda and his wife

SIGIRIYA – His wife is full of smiles these days. And this makes Karunasinghe Banda a happy man. Gone are the days when she would nag and scold him for having the gumption to forsake the old ways of life and tread a new path in the shadows of Sigiriya.  “I clearly remember how she [...]

Top officials of state-owned Enterprises (SOEs) to get hired cars

The government has extended the operating leasing scheme for procurement of vehicles to top officials of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and its subsidiaries similar to the system applicable to senior high grade public officials.  Hiring will be permitted for vehicles with a mileage of less than 1,000 km through operational leasing method (use and return option) [...]

EPSI launches world’s smallest PC

EPSI launches world’s smallest PC

Sri Lanka’s pioneering total PC solutions provider EPSI Technology (Pvt) Ltd recently launched the world’s smallest PC – ASUS VivoStick PC. ASUS announced the international release of ASUS VivoStick in early April 2016.  The PC in hand whenever or wherever it is need, according to an EPSI media release.  VivoStick is a pocket-sized PC that [...]

Siemens signs MoU with Megapolis Ministry to offer smart solutions

Siemens, recently strengthened its partnership with Sri Lanka by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development to offering expertise and best practices from its globally-proven, state-of-the-art, sustainable, smart city solutions portfolio.  The MoU was signed by Lakshman Jayasekara, Project Director/Team Leader, Western Region Megapolis Planning Project and Anirudh Tandon, [...]

IPM relaunches PQHRM Programme to cater to changing HR needs

Taking into consideration the fast changing needs of the dynamic business and human resources (HR) environment, the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) Sri Lanka relaunched the Professional Qualification in Human Resources Management (PQHRM) last week. A media release stated that the revamped PQHRM followed a detailed and in-depth study of the HR and business eco-system [...]

LAUGFS Leisure in Cleaner Coastal Environment campaign in Passikudah

LAUGFS Leisure recently organised a beach clean-up project in the Passikudah area in an effort to create awareness towards a cleaner and safer environment. The staff of Anantaya Passikudah, the latest addition to the Anantaya luxury resort chain, teamed up and volunteered to clean the beach front in commemoration of the World Environment Day. In [...]

CIMA and Global Compact Network UK launch Human Rights guidelines

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Global Compact Network UK have published a guidance document aimed at helping Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMAs) and finance professionals across the world support their organisations in upholding human rights. In a press release this week, the guidance called “Business [...]

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