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Taxing Sri Lankans is essential but questions over proper use, BT-RCB poll shows

Taxing Sri Lankans is essential but questions over proper  use, BT-RCB poll shows

While there were strong views expressed on taxation and its ineffectiveness in a joint BT-RCB poll this week, a cross-section of respondents agreed that taxes are essential and the government has a right to tax the people.  Given the attention to taxes, VAT included, and its management in recent months, the Business Times and the [...]

Ananda Atukorala takes over as Chairman NDB

Senior banker Ananda Atukorala has been appointed an independent non-executive Chairman of the National Development Bank (NDB) after a tussle between the Government and the former board on the appointment of a new Chairman. Mr. Athukorala who counts more than 35 years as a banker awaits Central Bank approval for his appointment. His appointment comes in the [...]

Drama at Richard Pieris; director makes statement to SEC

The Richard Pieris Group has been engulfed in high drama over the past few weeks with three of its four independent directors resigning amidst a director being summoned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over alleged securities fraud, an informed source said. He said the company had got a tough warning in 2009 pertaining [...]

Netherlands, Chinese for BIA runway overlay

The Government would be soon signing an agreement with consultants hired to carry out repairs at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) during the January 6 – April 6 (8.30 am to 4.30 pm) closure next year.  Airport and Aviation Services Ltd. (AASL) Executive Director Johanne Jayaratne told the Business Times on Friday that they would [...]

“Burgeoning debt trap exacerbated by ‘Dragon-debt trap’

“Burgeoning debt trap exacerbated        by ‘Dragon-debt trap’

The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is extremely surprised and disappointed at the gross inaccuracies contained in the article written by Dr. Palitha Ekanayake under the above heading last week and therefore compelled to exercise its legitimate right to respond with our point of view.  It is evident that the writer has failed to [...]

Hip, hip, hooray …

At a recent discussion this week involving a multinational organisation, issues were raised as to why media often highlights negative stories and not positive ones. While we beg to disagree, today’s column – if one is to respond to critics (including the Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs – the Prime Minister himself – which [...]

Sri Lanka’s tourism promo campaign from Nov 2016

Sri Lanka’s tourism promo campaign from Nov 2016

Sri Lanka is launching, what is seen as its first big country promotion campaign in November 2016 focusing, apart from other ‘delights’, on the country being one of the safest countries in the world from being a one-time negative destination.  Arrivals are soaring with July 2016 clocking the highest month ever on record with 2019,351, [...]

Foreign investment necessary to wipe out poverty, economist says

Although fixing Sri Lanka’s economy is not easy, the model of foreign direct investment flows into the Asia Pacific region in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries was worth looking, according to Economics Prof. Prema Chandra Athukorala from the the Australian National University.  Speaking on the topic “Foreign Direct Investment and [...]

Japfa opts to sell off more Grain stock

Singapore-based Japfa Ltd, a pan-Asian, industrial agri-food company is likely to sell more shares in Ceylon Grain Elevators PLC, analysts say. The fourth largest shareholder in the poultry firm, Japfa Ltd held about 6.48 per cent in the company by June this year. “But they sold some 1.27 per cent during March this year,” an [...]

CodeGen International introduces Cloud Smart School at EDEX Expo 2016

An innovative school management software solution developed by Ombo Technologies, a fully owned subsidiary of CodeGen International (Pvt) Ltd, enters the educational landscape at the EDEX Expo 2016. The exhibition will run for two consecutive days next month at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC). It is opened to the public  The Cloud [...]

Quarrel amongst court-appointed directors of failed F&G

Disagreements have broken out among the Supreme Court-appointed directors of the Finance & Guarantee Real Estate Co Ltd and Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd (F&G) with accusations flying between two sides.  Three of these directors are accusing another director who has acted as the Chairman of F&G Board of not conducting the affairs of the Board [...]

‘Toast of the Town’ Lakmini ready for a new challenge

‘Toast of the Town’ Lakmini ready for a new challenge

SPEECHLESS IN COLOMBO: Perhaps Lakmini Wijesundera should have paraphrased the memorable opening line from Marc Antony in his eulogy to Caesar and begun her address to the audience gathered earlier this month to honour her by saying: “Friends, Sri Lankans, countrymen, lend me your ears”.  Her biggest fear and no-no is public speaking. So she [...]

BASF opens first plant in Sri Lanka to meet demand for construction chemicals

Germany’s BASF has opened its first production plant in Sri Lanka which will produce standard and custom-made performance-based construction chemicals under the Master Builders Solutions brand.  These include concrete admixtures product ranges such as MasterGlenium, MasterPolyheed, MasterRheobuild and MasterPozzolith. The new plant will allow BASF to better meet the increasing demand for construction chemicals to [...]

Coca-Cola partners with NWSDB to support communities affected with chronic kidney disease

Coca-Cola recently joined hands with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) to launch one of two Reverse Osmosis water treatment units in Polonnaruwa, at Dimbulagala. The initiative is set to positively impact lives of more than 400 families through enhanced access to safe and clean drinking water, the global beverages giant said in [...]

SLSI ‘mark’ mandatory for bottled water from Sept. 1

The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) under the direction of Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen will be enforcing minimum standards on bottled mineral water starting September 1.  “Low quality PET bottles affect the quality of water in bottles,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on August 20th in Colombo during a consumer [...]

CB Governor paints rosy picture for Sri Lanka

This was the best and most favourable circumstances that Sri Lanka had during the past 50 years as major paradigm shifts had taken place to which “we need to adjust if we are to realise the full potential”, said Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Indrajit Coomaraswamy in a keynote address at the [...]

Wattegedera TCCS depositors protest over non-payment of their deposits

Wattegedera TCCS depositors protest over non-payment of their deposits

Several hundred depositors (most of them aged) of the now collapsed 532 C Wattegedera (Maharagama) Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society (TCCS) Bank gathered at the Western Provincial Council office in Battaramulla on Tuesday August 23 and staged a protest demonstration over the non-payment of their deposits.  Amidst tight police security, they also marched close to [...]

Berendina: Fighting poverty differently

In 1992, a Dutch gentleman walked into my room at SEEDS and wanted my help to spend Rs.1 million on a village in Yatiytantota. He was from Berendina Stichting (BS), a trust started by Berendina Borst, who used to visit Sri Lanka prior to her death in 1991 and assist villagers in Garagoda.  I sought [...]

Inflation in July eases

Sri Lanka’s inflation eased by 5.8 per cent in July from 6.4 per cent in the previous month, on year-on-year basis, the Central Bank (CB) said. Both food and non-food categories contributed towards the year-on-year inflation in July 2016, the CB said. Inflation is measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) [...]

Long delayed Malwathu Oya project gets underway with Chinese EXIM Bank funding

The long-delayed Malwathu Oya Reservoir Project marred with irregularities will begin soon after securing funding from Chinese EXIM Bank clearing all the dealings made by the previous regime to implement it since 20O9, Irrigation Ministry sources disclosed.  Malwathu Oya is located in close proximity to Thantirimale area on the Anuradhapura- Manner district boundary.  The feasibility [...]

Norwegian Prime Minister visits Mirissa

Norwegian Prime Minister visits Mirissa

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s recent two-day official visit to the island include stopping over at the Mirissa fisheries harbour as fisheries sector is on the top of the agenda for technical cooperation between Norway and Sri Lanka.  Norway has a longstanding and a strong history of development co-operation with Sri Lanka. The first development [...]

Sri Lanka’s dismal insurance reach: Only 12.5% of the population covered by insurance

The 7th Annual National Forum for Life Insurance Advisors (NAFLIA) held last week at the BMICH has become a forum to plan out strategies to provide life insurance to everyone in Sri Lanka. It was organised by the Marketing and Sales Forum of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL)  Opening the sessions, Dirk Perera, [...]

NDB to expand investment banking in Bangladesh

National Development Bank PLC (NDB) is placing a lot of attention on expanding its investment banking in Bangladesh, a venture that was set up after NDB Group acquired a controlling stake in Capital Market Services Ltd, a licensed merchant bank in Bangladesh in 2009. NDB Bank has a 77.8 per cent equity stake in the [...]

Beeta Aquarium excels at local and foreign ornamental fish fairs

Beeta Aquarium excels at local and foreign ornamental fish fairs

A Sri Lankan aquarium which won plaudits at a recent ornamental fish exhibition was founded by Mahinda Kularathna, the son of an unskilled worker, who converted his ornamental fish breeding hobby and decorating fish tanks during his childhood into an award winning business. Beeta Aquarium, Boralesgamuwa won awards for the best ornamental fish trade stall [...]

Chance recipe in a local newspaper 25 years ago led to creation of Lucky Yoghurt

Chance recipe in a local  newspaper 25 years ago led to creation of Lucky Yoghurt

Could it be by accident, chance or sheer determination, that has seen the great success story of ‘Lucky Yoghurt’ fashioned 25 years in the hard way?  According to its Chairman/Managing Director, Lal Kithsiri Gunawardhana, ‘Lucky Lanka’ was floated in 1991 virtually with no capital but today has grown to be a well-known corporate entity with [...]

Credibility of some awards

Some time ago, the Sunday Times Business section raised a question about the credibility of some of the awards presented to our corporate sector entities. I was reminded of the validity of that question recently by the wide publicity generated by an insurance company that claimed to have shone at the ‘first edition of the [...]

Regnis among Forbes Asia’s ‘200 Best Under a Billion’ List

Regnis (Lanka) PLC, part of the Singer Group and Sri Lanka’s leading manufacturer of refrigerators and washing machines, has made it to the ‘Forbes Asia’s 200 Best Under a Billion 2016’ list.  Forbes Asia’s ‘Best Under a Billion’ list highlights 200 of the best small and midsized listed companies in Asia Pacific with annual revenue [...]

First regulate, then liberalise, says lubricant industry

Liberalisation of Sri Lanka’s lubricant industry that was recently sanctioned by the Cabinet has come under fire by existing players saying that the government should regulate the industry properly before opening it out. Now 13 players need to share a total market of 58 million litres leaving only 4.5 million average market potential per player which [...]

Right of Reply

“Dipped Products, Sri Lanka’s biggest medical gloves exporters, heading for worst-ever year?”  With reference to the article with the above title published in the 14th August 2016 edition of the Sunday Times Business, Dipped Products has sent the following response:. 1. The statement that we are a medical gloves exporter as stated in the headline [...]

Sri Lankans ‘let off steam’ on taxing the people in BT-RCB poll

Sri Lankans ‘let off steam’ on taxing the people in BT-RCB poll

A joint BT-RCB poll this week on taxes and its impact on the people drew some interesting conclusions with a somewhat reassurance to the government – most people agree that taxes must be imposed and the public must pay. The results of the  poll are on Page 1. Many views were expressed in Colombo and [...]

Government denies news stories which appeared in the Business Times

The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Affairs has issued a statement rejecting some newspaper reports most of which deal with reports in the Business Times. The statement was not sent to the paper but taken from a private TV station website. Here are the contents with our response. 1) The Cabinet Committee on Economic [...]

Lankan entrepreneurs express concern over Chinese tactics

China will assert its strong trade power in Sri Lanka by using the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to invade the local business arena sending local entrepreneurs into the wilderness, several local exporters, businessmen and industrialists warned.  They expressed their concern on ‘Chinese tactics’ in trading at a meeting convened by the Ceylon Chamber of [...]

MSLGROUP’s Caryll Van Dort named one of ‘Top 40 Women to Watch’ by Campaign Asia

MSLGROUP’s Caryll Van Dort named one of ‘Top 40 Women to Watch’  by    Campaign Asia

Caryll Van Dort – Director, MSLGROUP was recently named in Campaign Asia’s ‘Top 40 Women to Watch’ list which celebrates women in the Asia-Pacific region who are disrupting the marketing communications industry and achieving success against all odds.  The 40 women selected to be a part of the list, have been recognized for changing industry [...]

Ensure level playing field for locals before diving into ETCA and other negotiations

The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) on Tuesday urged the Government to establish a level playing field for Sri Lankans first before undertaking discussions on trade and services liberalisation.  The chamber was raising this issue in the context of discussions on trade agreements including the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement  (ETCA) with India. “We [...]

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