The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

Home » Business Times

Udayanga’s website identical to Sri Lanka embassy web

Udayanga’s website identical to Sri Lanka embassy web

That a Sri Lankan court has issued a warrant for the arrest of former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga is well known. However not known, and only pointed out last week by a Sri Lankan national in Qatar, is that the former on-the-run-ambassador for whom an Interpol warrant has also been issued has an identical [...]

Mixed reaction for Budget 2017

While the Government’s 2015 budget offers wide ranging concessions to the private sector with the aim of luring more investments and through partnerships between the private and the public sector, there was confusion in many sectors. “We need clarity as some of the proposals are unclear,” one business leader said. On Friday, the Colombo bourse [...]

Excise Department renews strategy to deal with tax evasion

Sri Lanka’s Excise Department (ED) has renewed a strategy to deal with excise duty evasion by some local companies, a senior department official said. The ED has cracked down on smuggled ethanol which was used to produce hard liquor without paying taxes depriving the government of excise duty revenue amounting to millions of rupees, he [...]

Sri Lanka Tourism gets short term promo boost

Sri Lanka has plans to kick-start a country promotional campaign in three key markets. Newly appointed Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam told the Business Times on the sidelines of a media briefing on Thursday that as a matter of urgency the short-term promotion campaign would take off soon. Under a [...]

RPCs in quandary over 5000 acres rule

Confusion reigned within the tea plantation industry following Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s announcement of limiting the acreage owned by the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs). The proposal may mean RPCs lose about 28 per cent of their current land use. It was announced that for “more effective management” the maximum acreage that can be held by [...]

STBC discussion on Sri Lankan music

The Sunday Times Business Club (STBC), which has built a reputation for out-of-the box discussions on many issues, is organising yet another interesting panel on “Sri Lankan music, traditions and modernisation” on November 29 at the Kingsbury Colombo.   The discussion with reputed panellists will in addition deal with the post-Amaradeva era and where music [...]

Driving innovation through classrooms

Driving innovation through classrooms

Kussi Amma Sera may have got it wrong after all. Or did we? In our column two weeks ago we predicted an Achcharu budget or an unpredictable one and suggested some advice from our band of chefs but it seems the Finance Minister (and his ‘master’chefs) may have got it right after all. Praise when [...]

Budget 2017 – Journey towards better tax governance

Budget 2017 – Journey towards better tax governance

The Sri Lankan tax system is in a transition. The present process of the ongoing automation of the tax system via Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS), would revolutionise the tax culture though not immediately but in a few years’ time. It’s appropriate to say that during the past few years the system has been [...]

Budget 2017 Analysis

Budget 2017 Analysis

Fiscal consolidation, exports, investments key in budget 2017 Sri Lanka is moving towards greater fiscal consolidation with the budget deficit set to be reduced to 4.6 per cent this year. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake speaking at the post budget discussion by KPMG held on Friday at the Cinnamon Grand said that they were looking at [...]

Bangladesh’s cheap labour and Sri Lanka’s skilled workforce can go hand-in-hand

While the unemployment rate is increasing and labour is becoming very cheap in Bangladesh, the Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh and the High Commission of Bangladesh in Sri Lanka is encouraging Sri Lankan corporates and businesses to invest in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has very cheap labour whereas Sri Lanka has a skilled workforce to educate and [...]

Budget not people-friendly

Budget not people-friendly

The 2017 budget is not a people-oriented one where ordinary masses already suffering from regular and difficult rises in the cost of living will not get any relief from the marginal reduction in prices of some essential commodities, K.H.J. Wijedasa, veteran retired public servant and former Presidential Secretary says. People are burdened with many indirect [...]

SLT group profits up 13.6% in 1st nine months

Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has reported revenue of Rs. 55.7 billion during the first 9 months of 2016, up by 9.5 per cent over the same period in 2015. The growth was largely driven by an increased demand for data and broadband related products that were introduced to the market through LTE coverage expansion and [...]

Hayleys profits down due to Rs.459 mln loss from tea/rubber

Sri Lanka’s leading diversified conglomerate, Hayleys PLC has recorded a 18 per cent Year-on-Year (YOY) increase in revenue with growth in Construction, Agriculture, and Hand Protection sectors supporting the group to post revenue in excess of Rs. 52 billion by the end of the first half of 2016 (1H16). Profit Before Tax (PBT) during the [...]

BMICH’s big MICE grab steps up competition in Colombo

BMICH’s big MICE grab steps up competition in Colombo

The iconic building in the heart of Colombo, the BMICH hopes to play host to not only conventions and exhibitions but within its acreage a possible hotel of 4-star rating and plans to call for proposals to efficiently run the cinema. The popular venue for exhibitions has become a highly competitive MICE location for hotels [...]

French travel agents boost travel to Colombo

French travel agents have held the annual meeting of industry members with Colombo as the venue, a historic achievement for Sri Lanka Tourism to tap on a high profile MICE event. Special Assignments Minister Sarath Amunugama highlighted Sri Lanka as one of the safest destinations for the French traveller to visit on a short haul [...]

Sri Lankan leisure caught up in a storm of regret

Point of View Sri Lanka’s tourism industry today is wrought with a number of issues with one of the most concerning being the recent high drama of arrests and summoning of key personalities related to investigations on the use of public funds under the previous government. In this respect a group of senior leisure industry [...]

Dream Cruises’ maiden voyage calls Colombo port

Dream Cruises’ maiden voyage calls Colombo port

Cruises keep sailing into Colombo packed with tourists and the latest was the inaugural ship of Dream Cruises, Genting Dream a Hong Kong-based carrier that would be stationed at Guangzhou, China and is said to be the first Asian luxury cruise liner. Dream Cruises President Thatcher Brown told reporters on deck last  week that Colombo [...]

Rs.4 mln website for licensing, attracting informal tourism industry

The Government has invested Rs.4 million on an online website to ensure that tourism industry establishments could renew and register their licences online and through that capture the growing informal sector. Tourism Minister John Amaratunga addressing journalists and industry stakeholders on Thursday at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management auditorium said that [...]

AFD extends financial support to Sri Lanka’s economic development policy

As a result of a major aid reform, the French (official) Agency for Development (Agence Française de Développement or AFD) is poised for greater financial support to Sri Lanka’s economic development policy. Under this reform, AFD is to increase its financing activity in middle income countries in ASIA including Sri Lanka, Martin Parent Country Director [...]

New fund to fire SMEs

Some mid-sized local Small and Medium Enterprises are to benefit from Emerald Sri Lanka Fund, a private equity fund managed by NDB Zephyr Partners. This fund has set aside an annual Rs. 1.2 billion to grow local SME for five years. The Rs. 6.5 billion fund managed by NDB Zephyr Partners and NDB is the [...]

More collaboration between universities and private sector helps boost innovation

In the past, partnerships between universities and business organisations in Sri Lanka have been either deficient or downbeat but in recent times more and more organisations and academics have realised that corporate problems are simply beyond the scale of single organisations and those cohesive efforts are necessary to boost the potential impact of these issues. [...]

Good times written in the stars for Electric Peacock Festival

Good times written in the stars for Electric Peacock Festival

It is quite rare for a local gig to be compared to an event watched by hundreds of millions of people around the world. But this is what English rapper Tinie Tempah did when he likened the Electric Peacock Festival to the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Perhaps it was written [...]

ParaQum Technologies at forefront of electronic industry boost

ParaQum Technologies  at forefront of electronic industry boost

Ajith Pasqual is living up to the name of his electronics start-up, ParaQum Technologies, which is a play on the name of one of the greatest kings in the history of Sri Lanka – Parakramabahu the Great – and parallel quantum computing. The 12th century king is famous for uttering the words “not even a [...]

VirtusaPolaris unveils Robotic Automation and Innovation Centre, RAICer, at Colombo facility

VirtusaPolaris unveils Robotic Automation and Innovation Centre, RAICer, at Colombo facility

VirtusaPolaris, taking Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Quality Assurance (QA) practices to the next level, unveiled its latest epicentre for innovation, the Robotic Automation and Innovation Centre, RAICer, at its Sri Lanka Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) in Colombo recently. The facility was declared opened by Kris Canekeratne, chairman and CEO of VirtusaPolaris. Located alongside its [...]

Social media and the US poll

NEW YORK, Nov 9 – The Facebook bubble just popped. Half the country today is still in shock. Reality crashed down and many were presented with a world that didn’t match up with the one they’ve inhabited in the months leading up to the US election. As it turns out, that was Facebook’s world. The [...]

Expolanka to start incubation centre for logistics-centred innovation

There’s a lot going on for Expolanka Holdings PLC (Expo) in terms of fresh ideas. The company is mulling starting an incubation centre for logistics-centred innovations. “Innovations is one of our three core areas (the other two being logistics and leisure). We are trying to expand this sector and now we’re in the stage of [...]

Near unanimity amongst public that buses not driven safely on Sri Lankan roads

Near unanimity amongst  public that buses not driven  safely on Sri Lankan roads

 ABusiness Times-Research Consultancy Bureau (BT-RCB) poll last week on ‘bus drivers, a menace on the roads’ has revealed some interesting data findings. Overall, there was unanimity that buses, both private and public, are not driven safely on the roads, according to the survey conducted on the street by RCB in Galle and Colombo, and on [...]

It’s not Superwoman, just Indani on a tuk-tuk

It’s not Superwoman, just Indani on a tuk-tuk

She cooks all three meals for her family and takes care of the daily chores. She is also the breadwinner. Is this Superwoman, or a fairy godmother whose wave of the wand makes good things happen in a jiffy? No, it is only Indani Gunasinghe, a 53-year-old grandmother, who drives a tuk-tuk to earn a [...]

Sea and airmail packages rise amidst shrinking postal service

Sea and airmail packages rise amidst  shrinking postal service

Don’t be surprised: While it’s no secret that Sri Lanka’s postal service is shrinking with the rise of electronic communications like e-mails, sms, etc, demand for another segment of the service is rising – packages by air and sea. This is even though the volume of sea and air mail letters has fallen sharply, Postmaster [...]

New financial transactions levy ‘worrying’

New financial transactions levy ‘worrying’

Reputed banker Rajendra Theagarajah expressed concern over the proposal to introduce a new levy called Financial Transactions Levy FTL. This is as a contribution for social development at the rate of Rs. 5 per Rs.10,000 on the total cash transactions including easy cash by banks and other financial institutions. FTL will be treated as expenditure [...]

Sri Lanka heading towards an unpredictable labour shortage

While the demand for quality and branded local products is increasing worldwide, there is a massive shortage of skilled and unskilled labourers in Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector. The current generation of youth is not willing to work in a factory environment which is one of the reasons for the shortage, according to Shamendra Panditha, Managing [...]

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.