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Amaradeva, Clarence and the ‚Äėbailatronics‚Äô era

Amaradeva, Clarence and the ‚Äėbailatronics‚Äô era

The Sunday Times Business Club (STBC), which has presented many out-of-the-box debates on different issues, held another interesting discussion on Tuesday titled “Sri Lankan music, tradition, modernisation’ with personalities representing different eras of music at the Kingsbury Colombo. Pic by Nilan Maligaspe shows (from left) Dr. Dayaratna Ranatunga, Annesley Malawana, Rukshan Perera, Sohan Weerasinghe and [...]

Cigarette sales drop cuts tobacco tax revenue by half

The tobacco tax revenue for government coffers has declined significantly due to a drop in sales of cigarettes manufactured in Sri Lanka by Ceylon Tobacco Company(CTC) during the months of October and November this year due to consecutive tax hikes that led to price increases twice, official data showed. The Ceylon Tobacco Company’s contribution to [...]

Another blow for senior citizens dependent on interest income

Sri Lanka’s senior citizens having a tough time with escalating cost of living received another blow with a government’s decision to increase the withholding tax (WHT) and remove the exemption given to them on interest payable for their deposits in commercial banks. The 2017 budget proposal of WHT increase from 2.5 per cent to 5 [...]

Tea industry lost in new budget proposal

The tea industry is facing uncertain times in the wake of the new budget proposal to limit the estates to 5000 acres per company that caught the sector by surprise. Issues like the fact that the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) have entered into a 55-year lease agreement with the government and how this could be [...]

Online freelancing provides more jobs, income for SL youth

Online freelancing is growing rapidly and gaining popularity within the younger generation in Sri Lanka as it provides avenues to make extra income with one’s skills and knowledge while being at home, according to a research study conducted by LIRNEasia released to the media. Based on a¬† nationally representative survey, LIRNEasia estimates, there could be [...]

Sri Lanka’s entitlement culture

Sri Lanka’s entitlement culture

Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy, last week hit the nail on the head and made, what one would call in rugby parlance, a ‚Äėblinder of a tackle‚Äô. Speaking at a glittering ceremony organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) to mark its ‚ÄėBest Corporate Citizen‚Äô awards in Colombo, Indrajit ‚Äď a dashing rugby wing [...]

Clean Coal – There is no such thing!

Clean Coal – There is no such thing!

The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court recently that the proposed coal power plant at Sampur will not be built, a decision prompted by the concerted efforts by several concerned organisations and individuals to create general awareness of the immense environmental, and health damage that would have resulted, [...]

Sri Lanka should improve manufacturing sector rather than rely on services

When Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, High Commissioner of Malaysia in Sri Lanka met entrepreneurs at the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka last week, some of them pointed out the difficulties in penetrating the Malaysian market. The exchange occurred after Mr. Abdullah spoke on bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Dilantha De Silva, [...]

Commercial Bank honoured with Gold award by ETF

Commercial Bank honoured with Gold award by ETF

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was recently honoured for its exemplary compliance with the requirements of the Employees Trust Fund (ETF). President Maithripala Sirisena presented the bank with the Gold award in the Large category at the 35th anniversary celebrations of the ETF, in recognition of its unblemished record of continuous payments to the fund [...]

Correction ‚ÄúUnusual but innovative tech event resembling ‚Äėfuneral service‚Äô in Colombo

In last week‚Äôs story in the Business Times under the above headline, references to ‚Äėtape recorders‚Äô should be corrected to read as ‚Äėtape backup recorders‚Äô.

Selyn marks 25 years of empowering handloom artisans

Selyn marks 25 years of  empowering handloom artisans

Selyn, Sri Lanka’s only Fair Trade guaranteed handloom company, began its colourful journey with 15 artisans in a small village workshop in November 1991. Twenty-five years later, this social business has empowered over 1,000 rural women, weaving prosperity and security into their lives. This important milestone was recently celebrated at the company’s hometown Wanduragala in [...]

Sri Lanka to spin around in 5 years

A sleeping beauty and the Dubai of Asia Рthat’s what they call Sri Lanka today citing the numerous sights and sounds it has to offer the discerning traveller but potential for growth has been envisaged as above what the country achieves today. The Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC) that kicked off in [...]

Sri Lanka’s populist politics stalls prosperity

Sri Lanka’s  populist  politics stalls prosperity

Sri Lanka has a toxic combination of populist politics and a deeply entrenched entitlement culture among ‚Äėall of us‚Äô that have stalled the country‚Äôs progress and in this context, what is most crucial is to have stability in the economy, according to Central Bank (CB) Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy. Speaking as Guest of Honour at the [...]

LMRB celebrates 35 years of market research in Sri Lanka

LMRB celebrates 35 years of market research in Sri Lanka

LMRB, established in 1981 as the first independent, international market research agency in Sri Lanka, marked the completion of 35 years as the undisputed leader and the driver of the market research industry in Sri Lanka, at a glittering celebration at The Kingsbury in Colombo. Innovation and setting market research industry standards has been a [...]

‘Central Bank or decentralised Bank’

I refer to your article headlined “Central Bank fast becoming a rubber stamp” published in a recent ‘Kussi Amma Sera’ column in the Business Times. As mentioned therein, it is quite true that our Central Bank is brought to the position of a rubber stamp. In our Yahapalana Government, the subject of finance is handled [...]

No interest in senior citizens’ deposit interest issue

At the outset all senior citizens who depend on bank interest to lead their life with minimum comfort should thank the Business Times for consistently showing interest in their cause. Grand publicity was given to the interest of 15 per cent proposed by the present government to the senior citizens up to 1.5 million rupees [...]

Moody’s maintains stable outlook on Sri Lankan banking sector amid stable operating environment

Moody’s Investors Service has maintained its stable outlook on Sri Lanka’s banking system, as moderate economic growth and reduced external volatility should keep operating conditions for the country’s banks stable. “Continued strong loan growth may put downward pressure on asset quality and liquidity conditions, but nonperforming loan (NPL) ratios will remain at low levels,” says [...]

Sri Lanka’s staff retention is better than that of India – IFS President

IFS, the global enterprise applications company with the target of increasing its staff base from 700 to 1000 in Sri Lanka, has commended Sri Lanka saying the employee retention here is better than in India. At a media briefing organized by the company to celebrate 19 years of presence in Sri Lanka at the Cinnamon [...]

Brandix dedicates its head office to Ken Balendra

Brandix dedicates its head office to Ken Balendra

The Brandix Group has paid tribute to an inspirational trailblazer by naming its head office at Rheinland Place, Colombo 3, after the legendary business leader Ken Balendra, the group’s first Chairman, at a simple ceremony held on Monday. Commissioned in April 2015, the 7-storey building will henceforth be known as the ‘Ken Balendra Building’ in [...]

Seylan gets US$15 million term facility from RAKBANK

Seylan Bank has successfully raised funds through a US$15 million, 5-year facility from the National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah  (RAKBANK) of the UAE. Alpen Capital (ME) Ltd, an investment banking advisory firm and also based in the UAE, acted as the sole financial advisor to the transaction. Seylan Bank will utilise the funds for [...]

From Kolam to group songs, baila to ‘bailatronics’

From Kolam to group songs, baila to ‘bailatronics’

Commercialisation’ of Sinhala music with the advent of ring-tone music and some new FM radio channels selling air time packages to play songs of present and past musical creations of singers have become an obstacle for the emergence of quality musical creations, an eminent panel of musicians claimed at a discussion in Colombo this week. [...]

Damro interested in a PPP at Elkaduwa Plantations

The Damro Group, in a bid to cater to the mounting demand for their furniture products, has identified Hapugaspitiya, Millawana and Nalanda Estates under Elkaduwa Plantations Ltd (EPL) for large-scale cultivations. Officials said that Damro has sent a proposal pertaining to this to the Plantations Committee under the Public Enterprise Development Ministry on a Public [...]

MATTA goes on sales mission drive in India, Sri Lanka

TTG Asia Online the Malaysian Association of Tour and  Travel Agents (MATTA) has embarked on targeted sales missions to India in a bid to reverse declining arrivals from the market. Following its earlier sales mission to Bengaluru and Chennai in August, MATTA inbound vice president, Tan Kok Liang, will lead a delegation of 10 agents [...]

Vote on FB for your favourite feature on Emirates Economy Class

Even among seasoned travellers, air travel invariably generates a conversation and now Emirates is engaging in one with its customers and fans in Sri Lanka via social media. The global connector of people, places and experiences has invited its Facebook fans in Sri Lanka to vote for one of three features that distinguish the Emirates [...]

Hilton eyes more properties in Sri Lanka

Hilton eyes more  properties in Sri Lanka

Hilton Hotels is looking at new property management opportunities in Sri Lanka while catering to a significantly large Chinese travel segment that continues to patronise the industry‚Äôs growth. Moving forward the Hilton Hotels ‚Äúwould want to have more hotels in the country,‚ÄĚ Hilton‚Äôs Vice President for South East Asia and India William Costley told the [...]

State-of-the-art flour mill to cater to bakeries and eateries in the country

State-of-the-art flour mill to cater to bakeries and eateries in the country

When Serendib Flour Mills (Pvt) Ltd commenced operations in Colombo in 2008 it was based on one product and one price but today it produces different types of flour needed by bakeries and eateries, cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, homes and industrial manufacturing units in the country for making bread and other products. This was stated by [...]

Combank’s fully owned subsidiary Commex inaugurated in Italy

Combank’s fully owned subsidiary Commex inaugurated in Italy

Commex Sri Lanka S.R.L, a fully-owned subsidiary of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, has opened its money transfer operation in Italy, following the grant of a Money Transfer Licence from the Bank of Italy. Commex Sri Lanka S.R.L. of Via Giacomo Leopardi, Rome, incorporated and registered in Italy under the supervision of the Bank of [...]

Computer Society elects new council for 2017

At the recently held AGM of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL), a new executive council was elected. Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama was elected President of the CSSL for 2017. Mr. Abeywickrama, a well-known industry activist has been with the CSSL Executive Council for five years before becoming the President. He also has held leadership [...]

People’s mindset shifting from pirated to genuine software products

While technology is advancing and new smart devices are evolving rapidly around the world, the people’s mindset is dramatically changing from purchasing pirated software tools to genuine ones, says Brian Kealey, Microsoft Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. He made these comments to the Business Times on the sidelines of the company’s partnership with [...]

US-Sri Lanka relations at an all-time high, says US Ambassador

While the US is expecting major policy changes with the election of the new President Donald Trump, the US Ambassador for Sri Lanka and Maldives Atul Keshap said that US-Sri Lanka relations are at an all-time high. Inaugurating the Sri Lanka ‚Äď US Business Council after six decades of bilateral partnership between the two countries, [...]

CCTV cameras during bond trades at Central Bank to prevent any malpractices

CCTV cameras are to be installed at the dealing rooms of the Central Bank (CB) during bond trades to prevent any malpractices following the scandal over last year’s tainted bond deal. These measures were announced by CB Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy at a media conference on Tuesday where he also told reporters that the Monetary Board [...]

JKH’s public campaign at bus stands to mark special day for women

JKH’s public campaign at bus stands to mark special day for women

John Keells Foundation (JKF), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of John Keells Group (JKH), initiated a public awareness campaign against sexual harassment, targeting commuters of public transport, in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which fell on November 25. Over 120 staff volunteers from across JKH actively participated [...]

Smartwear is the future

From smartphones to smart TVs to all things smart, what we can expect from next generation technology hopefully will be smart ‚Äėspouses‚Äô. While that sounds too wishful, the new smart is the wearable technology. It belongs to this generation, transforming what you wear into a smart outfit. It is not only¬† useful, but¬† slated to [...]

Sri Lankan start-up NicNac takes part in start-up event SLUSH in Finland

Sri Lankan start-up NicNac takes  part in start-up event SLUSH in Finland

NicNac, which offers a unique delivery service to Sri Lankans, was adjudged the country’s best impact oriented start-up at the SLUSH Global impact accelerator 2016 – Sri Lankan competition held recently, according to a media release by the local organisers of the event. The competition, organised by PwC Sri Lanka and SLASSCOM (Sri Lanka Association [...]

Sri Lanka launches competition to find the most secure cyber coder

Cyber security was not taken seriously when Sri Lanka’s ICT industry was diversified a few years ago. But today the industry is serious about information security and software developers who sell their software to foreign countries are constantly challenged  as it’s a highly competitive industry. Those involved in the ICT industry are also mindful that [...]

Sri Lanka’s hotel sector likely to get workers from overseas

While the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority is targeting to a 800,000-strong workforce in the hotel sector by 2020, the industry as a whole is likely to import workers from outside, to reach the said target. Currently there are only around 300,000 people employed in the hotel sector, says Sidath Kodikara, Chairman of the Institute [...]

PUCSL to introduce legal framework to promote household solar units

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has decided to remove the legal barriers for consumers who wish to enter into the electricity generation based on solar power. It has been proposed to exempt the electricity consumers, who generate electricity in small scale through rooftop solar power plants, from obtaining a licence to sell [...]

Central Bank guidelines on issuance of licences to microfinance units

The Central Bank (CB) this week issued some guidelines to microfinance companies pertaining to the issuance of licences under the Microfinance Act, No. 6 of 2016. It said the Act, effective since July 2016, was enacted with the objective of providing a regulatory framework to cover microfinance institutions that are not regulated at present. The [...]

SL’s finance departments do not fear automation or AI – CIMA study shows

Despite popular fears which range from job losses to doomsday scenarios, Sri Lanka’s finance professionals welcome the rise of artificial intelligence, automation and robots, according to the latest survey by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The results of the poll of 1,628 CIMA members reveal that 83 per cent support the idea of [...]

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