Business Times

Home » Business Times

Opinion Poll on Budget 2018

Opinion Poll on Budget 2018

With the Government preparing to present the national budget for 2018 next month, a Research Consultancy Bureau-Business Times opinion poll was conducted this week seeking the views of people-on-the-street on the performance of the Government so far against. Results of the poll are given here. Results of the email poll will be released next week.

Micro finance blamed for rising indebtedness in North

Rising indebtedness in Sri Lanka’s former-war wrecked northern region has been caused by unscrupulous micro finance companies, some charging penal interest rates as high as 300 per cent, as poverty-stricken residents struggle to pay off loans. While one woman, unable to repay the loan and accumulated high interest, committed suicide in Vavuniya, others are suicidal [...]

Sri Lanka to change current FDI policy

Sri Lanka is to change its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy moving away from an over-dependence on tax holidays and other duty concessions on imports of raw material and machinery, Finance Ministry sources disclosed. A greater focus will be on maximising the country’s competitive advantages in location, skills base, and ongoing preparation work of free [...]

SriLankan doles out 1000 free tickets

SriLankan Airlines said its recent ‘Partner Flies Free’ promotion to celebrate its 38th anniversary was successful with 1,000 tickets being given away free. The airline said its targets were achieved and its customers enjoyed the benefits of free tickets to 14 cities in completion run in partnership with the Visa card. The tickets were offered [...]

State plans to increase productivity on tea estates

The government is looking at increasing productivity on the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) by encouraging re-planting and soil conservation while linking this to the revenue sharing model will make them greener. “We are trying to develop some productivity improvements like encouraging re-planting and soil conservation,” Plantations Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith told the Business Times on [...]

Footwear sector heats up on new Indian entry

The entry of an Indian footwear company manufacturer into the domestic market under the Board of Investment (BOI) approval threatens the very survival of Sri Lanka’s footwear manufacturers accustomed to trade in the protected local market. Veekesy Slippers Lanka Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Veekesy India, has set up a factory in Negombo with substantial [...]

Sweet innocence of youth

Sweet innocence of youth

It was a routine exhibition of art by children for a competition organized by the Funday Times newspaper at a Colombo venue. Nothing fancy, the usual stuff. Visiting an exhibition of this nature after many years and walking around, however, I was intrigued by the expressions of what children brought out in their paintings under [...]

Giant pumpkins and fresh food in Polish street markets

Giant pumpkins and fresh  food  in Polish street markets

POZNAN, Poland – Strange encounters happen everywhere but what was so strange in meeting an Ukranian engineer and discussing South Asian history over a glass of beer in a pub? Well for starters it happened in Poznan, a large city outside Poland’s capital of Warsaw, where both of us were aliens. The meeting was accidental. [...]

Sri Lanka, second only to the US in global digital health advances

Sri Lanka has several unique achievements in the field of digital health, the second country only after the US to recognise health informatics as a medical speciality, it was noted at an international medical gathering in Colombo this week. “We have more than one hundred MSC qualified informaticians working in the health services in Sri [...]

Kandy raises the bar with the Golden Crown

Carved into the Kandyan heritage artistry and design, the US$15 million investment into a five star property in Ampitiya is set to add to the competition in the hills and with a view to ring in the night life in future for travellers. Kandy will be getting a five star hotel opening next month, the [...]

“SriLankan Airlines gets lifeline from Treasury”

SriLankan Airlines has sent a response to last week’s report in the Business Times headlined “SriLankan Airlines gets lifeline from Treasury”. The letter says that the airline didn’t get any new facilities from the state banks in the recent past. The last loan facility obtained by SriLankan Airlines was in March/April 2017 of US$25 million [...]

SL to expand regional agreements to include services and investments

While Sri Lanka has Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) only for trading goods, there are discussions with other countries to expand these agreements and expand these to include services and investments, says the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Secretariat. At the Ministry of Industry and Commerce-organised national seminar on WTO and RTAs at the Taj Samudra Hotel [...]

Two apartment builders blacklisted by major banks

At least two apartment builders have been refused credit facilities by major banks as their companies are over extended in loans, banking sources say. These two builders are rapidly expanding – especially in the outskirts of Colombo, they said adding that their companies are finding it difficult to sell units. Most apartments are financed through [...]

CB seeks details of apartment sales from high rise builders

CB seeks details of apartment sales from high rise builders

The Central Bank (CB) is seeking details of apartment sales, revenue, etc from the builders in a bid to ascertain a ‘clearer’ picture of the industry’s direction and to forestall any likely real estate bubble, CB sources said. This was requested by CB officials at a meeting with high-rise developers, two months ago. This meeting [...]

Walkers CML Properties unveils “Grace” in Nugegoda

Walkers CML Properties (Pvt) Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of MTD Walkers PLC, recently unveiled its latest upper middle income housing project “Grace” at Nugegoda. Centrally located with convenience in mind, ‘Grace’ is in close proximity to the heart of Nugegoda, a highly residential area offering all conveniences including banks, hospitals, shopping malls and sports [...]

Negligence needs to be punished

Were you aware that any building contractor must have their own general contractor liability insurance? Yes, they should and anyone endangered by a construction site can ask to see proof. The insurance should cover any bodily injury or property damage the firm accidentally causes to you, your family, and your property. This is what is [...]

Dehiwela residents obtain stay order against builder

Sixteen residents of Atapattu Road, Dehiwela obtained a stay order against a high rise developer last month for breaching Urban Development Authority (UDA) rules. On September 21, the Court of Appeal granted interim relief to the 16 petitioners against Greenfield Development, court documents show. The residents went to court against this builder alleging a violation [...]

Land prices in Colombo continue to appreciate

Land values in Colombo are growing at a remarkable rate, a recent study has found. According to the National House Price Index maintained by, average land prices in Colombo has increased by 36 per cent within the last year alone, making it the biggest increase in the real estate sector, when compared against house [...]

UK-based Sri Lankan engineer perfects power storage facility for all purposes

UK-based Sri Lankan engineer perfects power storage facility for all purposes

Due to the harmful effects and environmental pollution from burning fuel for energy, the world is now moving fast towards renewables like solar and wind energy. Though this energy could be harnessed adequately, storing a large quantity in a small space has been one of the biggest challenges. A Sri Lankan national, Pasidu Pallawela hailing [...]

Canon Photo Marathon on Oct. 21

Canon’s Photo marathon will be held on October 21 for which they have tied up with Sri Lanka Tourism targeting local and tourist photo enthusiasts to take part in the competition, to ensure Sri Lanka receives increased promotion through the camera lens at the competition. This is the second Photo Marathon held in Sri Lanka [...]

edotco wins first-ever ‘Asia-Pacific Telecoms Tower company of the Year’ award

edotco Group (edotco), a leading integrated telecommunications infrastructure services provider, said this week it won the “2017 Asia Pacific Telecoms Tower Company of the Year Award” offered by Frost & Sullivan. This is the first time a company has been recognised in this category on the Asia Pacific level, and comes on the back of [...]

Fortunaglobal unveils next generation Affluence LISA – the AI chat bot

With its ‘Brand Affluence’ product range having already become the benchmark for omni-channel banking in Sri Lanka’s FinTech sector, Colombo-based Fortunaglobal has set its sights on innovating for the global marketplace, with its new LISA virtual assistance chat bot currently about to graduate its development phase, with an eye toward going-to-market in a matter of [...]

Inviting Indian venture capitalists? Remove red tape to invest in local start-ups

Inviting Indian venture  capitalists? Remove red tape to invest in local start-ups

Sri Lanka and India should cut down on red tape in cross border start-up investments in a bid to liberalise potential investors in both nations to put cash in these firms. This way local start-ups can expand regionally in no time, says Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director TVS Capital Funds (P) Ltd. He told [...]

BOI promises angel investors ease of approvals in Sri Lanka

While the start-up ecosystem in the country is booming with many angel investors looking for opportunities around the world to invest, the Board of Investment (BOI) in Sri Lanka promises the ease of getting the approvals on time. It will be a one stop shop for investors, says Duminda Ariyasinghe Director General of the BOI. [...]

SL should foster entrepreneurship to fillip start-ups

SL should foster entrepreneurship to fillip start-ups

Participants at the Asian Business Angels Forum on Wednesday were highly taken up with the local start-ups that were featured and agreed that Sri Lanka’s talent for entrepreneurship is incredible. One of the broad criticisms by local participants was Sri Lanka’s schooling system is failing to prepare pupils for meaningful participation in the economy. Entrepreneurship [...]

Focus on start-ups and innovation in 2018 Budget

Focus on start-ups and innovation in 2018 Budget

While start-ups are the way forward and expected to be the driving force for the future of Sri Lanka’s growth, the 2018 Budget is also expected to provide indepth proposals on start-ups and innovation, a top official in the technology sector in Sri Lanka said. Mano Sekaram, Chairman of the Lanka Angel Network (LAN) and [...]

Rise of Bitcoin and crypto-currencies

Rise of Bitcoin and crypto-currencies

A crypto-currency is a digital or virtual currency. What is so special about it is that it uses cryptography to make its transactions secure. It has no physical form and exists only in a computer network. It has no intrinsic value. There are a few international vendors who accept crypto-currencies as a mode of payment [...]

High Court orders counter-claim security in ship case

The Colombo High Court recently issued order directing the plaintiff in an admiralty case to provide security for the counter-claim of the defendant, the ship owner, in a sum of US $1 million. The order, made last week by High Court Judge Ruwan Fernando pertaining to a September 2014 case and its related issues, is [...]

Budget proposals from NCE

Incentives for proper country branding the marketplace and tax relief to encourage companies to list in the Colombo Stock Exchange are among a series of proposals presented by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) to the Ministry of Finance for consideration in next month’s budget. In a media release, the chamber said among the suggestions [...]

Telecom professional juggles roles in the office and the workplace

Telecom professional juggles roles in the office and the workplace

Shazna Zuhyle, a research manager at LIRNEasia, recently chaired a committee on the ICT price basket methodology at the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), in Geneva, Switzerland. What this means is that, starting 2018, the only global price benchmark for voice, SMS and data services, will be recommendations made by the committee she led. But the [...]

Strike-hit James Finlays factories reopens

Two strike-affected James Finlays factories shut down at Vauxhall Street and Welisara resumed operations on Thursday following a settlement reached between manual workers and the company. Protesting workers numbering around 141 had initiated strike action since September 26 after 18 workers were alleged to have been unfairly dismissed, Ceylon Federations Trade Union General Secretary D.W. [...]

Debate on tourist numbers heats up

Statistics generated by the foremost tourism body in the country, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has come in for criticism by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). In a research report published by the Economic Intelligence Unit of the CCC, accusations have been leveled against the manner in which the SLTDA tabulates their [...]

Kaspersky Lab introduces next generation of home security solutions

The make-up of the modern home is changing, bringing with it a new era of household, which on average, cares for 2.4 people, 0.3 pets and now also 6.3 connected devices per home. With devices playing such a prominent role in today’s average home, Kaspersky Lab has announced updated versions of Kaspersky Internet Security, to [...]

More rooftop solar power and solar plants urged to tackle impending SL power crisis

More rooftop solar power and solar plants urged to tackle impending SL power crisis

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), after assessing the country immediate and long terms power needs is, among other measures, recommending immediate installation of rooftop and scattered solar plant and immediate technical and managerial solutions to increase the reliability of the Norachcholai Lakvijaya coal power plant. The recommendations, released to the media recently, [...]

Tea output down by 20% due to weedicide ban

Non-use of weedicides, due to a ban on glyphosate, is expected to see drop tea production falling by 20 per cent this year mainly in Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), Planters Association Chairman Sunil Poholiyadde told the Business Times on Thursday. Tea production in 2016 was 292.6 million kg generating export earnings of Rs.176, 232 million [...]

National Audit Bill is to be passed soon

The National Audit Bill has not been shelved under any circumstances and the government has given top priority in passing the bill. Just like the Right to Information Bill and the Missing Persons Act which were also controversial, the National Audit Bill too is likely to be passed soon, said Minister of Public Enterprises Development [...]

Moratuwa Campus has most submissions at Google Summer of Code

Funds with over US$ 50 billion assets under their management, came together recently for Asia’s biggest angel forum that was brought to Colombo by some ‘local boys’. This happened when Lankan Angel Network (LAN) in 2015 pitched for and beat Malaysia and Singapore when they won the bid to host Asian Business Angels Forum’ (ABAF) [...]

Court bars CIFL case accused from selling Homagama property

Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara on Thursday ordered Deepthi Perera alias Chulaka Gunawardena, former Chairman, CIFL and first accused in the case pertaining to the failed finance company not to resort to any transaction or sale of Park Lane Residencies, Homagama where Aspic Homes, a subsidiary of CIFL, is constructing houses for sale on land [...]

Advertising Rates

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