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Struggling workers

Struggling workers

These women are from the northern town of Kilinochchi working in the vegetable fields of Norochcholai, Puttalam near the coal power plant. They are working under difficult conditions to earn a living and look after their families, many km away in the North. Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara

Probe on People’s Bank GM’s increment package

The Government has rejected the extension of service of the General Manager (GM) of the People’s Bank and was probing his annual salary package, amidst reports of mismanagement and mounting, bad loans at this state institution. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Enterprise had accepted the recommendation of the Committee on Public [...]

SOEs losses to increase further

Sri Lanka’s State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) faced with high debts and financial costs are poised for either reduced profits or increased losses this year. These SOEs are also saddled with issues relating to lack of governance practices, accountability mechanisms unsatisfactory debt management and overstaffing, etc. According to Treasury data, outstanding debt to banks of SOEs [...]

ODEL advances with malls, acquisitions

The Colombo City Centre Mall which is the country’s first hyper mall with 210,000 sq. feet of retail space is scheduled to open in 2018. ODEL is the anchor tenant of this mall having leased out 40,000 sq feet of shopping space to showcase international brands such as Mango, Fossil, Luxe, Odel Sports and Swarovski [...]

Discount culture hurts Sri Lanka’s top tea brand

Dilmah, Sri Lanka’s and the world’s top single origin Ceylon Tea, has been seriously affected by what it calls the “discount culture”. “Thirty years ago Dilmah was launched as a single origin pure Ceylon tea, grown and packed in Sri Lanka. Today, it is the same tea in every respect. In several territories including Australia [...]

ITC Colombo: Penthouse condo at $10 million

The US$ 50 billion Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) has invested approximately US$400 million in its first overseas property located centrally overlooking the Galle Face Green in Colombo tipped to become the next most talked about address in town to live in with a swim-in sky bridge linking the hotel and residences. Still under construction the [...]

Debt and human rights

Debt and human rights

All hell had broken loose it appeared, on this warm and sunny Thursday morning. Kussi Amma Sera was at her vociferous best, waving a piece of paper as she brought in the morning cup of tea in the other hand, saying: “Mahattaya, balanna, mey naya dena mahaththuru apey gamme minisun-ta kochchara karadara karanawa-da. (See how [...]

Beauty and the beast

Beauty and the beast

Perhaps, many Sri Lankans know about Venezuela because it is a country of many “Miss World” winners. In fact, Venezuela has maintained even a world record for being the country with the most number of Miss World winners! I don’t think that Sri Lankans had any other good reason to take note of Venezuela which [...]

UN expert on debt and human rights to visit Sri Lanka

The UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, will conduct an official visit to Sri Lanka from September 3 to 11 on the invitation of the Government. “My visit aims at collecting firsthand information and examine questions related to debt and other financial obligations from a human rights standpoint,” said [...]

EFL opens new office in Malaysia

EFL (Expolanka Freight), a global freight-forwarding company headquartered in Sri Lanka is setting up its 18th overseas operations in the regional hub of Malaysia. In a media release, the company said it was taking over an existing operation managed by its parent company SG Holdings Global and was officially opening for business in Kuala Lampur [...]

Design Sprint, a new process that solves problems in 5 days

Design Sprint, a new process that solves problems in 5 days

In town late last month was Raomal Perera, a successful Sri Lankan-born entrepreneur based in Ireland with his 27-year old son, Rohan on a mission to guide Sri Lankan companies in a new concept that is transforming start-ups and big corporates: Design sprint. This is a five-day process for solving problems and testing new ideas. [...]

BPOS Global Oman brings Blockchain from West Asia to South East Asia

BPOS Global Oman brings Blockchain from West Asia to South East Asia

MUSCAT, Oman — BPOS Global, fresh off its successful Blockchain Oman 2018 is taking the powerful keynote and master class format to Sri Lanka for Blockchain Sri Lanka 2018. That packed event was the first Blockchain conference in Oman enhancing awareness of Blockchain technology in the country — and BPOS Global is now holdings its [...]

Grundfos offers innovative water solutions for Sri Lanka

Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos will be joining hands with Sri Lankan authorities to bring innovative water technologies alive in the country following its restructuring of regional operations as part of a strategy to drive growth across the Asia Pacific, company officials said. “Asia Pacific operations will now come under four geographical clusters including East Asia, [...]

Business schools should examine state institutions and recommend changes

Business schools should examine state institutions and  recommend changes

A senior Minister has urged business schools in the country to examine the operation of all government institutions in the country and make recommendations to eliminate inefficiency, waste and corruption. This, according to Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development, and Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage, would help to improve their performance so that [...]

New invention to detect drowsy drivers and avoid accidents

New invention to detect drowsy drivers and avoid accidents

Road accidents occur due to many reasons such as negligent and rash driving, driving under the influence of liquor and drivers falling asleep. Consequent to research, it has been found that 12 per cent of accidents in Sri Lanka are caused due to drowsy and sleepy drivers. These numbers exceed the number of accidents that [...]

Softlogic group acquires iconic fashion brand Cotton Collection

Softlogic group acquires iconic fashion brand Cotton Collection

Sri Lankan fashion retail, Cotton Collection Pvt Ltd, in a stunning announcement, said this week that it has sold all its shares to ODEL PLC, a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings PLC. The brand was bought by the Softlogic Group as it was the perfect fit for their well-established, diverse retail network and accelerated expansion plan. [...]

SriLankan Airlines launches Employee Assistance Centre

SriLankan Airlines recently became the first organisation in the country to launch an Employee Assistance Centre (EAC), which offers professional guidance and counselling for employees to overcome challenges in their work or personal life. The EAC would provide its expertise to any employee free of charge with the aim of facilitating peace of mind and [...]

Government raises palm oil tax to protect coconut industry

In a short term strategy to maintain stable domestic coconut prices, the Finance Ministry has increased the Special Commodity Levy (SCL) for palm oil by Rs.20 to Rs. 175 recently, official sources said. Palm oil imports increased by 41 per cent YoY to 89,959 metric tons as a result of bringing down the SCL previously, [...]

Economy has dipped and spending power eroded, says ODEL chairman

ODEL, now under the Softlogic umbrella and speeding ahead with the latest acquisition of the Cotton Collection business to become the largest clothing retailer in Sri Lanka, had a ‘fulfilling’ year in 2017-18, according to company chairman Ashok Pathirage. In his annual report released this week, he said the company’s expansion plans were implemented seamlessly, [...]

Inconsistent policies and ad hoc taxes disrupting growth in Sri Lanka’s economy

While the government is dependent on the private sector and believes it to be the engine of growth, imposing taxes on anything and everything has made life and businesses miserable. Arguments flowed to and fro between two of Sri Lanka’s top businessmen this week with one claiming that more taxes was not the right move [...]

oDoc introduces an employee healthcare solution for businesses

oDoc’s corporate subscriptions present organisations with a new option to offer employees unlimited fully paid doctor consultations from anywhere, including at corporate and factory sick rooms, the company said in a media release. oDoc is a smartphone app that connects patients with doctors for instant video consultations. It gives patients access to an SLMC registered [...]

Rubber industry in peril beyond resurrection?

Rubber industry in peril beyond resurrection?

Rubber Asia, an Asian magazine on rubber in its latest issue (July-August 2018) has published the average annual yield (productivity) levels of all major rubber growing countries including Sri Lanka. It is pathetic to see that the 150-year old Sri Lankan rubber industry which has been a pioneer in many breakthroughs in the Asian rubber [...]

China steps in to set up Murunga factory in Hambantota for exports

Sri Lanka is venturing into Murunga (drumstick) leaf processing field in a big way with Chinese assistance for the export market, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera disclosed to the Business Times. A 20-strong Chinese business delegation led by Wang Yanguo, President and Secretary General of China International Chamber of Commerce for the Private Sector (CICCPS) has [...]

SAKS Analytics in new partnership with global automation provider, AntWorks

SAKS Analytics, a subsidiary of SAKS Global and the St. Anthony’s Industries Group – one of Sri Lanka’s largest and oldest conglomerates, has announced a breakthrough partnership with global artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent automation company, AntWorks, in a bid to introduce disruptive innovation in automation, in Sri Lanka. Leveraging AntWorks’ global automation expertise, the [...]

Organic foods for healthy living

Organic foods  for healthy living

Being a victim of chemical food poisoning in the 1980s prompted him to study the hazards of food poisoning that resulted in forming the Bio Foods (Pvt) Ltd, said its Chairman Dr. Sarath Ranaweera at a media conference held at the Water’s Edge Hotel at Battaramulla last week. He said Bio Foods (Pvt) Ltd has [...]

HNB leads in digital dividends issuance business

HNB has strengthened its market leadership in the Corporate Cash Management business, with several of the country’s corporates continuing to mandate the bank to support their digital dividend issuances. In a media release, HNB’s DGM Corporate Banking, Ruwan Manatunga said that since HNB’s foray into the dividend issuance business in early 2018 with the launch [...]

Allianz Lanka launches ‘Suwasahana’ and ‘Corporate Pension’ plans

Allianz Lanka recently announced the launch of two new unique products that will create greater value for their customers. These are the Allianz ‘Suwasahana’ and ‘Corporate Pension’ plans which incorporate a level of convenience and customisation that will transform the way people look at and conceive insurance products in the future. A company media release [...]

LAUGFS launches rooftop solar project

LAUGFS launches rooftop solar project

LAUGFS Power has launched an ambitious project to install solar PV systems on the rooftops, possibly, on all premises of LAUGFS’ businesses. As the first phase of this initiative, 324 kW and 47.5 kW grid-tied rooftop solar PV systems were installed with an investment of Rs. 49 million at the LAUGFS Rubber factory in Horana [...]

Recent developments have blurred CB independence: Top economist

Two recent developments in Sri Lanka have blurred the independence of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB), a top economist said this week. Economist and former CB Deputy Governor Dr. W. A. Wijewardena said that one was the inability of a bank to raise public opinion to support it whenever there are attempts by [...]

ADB wants reforms to overcome SL’s “very low” GDP, FDI

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday asserted that the government needs to improve its economic position by engaging in structural reforms to overcome the current “very low” rate of growth and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The FDI and the GDP is “very low” and in this regard, the government must stick to structural reforms [...]

Exterminators celebrates 20 years in business

Commemorating its 20-year anniversary, The Exterminators (Pvt) Ltd, Asia’s first and only CarbonNeutral® Pest Management Company renewed its commitment to sustainability for a fifth consecutive year. For 20 years, The Exterminators has been setting benchmarks within their industry and the SME sector in Sri Lanka and the region by winning many local and international accolades [...]

Continental Insurance continues growth momentum amidst competition

Continental Insurance Lanka Ltd, specialised in the general insurance segment, has continued to consolidate amidst stiff competition, a top official of the company said. According to Treasury statistics, the Sri Lankan insurance industry was able to achieve a growth of 15.07 per cent in terms of overall Gross Written Premium (GWP) for both long term [...]

MLRA on poster campaign to combat “high rise” corruption

The Mt. Lavinia Resident’s Association (MLRA) carried out a poster campaign earlier this week against corrupt officials calling for a commission to probe illegal constructions in their municipality. “We want to fight this rampant corruption in the Dehiwela – Mt. Lavinia municipality. We also want to make buyers aware of what they are getting into [...]

Value Management as a tool to better manage construction projects

Value Management as  a tool to better manage construction projects

The need for value management(VM) on construction projects used to solve problems and identify and eliminate unwanted costs, while improving function and quality has become more important than ever, experts say. Construction projects have been the subject of frequent reviews and reports and the need for adversarial nature of operation and contractual relationships and the [...]

CCI conducts seminar on sand for construction

Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka (CCI) conducted a seminar on August 30 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo on a timely issue to the construction sector titled “the supply of sand for construction work,” a CCI media release said. Sand is an essential material in all concrete constructions, masonry works and surface finishing [...]

Better incentives needed for foreigners investing in Sri Lanka

Better incentives needed for foreigners investing in Sri Lanka

The government recently allowed foreigners to buy any condominiums from ground-level up which was previously restricted to fourth floor and above. This, therefore, is a good moment to talk about what more can be done to attract foreigners to invest in the country, especially in the real estate sector. Foreign buyers (excluding expats) make only [...]

Online construction permits issuance now via eLocal Government initiative

Achieving a milestone in the eLocal Government programme, the Online Construction Permit Issuance Platform was launched for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) recently. Citizens will be benefited by this service with the ease of obtaining a construction permit within two weeks without going through the conventional cumbersome process. Also the system provides the sophistication of [...]

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