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Rubber for the first time from the North

Rubber for the first time from the North

Rubber was tapped, for the first time, from the North in Vavuniya earlier this month. Picture shows Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation Industries, J.A. Ranjith looking at the first drop of latex. The Government has encouraged the planting of rubber trees in the North and the East.

Taxpayers frustrated by IRD’s RAMIS system

A 72 year-old taxpaying pensioner with additional income from his consultancy services for a private firm faced an unexpected shock of his life when he browsed online to determine the tax returns to be paid. His tax bill including arrears had gone up to Rs.125,000 depite him making payments quarterly on time, and it was [...]

SL seeks waiver on exports to Iran

Sri Lanka is likely to approach US authorities to lift sanctions on the country’s trade with Iran on tea and rubber exports. Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Lucille Wijewardena told the Business Times on Friday that they had now approached the Foreign Ministry to carry out negotiations with the US authorities to allow for trade [...]

New rice price formula to bust large rice miller oligopoly

The ages-old rice pricing mechanism is set to be transformed into a new pricing formula to re-invigorate the market competition with the aim of enhancing farmers’ income while curtailing local market manipulations by the country’s large rice miller oligopoly, Agriculture Ministry sources said. The new formula will stabilise the price of rice, fixing a stipulated [...]

Nawaloka’s former Indian partner sues hospital

Nawaloka Hospitals, one of the pioneer private hospitals in Sri Lanka, said this week it would vigorously contest an action instituted by an Indian company in a Sri Lankan court to ‘wind up’ the hospital company. In a notice to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the local company said a “false and malicious application to [...]

Uncertainty in Sri Lankan property market

Some time back it was stated by leading business leaders and property gurus that real estate is a good investment with better returns. Having said that, times have changed, and are changing fast. There is uncertainty in the property market in Sri Lanka since the beginning of this year, noted Ravi Abeysuriya, Group Director of [...]

Globalisation: Winners and losers

Globalisation: Winners and losers

Although I was not fond of any “card pack games”, since my childhood I wondered about some of the “Sinhala names” that were typically used by people when they play those games: One card is called “Buruva”, although there was no donkey there. Another card is called “Porova”, but the picture of the card is [...]

Chasing foreign experts

Chasing foreign experts

Many years ago, two local university batchmates coincidentally happened to work on a project here with foreign funding. While one man had worked and lived in Sri Lanka all his life, the other had migrated, was earning a salary several times more abroad than his erstwhile university colleague. Both, however, were equally brilliant, capable and [...]

Browns bullish on automotive and plantation sectors

With a special focus on automotive and agriculture sectors, Browns Group of Companies (Browns) is looking for an opportunity to expand in their plantation business, top officials say. Browns is a truly diversified company broadly dealing in trading, manufacturing, plantations and renewable energy, travel and leisure, healthcare, investments and the real estate business. “We are [...]

From fruit seller to a cinema owner

JAFFNA – S. Thiyagarajan, who once sold fruits on the streets, has made gigantic strides since then and is now the owner of STR films, a leading cinema distributor in Sri Lanka which operates six cinema halls in the Northeast. He started his business in a cool bar at  the Jaffna bus stand and improved [...]

DFCC Bank forging ahead with digital drive

DFCC Bank forging ahead with digital drive

DFCC Bank is forging ahead with a digital drive in a bid to harness competitive advantages based on technology, Ephesians said. “DFCC is now focused on digitisation. We have also been taking fintech products through our 100 per cent-owned company, Synopsis to Cambodia, Myanmar and the Solomon Islands,” Lakshman Silva, Director/CEO DFCC Bank told the [...]

Sampath Bank profit up 10.5% to Rs 18.3 bn in 2018

Sampath Bank this week reported a Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 18.3 billion for the year ending December 2018, up by 10.5 per cent against Rs. 16.6 billion earned in 2017. This is after making necessary adjustments as per the SLFRS 9 new accounting standard which required impairment provisioning to be shifted from the [...]

Frontier Capital launches Sri Lanka’s first AI ChatBot for tuk tuk industry

Emerging investment banker Frontier Capital Partners – that transferred some of the country’s prominent group companies to conglomeration in the post war era from 2009 to 2019 in a decade – has recently released a newly developed advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) ChatBot assistant titled ‘TukBoy’. According to company officials, the ‘TukBoy’ Chatbot has been developed [...]

Hayleys third quarter PBT reaches Rs.1.7bn

Sri Lankan multinational, Hayleys PLC, has recorded a strong all-round performance in the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18), with group turnover rising by 20 per cent Year-on-Year( YoY) to Rs. 59.7 billion. This is a sharp 80 per cent YoY increase in group’s Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) to Rs. 9 billion [...]

John Lennon’s son’s architect to build Sri Lankan complex

John Lennon’s son’s architect to build Sri Lankan complex

An overseas Sri Lankan engineer, who once built a home for the son of celebrated Beatles front-man John Lennon, is to stamp his class in Sri Lanka. Chandima Karandawala a Civil Engineer residing in Nice, France who has been involved in construction for more than 15 years in France, recently signed an agreement with the [...]

Budget should limit spend on cars, overseas travel to politicians

Budget 2019, to be presented next month, should focus on immediate sharp reduction of imports, increased exports with relevant FDI and improved transparency and governance all round to create an  enabling environment. This recommendation is contained in a proposal submitted by a group of individuals calling  itself ‘an Independent Group of Professionals’. In a statement, [...]

Govt. hikes estate wages by Rs.50

The government has agreed to a further wage hike outside the recently concluded Collective Agreement between the plantation companies and the estate workers by Rs.50. Last month some unions and plantation companies agreed to a daily wage of Rs. 700. Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayaka said on Wednesday at a media briefing at the Sri Lanka [...]

Interbrand Best Sri Lankan Brands 2018 in March

Interbrand, the world’s largest and most influential brand consultancy, will announce its Best Indian Brands and Best Sri Lankan Brands in March 2019. The ranking, which identifies the most valuable brands in India and Sri Lanka, is modelled on Interbrand’s prestigious Best Global Brands annual report, the definitive guide to the world’s 100 most valuable [...]

ADB, SL universities to foster science and technology in higher education

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and four Sri Lankan universities this week signed project agreements totalling US$145 million under the ADB-funded Science and Technology Human Resources Development project to foster science and technology in Sri Lanka’s higher education. “To achieve higher incomes and better standards of living, the Sri Lankan government aims to transform the [...]

Coconut industry rises against increasing imports of palm oil

The haphazard policy decisions of the government is pushing the coconut industry into a major crisis and to overcome this situation the Coconut Growers Association (CGA) is stepping in with a concerted effort to minimise the problems they face. The struggle is for a reasonable farm-gate price per nut that would give the grower a [...]

Fairfirst Insurance offers comprehensive online payment gateway

Fairfirst Insurance recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Internet payment gateway PayHere. Approved by the Central Bank, PayHere enables businesses to accept online payments from customers from all over the world. Fairfirst is home to the only, fully fledged online insurance purchasing platform – Now in its growth phase, the Online Shop [...]

Italian tourism management institute to open in 2020

Sri Lankans would be given the opportunity of obtaining a global hospitality management education that would fit them into the right job to generate more tourists to the country or even find work in the most touristic destination, Italy. Acknowledged by the Education Ministry of Italy, the University of European Tourism (UET) Lanka launched its [...]

Venture Engine finalists coached through workshop rounds

Pioneering entrepreneurship programme Venture Engine is within sight of its finale, scheduled to take place on February 21 at Hatch – Sri Lanka’s largest co-working space in Colombo. Following three intensive rounds of filtering, 18 start-ups have now been shortlisted to battle for their final place at the February 21 finale where they will pitch [...]

Allianz Life’s pension scheme for professional drivers

Allianz Life Insurance Lanka Ltd recently launched a specialised pension scheme targetting self-employed professional drivers. This first-of-its-kind-in-Sri Lanka project was launched with the direction and support of the National Road Safety Council. The ceremony took place recently at Ragama with the presence of Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga along with members of [...]

Economy of failure: Way-out of disastrous 5 interlocking economic traps

Since, 2015 the economy has seen  politically confused, policy formulation. Two political ideologies with two-way-policy making processes make economic “traps” faster than their due timeframe. Economist Nimal Sanderatna has clearly pointed out and warned about (Sunday Times 2013)  “three fundamental economic traps as fiscal deficit, trade deficit and debt trap”. The very same three have [...]

Women and Microcredit: Rising indebtedness among female micro-credit clients

Women and Microcredit: Rising indebtedness among female micro-credit clients

During the past few years, women’s access to credit in Sri Lanka has been accompanied by stories in the media of high levels of indebtedness noted among borrowers. Reports of the incidence of indebtedness appear to be most prevalent in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, prompting high level Central Bank officials, including the Governor, to [...]

Wonder tree from Amazon rain forest, now flourishing in Sri Lanka’s dry zone

Wonder tree from Amazon rain forest, now flourishing in Sri Lanka’s dry zone

On February 7, something peculiar happened silently in the hamlet of Nedunkulama in Vavuniya district. In the morning Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation Industries, J.A. Ranjith handed over a tapping knife to farmer Chamath Bandara to commence the rubber harvesting in his land amidst blessing of Pirith chanting and birds’ chirping. For the first [...]

Nilmin, Mervyn exonerated from fraud charges

Cleared of charges against defrauding monies and criminal breach of trust, both travel industry veterans – Nilmin Nanayakkara and Mervyn Fernandopulle on Thursday were commended by colleagues and industry stalwarts for their contribution to tourism after overcoming an ordeal in remand custody. An emotional Mr. Nanayakkara insisted he was not working under anyone’s instructions at [...]

IRD: Harassing the small entrepreneur

While the Government preaches about developing the small entrepreneur, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is not totally geared to this and creates serious problems for the new entrepreneur. The IRD now has a small and medium (businesses) unit staffed by many Asst. Commissioners (ACs) and Commissioners. But their sole task is to chase after entrepreneurs [...]

Apartments built sorely on taxes and bank interest, industry says

While there is a slowdown in the sale of real estate properties, developers are worried that apartments are built sorely on government taxes and bank interest. Further the depreciation of the  Sri Lankan rupee has fuelled the costs of construction while on the other hand a shortage of skilled labour has become a major challenge [...]

More opportunities for citizens to engage the Government

More opportunities are required for citizens to participate in government activities at the grassroots level, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the launch of ‘Citra’- The Social Innovation Lab co-developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research and the United Nations Development Programme and held at Galle Face Hotel on Wednesday, The name ‘Citra’ [...]

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