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Spark of hope

Spark of hope

Apparel industry to lay off 30% workforce

Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is likely to lay off at least 30 per cent of its workers including permanent cadres even as they receive global orders to manufacture face masks and surgical gowns. “At least 30 per cent of the workforce of the entire apparel industry is likely to get laid off including permanent staff [...]

FTZ workers now at home but most suffer without wages

Most of the over 100,000 apparel sector workers now in their homes in villages following the closure of the garment factories in Free Trade Zones will be receiving their wages soon, official sources confirmed Minister of Industrial Export and Investment Promotion Prasanna Ranatunga has requested the employers to pay wages to these employees as soon [...]

Ceylon Tea holds e-auction, first time in history

Ceylon Tea, for the first time in its history, was sold on Friday and Saturday at an e-auction in a bid to maintain physical distancing and in keeping with the current government regulations against the coronavirus pandemic now in Sri Lanka. The tea auction that is traditionally held at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce auditorium [...]

Govt. appeals to overseas Sri Lankans for help

The Government has appealed to overseas and locally-based Sri Lankans with foreign currency assets to invest their money in Sri Lankan banks and finance companies – in a ‘no questions asked’ scheme – to help the country stave off an impending foreign currency crisis. The Central Bank appeal made with the approval of the Cabinet [...]

Hotels for quarantine

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has taken over the operations of the Club Dolphin Hotel in Waikkal run by the Hemas group converting it to a quarantine centre. The hotel was among two others that were offered to the government in order to meet the requirements of the necessary number of quarantine centres and provide [...]

Jobs and lay-offs

Jobs and lay-offs

The trio had gathered near Kussi Amma Sera’s gate on this sunny Thursday morning, in a V-shape formation, keeping a safe distance of more than one metre between each other in line with physical distancing recommendations. It was the first time in many days they were meeting and over mugs of tea, they were engaged [...]

Holding board/shareholders meetings during social distancing

Holding board/shareholders meetings during social distancing

With steps taken by the Government to combat the spread of COVID-19 through indefinite curfews and restrictions on travel / large gatherings etc, it is inevitable that companies would want to conduct their meetings by means other than physical meetings, instead of postponing indefinitely or cancelling meetings. Corporate Services (Pvt) Ltd, which offers corporate secretarial [...]

Applause for ‘choon-paan’ karayas

Applause for ‘choon-paan’ karayas

In the Ja-Ela area, families wait in the morning and afternoon until the ‘Choon-paan’ van arrives, with many clapping when he arrives. Private sector business concerns large and small are stepping up their supply lines in this area, to keep pace with the people’s demands as far as they could. There are lorries selling fish, [...]

SL fails to achieve fiscal targets despite tight budgeting

At a time of the coronavirus socio –economic panic, Sri Lanka’s financial position is not so rosy even with the Treasury’s commitment to maintain public expenditure at a manageable level, the Finance Ministry’s Pre-election Budgetary Position Report has revealed. The country budget deficit target of 4.4 per cent of GDP in 2019 went haywire to [...]

Back to the basics for Sri Lanka

Back to the basics for Sri Lanka

The coronavirus has offered an opportunity to mankind, and particularly to Sri Lankans, to sit back and think whether the so called “development path” hitherto followed is correct and sustainable. While understanding the gravity of the situation, and wishing those affected a speedy relief, it may also be worth reflecting that the least affected are [...]

EU supports rural communities through water, sanitation and hygiene facilities

EU supports rural communities through water, sanitation and hygiene facilities

Two years ago when 60–year old R. Rasamma, living in the G.T. Division, Shannon Estate, Hatton was hospitalised, her experience was unpleasant. “Two years ago, I was admitted to the Dickoya Base Hospital and I had such a bad experience. The toilets were inaccessible by wheelchairs, there was no water and you could smell the [...]

Efforts of a small entrepreneur who struggled through war and personal tragedies

Efforts of a small entrepreneur who struggled through  war and personal tragedies

The Advocata Institute, an independent policy think tank based in Colombo, recently launched a report titled ‘Barriers to Micro and Small Enterprises in Sri Lanka’, based on a survey. The barriers – commonly known as ‘Red Rape’- , often results in officials enforcing regulations through bribery and corruption. However this story is not about the [...]

Relief to stock investors affected by downturn

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to temporarily grant a moratorium to the clients of all registered margin providers and licensed stock brokers on the payment of interest on credit extended to them, due from March 11, a directive by the regulator said. This is on account of the impact caused to investors [...]

ComBank deploys mobile units in curfew areas

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon of Ceylon is deploying its ‘Bank-on-Wheels’ Mobile ATM units in areas where curfews are in force, to provide urgently needed access to cash to members of the public. The bank said a schedule containing details of the locations and times that these mobile banking units are operating will be announced [...]

Air Force helps NDB with ‘mobile bank on wheels’

NDB Bank was recently helped by the Air Force to build a mobile ‘bank on wheels’ which brought the bank to the customer’s doorstep. NDB Director/Group CEO Dimantha Seneviratne stated that the bank is immensely grateful to the Air Force for lending their support, expertise and manpower to NDB. “The Sri Lanka Air Force truly [...]

Uphold migrants’ rights during COVID-19 pandemic

The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases and its alarming spread in many parts of the world have further undermined the situation of those who are in the most vulnerable sectors, among them migrant workers. The global pandemic further reveals how migrant workers are more visibly discriminated against and denied their human rights, according to a [...]

National carrier brings down medical aid from China

SriLankan Airlines last week, brought down a consignment of medical aid from Shanghai, China. This was a donation made by the Sri Lankan community in China through the Consulate Generals of Sri Lanka in Guangzhou and Shanghai, facilitated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in China, the airline said in a statement. The consignment contained [...]

Nestlé donates food/beverage products to frontline COVID-19 workers

Sri Lankan workers at the frontline of battling the COVID-19 outbreak, have received close to half a million serves of food and beverage products from Nestlé, worth Rs. 15 million. The products were donated to the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 for distribution to medical workers, armed forces and others, in support of [...]

Sri Lanka growth to slow down from estimated 3.5 % in 2020: Fitch

Fitch Ratings has revised Sri Lanka’s banking sector outlook for 2020 to negative as the coronavirus pandemic poses increased risks to the anticipated expansion in the economy and credit demand, which will adversely affect the performance of the banks. Operating conditions are more challenging, affecting asset quality and profitability recovery. This will add to rating [...]

Tourism recovers by end 2019, then crashes due to COVID-19

Although Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was by end 2019 rapidly recovering from the Easter Sunday attacks, the COVID-19 outbreak reversed the recovering trend in January 2020, the Central Bank (CB) said on Monday, releasing the trade data for January 2020. It worsened in the next two months, slumping by 17.1 per cent in February and [...]

Central Bank eases bank rules to support COVID-19-hit businesses

Central Bank eases bank rules to support COVID-19-hit businesses

At a time of economic hardships triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak creating financial crises, the Central Bank (CB) has implemented extraordinary regulatory measures to help banks to support affected businesses and individuals. The CB has also decided to set up a Rs. 50 billion, six month re-financing facility to implement the wide range of concessions [...]

Safety measures

Safety measures

Reengineer rather than reinstate business ecosystem

The global crisis people are facing is only but a symptom, with possibilities for more in different forms in forthcoming years. The underlying disease is a chronic deficiency of wisdom on a global scale, says Vijith Kannangara, Chairman – Affno, Smart Media The Annual Report Company, Q&E. He said that post crisis, in the short [...]

COVID-19: Citizens view

COVID-19: Citizens view

A new public survey seeking views on COVID-19 has revealed overwhelming satisfaction with government’s response, amidst high insecurity about the future. Vanguard Survey Pvt. Ltd implemented this nation-wide telephone survey from March 29 to 31 and it was co-designed and analysed by Verité Research Pvt. Ltd. Data was analysed from 2,064 respondents over the age [...]

Super markets step up in supplying consumers

Some patrons of the supermarkets are expressing their appreciation for the exceptional services provided to meet the heavy demand in maintaining supply lines day and night. There were also complaints that supermarkets were not as responsive as expected. One of them, Keells Super, has spelled out their strategies which they have formulated to meet the [...]

SriLankan Airlines to enforce pay cut across the board

SriLankan Airlines, amid a crisis that all airlines across the world are facing, has announced mandatory salary cuts for all staff in a series of measures to reduce costs. In a statement on Thursday, the national carrier said these measures include mandatory salary reductions from the staff starting from 2.5 per cent to 25 per cent [...]

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