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Govt. does well on health front, weak on economy: BT poll

Govt. does well on health front, weak on economy: BT poll

While the government was commended for its handling of the health crisis vis-à-vis COVID-19, it has performed poorly in terms of handling the distribution of essential food and the economic impact, an email poll conducted by the Business Times (BT) this week showed. Asked whether the Government has handled the health crisis well, 77 per [...]

Exports earnings would drop by $7 bln this year

Sri Lanka’s total exports are to see a significant drop this year amounting to a US$7 billion loss in earnings with the revised targets set to achieve $10.75 billion in earnings. This would mean Sri Lanka will see a drop of about 42 per cent of its targeted export volume which was previously forecasted at [...]

Condo sales at zero, hopes to rebound

COVID-19 comes at a time the economy is on a slowing trajectory with the apartment market hit badly after record level condo prices and sales in 2018. Analysts say this outbreak will contribute to sharper but temporary drags on this market. In the mid-term (the next 12-24 months), weaker economic conditions and slower growth in [...]

Revised tax process better option for tax-paying employees

The government has given a better option for tax-paying employees by introducing the Advance Personal Income Tax (APIT) following the scrapping of Pay-As You-Earn (PAYE) tax and other withholding taxes (WHT). It will ease the hassle of filling tax returns, a time consuming procedure of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). This revised version of taxation [...]

Global demand for rubber-based products soar

Governments across the world are urgently trying to acquire and store critical medical supplies such as masks and gloves as frontline doctors and nurses readying to battle COVID-19 pandemic face shortages. This pandemic is forcing many of the biggest makers in this part of the world to run factories around the clock to meet demand [...]

New normal

New normal

The margosa tree in the garden has been ‘lonely’ for many weeks now since COVID-19 hit Sri Lanka. The trio – Kussi Amma Sera, Mabel Rasthiyadu and Serapina – has been unable to sit on the plank bench beneath the tree and have their usual Thursday gossip since physical distancing became mandatory. But the tree [...]

Back to business as unusual

Back to business as unusual

Sri Lankan students who returned from China due to the outbreak of the coronavirus there, didn’t waste their time anyway, according to a few of them I know. They continued to attend their lectures, participated in tutorial classes, submitted the assignments and, received assessment results from their professors. Just like others, they were also locked [...]

NBFIs accorded flexibility to help COVID-19 -hit businesses and individuals

The Central Bank has relaxed regulatory requirements and granted liquidity support for Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) which are now under the immense pressure of COVID-19 triggered problems. It has accorded flexibility to Licensed Finance Companies (LFCs) and Specialised Leasing Companies (SLCs) to support businesses and individuals affected by the deadly virus outbreak. These measures include [...]

Sri Lanka in a post COVID-19 world

Sri Lanka in a post COVID-19 world

The purpose of this article is to present five simple strategies that could set Sri Lanka on an alleviated growth trajectory in a post COVID-19 world. This pandemic is unique because economists, statisticians and data analysts cannot formulate a credible model to define when the world will normalise. Without knowing when normalcy can occur, the [...]

Abans’ outdoor service for public safety

Abans’ outdoor service for public safety

Add Outdoor, the outdoor maintenance company of Abans Group, took the initiative recently to render valuable service during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Keeping the safety of the people in mind, workers from Add Outdoor have ensured that hygiene and cleanliness is continuously maintained in the outside areas of Colombo and its suburbs by disinfecting bus [...]

AIA’s valuable support to staff of IDH, Mulleriyawa and Welikanda Hospitals

AIA Insurance has pledged its support to help Sri Lanka fight COVID -19, at a meeting held last week at the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, under the patronage of the Minister of Health and Indigenous Medical Services – Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Director General of Health Services – Dr. Anil Jasinghe and a number [...]

Migrant worker associations express their concern

The Voice of Migrant Workers (VoMW), an umbrella group of over 10 organisations engaged in the rights of migrant workers, has presented a set of recommendations to the government to protect Sri Lankan workers abroad. In a statement, it said that migrant workers based in countries of destination are perhaps the most vulnerable of all. [...]

ADB triples COVID-19 response package to $20 bln

MANILA — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday tripled the size of its response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to $20 billion and approved measures to streamline its operations for quicker and more flexible delivery of assistance. The package expands ADB’s $6.5 billion initial response announced on March 18, adding $13.5 billion [...]

Personal care firms join home delivery bandwagon

Consumers have changed their purchasing patterns. They changed especially fast during the past month. The coronavirus outbreak has coerced many consumers to rethink how they’ll buy everyday household items without putting themselves in harm’s way. Last month saw grocery stores being wiped out by hysterical shoppers stocking up on essential items and then they went [...]

Food consumption trends post COVID-19: Let’s fight this together!

Food consumption trends post COVID-19: Let’s fight this together!

The post COVID-19 food production and retailing space must respond to a set of new market realities; recession, changing consumer dynamics and supply chain disruptions. Anchored around food and personal safety, these new realities challenge our deeply held beliefs and concepts of how work needs to be done.  Here are some pointers where industry is [...]

Sri Lankan apparel workers in trouble putting food on the table

Close on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, around 500,000 workers of 800 apparel factories in and outside Free Trade Zones (FTZ) are facing the threat of nonpayment of their wages as the brand order cancellations continue to haunt employers. The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) foresees an immediate reduction of US$1.5 billion in Sri [...]

LOLC concludes $603 mln sale of PRASAC amidst turbulent global economic conditions

The LOLC Group announced on Monday that it has sealed a deal that it entered into in January this year to sell a majority stake in a Cambodian company. In January this year, the LOLC Group announced an agreement to sell it’s 70 per cent stake held in Cambodia’s largest microfinance company, PRASAC, to the [...]

Relief for insurance policyholders from Insurance Regulatory Commission

The Insurance Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (IRCSL) is providing relief measures to insurance policyholders in line with a direction by the President to grant appropriate relief to businesses and individuals who are adversely affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Having discussed the issue with the insurance companies, the IRCSL said in a media release [...]

Metropolitan supports corporates during COVID -19

The Metropolitan Group’s retail arm, the mcentres, rising to meet the challenges of the current COVID -19 pandemic which has caught many organisations off guard with having to adapt to work-from-home, is now offering work-from-home equipment bundles while continuing repairs, maintenance and deliveries to support corporates in mission critical operations. For almost every team, the [...]

Sri Lanka to take 18 months to near normalcy

Sri Lanka needs to restructure its exports basket as the country is likely to take a minimum of 18 months to achieve some level of normalcy. Sri Lanka needs to redefine itself on the export products basket, Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabash Subasinghe said on Thursday during a webinar on the ‘Impact of COVID [...]

Daraz donates more than 20,000 COVID–19 testing kits

Daraz donates more than 20,000 COVID–19 testing kits

Alibaba Group, the parent company of Daraz Sri Lanka, has been one of the groups at the forefront in the worldwide fight against COVID-19 through continuous supplies of medical support to Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Following the donation of 100,000 masks two weeks ago, the Alibaba and Jack Ma Foundations donated 20,064 COVID-19 [...]

ICT sector’s proposals to President to revive sector

The Federation of Information Technology Industry (FITIS) in a letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday has presented a set of recommendations as part of a business recovery plan to revive the ICT sector. FITIS said that the ICT industry represents a workforce of over 100,000 with a vision to uphold its contribution to 200,000 [...]

Mastercard advocates sufficiently high contactless payments limits across Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE – Mastercard’s commitment to making transactions more convenient, safe and seamless through tap-and-go card payments has taken on new urgency and importance as the spread of COVID-19 highlights the imperative for “contact-free” environments and experiences as much as possible. As nations implement stricter containment measures to keep their citizens protected, Mastercard has taken a [...]

Dialog empowers students with Nenasa 1377 education helpline

Dialog Axiata PLC, in its efforts to support students through this tumultuous time and to minimise the disruption to the education system due to the early closure of schools and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has launched Nenasa 1377, a distance learning helpline for all Grade 11 students to continue with their studies [...]

Suspension of SriLankan Airlines flts extended to April 30

SriLankan Airlines said on Wednesday it was compelled to extend the temporary suspension of its scheduled passenger flights till April 30 as travel restrictions imposed by the countries in its global network continue to be in place due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The airline’s cargo services will continue to operate from its worldwide network [...]

NTB donates 4,500 medical scrub suits to healthcare workers

The Nations Trust Bank (NTB) recently donated 4,500 medical scrub suits to frontline healthcare workers. The donation was handed over by NTB CEO Priyantha Talwatte, to Director General of Health, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, in Colombo on April 11. Earlier the NTB CSR team had approached officials of the Department of Health and Indigenous Medical Services [...]

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