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Orderly manner

Orderly manner

Commuters, seated in an orderly manner, in a bus in Hambantota after the curfew was lifted outside Colombo and a few districts. However the picture shows that the 1-metre social distancing has not been practiced. Pic by Rahul Samantha

Re-open Colombo bourse, urges CSE

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has written to the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) urging it to reopen the stock market which was shut due to the curfew imposed owing to COVID-19. The stock market has been closed for more than a month, since March 20. The letter was sent on Tuesday outlining certain measures [...]

Confusion reigns in flurry of directions taxing workers

A flurry of directives issued by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) between January and April 2020, with regard to income tax –some of which have created utter confusion –, has resulted in tax—paying workers scratching their heads in disbelief. The confusion has arisen after the government announced suspending the PAYE (Pay-as-you-Earn) tax in January, at [...]

Ceylon Tea gains on Indian lockdown

Sri Lanka’s tea industry is cashing on the new found opportunity with neighbouring India in lockdown as Ceylon Tea was seen making price gains for the second consecutive week. The increase in prices at the tea e-auctions for orthodox black teas was ranging between Rs.50-400 per kg as more volumes were becoming increasingly available compared [...]

Private power producers complain of delayed payments

While private power producers have been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 lockdown as their units are operating, the biggest problem they face is the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) delaying payments. All mini hydros, wind and solar power units are connected to the national grid and the CEB pays for this private power generation. “So far [...]

Corona speeds up Internet age

Many firms have made the shift to an entirely digital life. Digital meetings substitute physical ones and the group chat has to do for daily catch up. What’s more, virtual birthdays are the ‘now’ thing. For all the extra time spent online, telcos have announced some crisis- time offerings for data and call credit that’s [...]

Tourism: Bouncing back

Tourism: Bouncing back

It was a yummy breakfast. Kussi Amma Sera had prepared a nice meal of boiled breadfruit (from the local vegetable vendor who comes down the lane), grated coconut and ‘katta sambol’. Adding a cup of black tea with jaggery, this was the ideal concoction to start the day. I could hear snatches of their conversation [...]

Super healthcare, leading to despair

Super healthcare, leading to despair

Last week I had a series of email exchanges with Prof. Premachandra Athukorala, Professor of Economics at the Australian National University. Our communication included, among other things, a discussion over an interesting topic – coronavirus and emerging protectionism. However, this is not the issue I am going to discuss in this column today. I will [...]

Sri Lanka Tourism cushions industry’s financial crisis

Sri Lanka Tourism cushions industry’s financial crisis

Sri Lanka’s tourism regulator is seeking a monetary push to the now-devastated tourism industry, facing a financial crisis with not a single traveller in sight, to help pay wages of part of its workforce. Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando addressing a webinar hosted by Advocata on “COVID Impact on Tourism” on Tuesday stated that [...]

SLT employee invents portable ventilator

SLT employee invents portable ventilator

Bandara Herath, a Senior Assistant Engineer of Sri Lanka Telecom, has invented a portable ventilator which can be used for patients in ICUs.This has been already handed over to the Kandy Teaching Hospital and accepted by the doctors. He has received a request for two more ventilators with a few improvements.

Businesses unlock strategic revival in COVID-19 lockdown

Since the COVID-19 crisis struck in the country, public and private organisations in susceptible sectors have witnessed a significant drop in revenues within weeks while in some business enterprises income was dwindling to almost zero. Many local companies have taken measures to tackle major losses, such as resorting to remote work arrangements for employees, protecting [...]

Migrant labour agents urge Govt. to consider their proposals

The Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies in Sri Lanka (ALFEA) has urged the government to consider its proposals to revive the foreign employment sector. In a statement it said that the association has submitted short term and long term proposals to the SL Foreign Employment Bureau and the subject minister, adding that such proposals [...]

Nestlé contribution to COVID-19 battle reaches Rs. 50 mln

Vulnerable families needing support as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and frontline workers battling the pandemic have received a total of Rs. 50 million in aid from Nestlé Lanka. In its second phase of relief efforts, Nestlé will be joined by its employees, who are voluntarily contributing part of their salary to help those [...]

NDB donates funds for COVID-19 work

NDB Bank recently made a donation towards the national “COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund”. All NDB staff members made a contribution from their April salary and the bank in turn matched rupee-to-rupee, the total contribution made by the employees, the bank said in a media release. NDB Bank Director/Group CEO Dimantha Seneviratne and Vice [...]

Supermarket chains upgrading systems to meet online sales

The supply-chain disruption that we’ve been dodging is here now. And it’s here to stay. Spread of the COVID-19 virus has created a record spike in demand for grocery and household products, as consumers prepare for weeks (maybe months) of curfew, public spaces closures, work from home etc. It’s true that any Sri Lankan business [...]

Post COVID-19: Restarting the socio-economic engine

Post COVID-19: Restarting the socio-economic engine

The threat of COVID-19 pandemic (C19) has set the country on a war footing with the tri-forces, police and health and allied services deployed to fight this. A curfew is imposed to ensure social distancing of people to prevent the spread of C19 infections. This is a suddenly emergent pandemic threatening the whole of humanity. [...]

INSEE Sanstha Cement supports vital COVID-19 relief efforts

INSEE Sanstha Cement supports vital COVID-19 relief efforts

INSEE Cement Sri Lanka, has extended vital support to the authorities towards dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and helping to build a resilient nation. INSEE Sanstha cement stepped forward to provide valuable resources towards construction of the healthcare management centre for COVID-19 in Iranawila, Puttalam, the company said in a media release. The objective of [...]

Pan Asia Bank relief to customers with value added services

Supporting the country’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Pan Asia Bank has deployed a range of value added services to ensure customers can stay home safe and yet access its banking solutions. Pan Asia Bank introduced a Mobile ATM vehicle service for the added convenience of customers as well as non-customers. The mobile vehicle [...]

Much progress at Agalawatte Plantations under Damro management

Damro purchased the controlling stake of both Pussellawa Plantations Ltd and Agalawatte Plantations PLC in March 2017, and both have shown progress in recent times. In a media statement, Damro said Pussellawa Plantations was a company that had been well managed by an efficient team of executives and staff and the company had no bank [...]

Sri Lanka’s inflation fell in March

Sri Lanka’s headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), fell to 7 per cent in March from 8.1 per cent in February, the Central Bank said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that it was largely due to government intervention to reduce prices of some food [...]

Cinnamon launches ‘See Now, Experience Later’ campaign

Cinnamon launches ‘See Now, Experience Later’ campaign

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, to capture the imagination of travellers who are forced to stay indoors with a hope to travel again soon, has launched the ‘See Now, Experience Later’ campaign. “For now, we stay at home. But we will travel again. And when we do, we will do so more consciously, more sustainably and [...]

New econ resurgence facility unveils for COVID-19 affected businesses

Sri Lanka took its first cautious steps towards restarting it’s slowed down economy on Monday by relaxing the curfew restrictions in areas not affected by COVID-19 to allow the limited resumption of business activities after one month of lockdown. But the liquidity pressure is making it difficult for many business enterprises to resume their activities [...]

Telehealth platforms boom amidst COVID-19 outbreak

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a doctor’s office is a Petri dish of germs. What with curfew and social distancing, the picture now is murkier. Nonetheless usual aches, pains and sprains aren’t insulated and those who have regular doctor visits still need to make them. Patients like never before are turning to telemedicine, [...]

New building worth Rs. 30 mln for IDH for new CT scan machine

New building worth Rs. 30 mln for IDH for new CT scan machine

The main Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Sri Lanka has been functioning without a CT scan machine and the needy patients have been taken to other hospitals when a CT scan is to be performed. The Ministry of Health has allocated a CT scan machine to the IDH but there was a need to construct [...]

Sri Lankan consumer retail, construction, hotels most affected by coronavirus-Fitch Ratings

Fitch-rated Sri Lankan corporates in consumer goods retail, construction and hotels will be among the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Sri Lanka, says the global rating agency in a statement. Companies in consumer goods retail and construction-related activities also have lower rating headroom than in most other sectors. The ultimate impact on ratings [...]

Sri Lanka not ready to be open for work –CFL

The Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL) said on Wednesday it was perplexed to learn that the government for reasons best known to itself has proceeded to open up the country for normal activity with little regard to the health and well-being of the people, thus bringing to zero the selfless service rendered by all those [...]

Condo association calls for immediate resumption of projects

Condo projects, reeling on the back of the corona pandemic is seeking the government’s assistance to get back up. The sector slowdown owing to the delay in procurement of materials from China and the complete stoppage of work due to the curfew was exacerbated by the lockdown of construction workers after the Chinese New Year. [...]

HUTCH, Postal Dept. extend support during COVID 19

HUTCH has joined hands with the Postal Department to deliver much needed recharge cards to the doorstep of all Sri Lankans. These HUTCH reload cards service both 078 and 072 subscribers with an expiration validity for one year which helps customers stay connected during the present challenging period. HUTCH subscribers can coordinate with the nearest [...]

Colombo port revenue drops by 50%

Revenue at the Colombo port has dropped by 50 per cent as lesser containers are arriving, Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) said. Last month had recorded a drop of 50 per cent in revenue as containers have reduced by 10 per cent though vessels have increased by 2.6 per cent, SLPA Chairman Gen. Daya Ratnayaka [...]

Toyota Lanka assists Sri Lanka with a donation of vehicles worth Rs. 20 mln

Toyota Lanka assists Sri Lanka with a donation of vehicles worth Rs. 20 mln

Toyota Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the sole authorized distributor of Toyota and HINO vehicles, services and spare parts in Sri Lanka, this week extended their assistance to Sri Lanka’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, by way of a donation of two vehicles worth Rs 20 million. The donation of two units of Toyota Coaster buses took [...]

Ambeon Holdings PLC wins big at LACP Awards 2019

The Annual Report 2018/19 of Ambeon Holdings PLC titled ‘Ambitions Aligned’ has been ranked 38th amongst the ‘Top 100 Reports Worldwide 2018/19’ at the recently concluded Vision Awards Annual Report competition organised by the League of American Communication Professionals (LACP), US. Further, the report has been recognised with a Gold Award (joint) in the conglomerate sector, the company [...]

IMF members commit to $11.7 bln in new COVID-19-related pledges

Members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have so far pledged commitments amounting to US$11.7 billion in response to the Fund’s call to triple its concessional lending capacity, according to a joint statement issued after a meeting on Tuesday of the fund and regional financial agencies. It said for the first time, the G20 and [...]

Sri Lanka’s Rafi joins Forbes Business Council

Sri Lanka’s Rafi joins Forbes Business Council

Forbes Magazine has appointed Talal Rafi as a member of the Forbes Business Council. The Forbes Business Council is an invitation only group of successful business leaders and personalities from around the world. Forbes Selection Committee appointed Talal Rafi for his expertise, contribution and leadership in the field of entrepreneurship, Mr. Rafi has said in [...]

eMarketingEye offers digital insights for hospitality industry to overcome COVID-19 impact

eMarketingEye, an award winning digital marketing agency, has taken progressive steps to assist Sri Lanka’s struggling hospitality industry by sharing a detailed analysis and strategy paper on the impact of the COVID-19 on the industry. The report titled “Digital Insights, Trends and Strategy on Sri Lanka’s Hospitality Industry: Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak and Planning for [...]

Asia Securities quantifies COVID-19 impact on key economic variables in Sri Lanka

In the backdrop of a recessionary impact on output (GDP) owing to COVID-19, the more visible impact would manifest itself through supply chain disruptions, sharp declines in domestic demand, a high fiscal deficit given lower government revenue, low tourism revenue and remittances, and a weakening exchange rate, according to a new analysis by Asia Securities. [...]

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