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Labour Department keeps tabs on private establishments

Sri Lanka’s private sector establishments affected by the COVID-19 crisis have been directed to submit a self assessment on the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the sustenance of institutions and employees. Labour Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has directed the Commissioner General of Labour A. Wimalaweera to submit a report on the present status including [...]

Sri Lanka’s clothing companies sought for PPE

Some of Sri Lanka’s large apparel manufacturers are likely to kick start operations next month to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to meet some of the global demand in the fight against COVID-19. Due to the exponential demand for PPE the current global supply chain is unable to meet the existing demand so organisations like [...]

COVID-19 drives urgent innovation in healthcare

COVID-19 is a devastating pandemic impacting industries, social and personal lives, but it is also prompting trailblazing of creativity in developing products to combat the virus, tracking and predicting its spread. Top-notch Sri Lankan healthcare innovator, Jendo Innovations has developed an app called ‘Work Again’ for post COVID-19 – when people resume working and go [...]

Stock market to reopen soon

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is expected to open sometime this month. It was unclear on Friday whether the Colombo district curfew due to end on Monday May 4 morning would be extended. If it ends on Monday, the market is likely to resume trading on the same day. The buzz of restarting operations at [...]

Apparel industry gets no relief

The once thriving industry is today struggling to survive as the conditions granted in the relief package announced for all industries disqualified most in the apparel sector. Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) Chairman Rehan Lakhany told the Business Times “not even one factory has got that loan since a number of conditions were placed [...]

World of work

World of work

Life will never be the same for anyone after the dust settles on the COVID-19 pandemic. It will never be the same too for the trio who had gathered outside the gate for their regular Thursday morning ‘chat’. It was all about haircuts, which are not an essential service; so the barber salons are closed. [...]

Typewriters and computers

Typewriters and computers

I remember Nandani who worked as a ‘typist’ in our office in the university. She was sitting in front of an old Olympia typewriter placed on her table. Anyone who entered the office those days could often hear the noise of her typewriter; it sounds like “taka… takas, taka… takas, tik…tik…tik, tin…n…n…n” It was in [...]

Sri Lanka’s IT-BPM: Beacon of resilience amidst COVID-19

As Sri Lanka confronts the COVID-19 crisis, the country’s Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Management (BPM) sector has emerged as a shining beacon of resilience and hope amidst unforeseen challenges. This was mainly due to order cancellations, suspension of on-going projects, inability to collect due payments, inability to travel to provide on-site services, etc [...]

Dilemmas of development post COVID-19

Dilemmas of development post COVID-19

The purpose of this article is to raise some issues that face the Government, in an attempt to generate public awareness and discussion of these issues. The main issues raised, segment into two broad categories. One category is regarding welfare and how the Government will treat the social welfare and the corporate welfare burdens it [...]

Standard Chartered SL steps up to help clients affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Standard Chartered Sri Lanka has stepped up efforts to support clients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, announcing a series of relief measures and innovative concessions for the benefit of retail and corporate clients. The bank has extended all relief measures in adherence to the directives by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) and has [...]

Dialog Axiata pledges Rs. 200 mln to enhance Sri Lanka’s ICU units

Dialog Axiata pledges Rs. 200 mln to enhance Sri Lanka’s ICU units

Dialog Axiata PLC has pledged Rs. 200 million for urgently required ICU capacity development in hospitals selected by the Ministry of Health. This will be utilised for expanding healthcare systems to provide critical care services and provide accessibility to intensive care for patients, Dialog said in a statement on Wednesday. Dialog Axiata pledged the money towards augmenting [...]

Sri Lanka harnesses digital technologies to sustain the economy

Sri Lanka’s digital advancement companies are now in the forefront in playing an indispensable role in sustaining social and economic activities in the country, IT industry sources said. Companies like Mitra Innovation, alongside moving 100 per cent of its staff to work from home (WFH), used the crisis as an inspiration to develop new products [...]

Small and medium scale garment exporters seek relief from financial blow

Small and medium scale garment  exporters seek relief from financial blow

While the world economy is facing a major blow that no one has ever witnessed, Sri Lanka’s export sector is paying a heavy price during the COVID-19 pandemic. The apparel sector, which accounts for a substantial portion of the country’s export income, has taken a massive blow due to the coronavirus situation which has brought [...]

Global study shows sharp reduction in infections in 3rdQ 2020

In a study sponsored by the Gamini Corea Foundation on ‘Global growth impact of COVID-19 outbreak’ an assumption has been made that during the second quarter of 2020 there will be an 80 per cent reduction of the infection and for the third quarter of 2020 a reduction of 99 per cent of infection could [...]

Sri Lanka’s economy to ‘decelerate’ by 1.5% in 2020-CB

Sri Lanka’s economy to ‘decelerate’ by 1.5% in 2020-CB

Sri Lanka’s economic (GDP) growth in Sri Lanka is expected to ‘decelerate’ by around 1.5 per cent in 2020 from a growth of 2.3 per cent in 2019, according to the Central Bank. The bank in a section titled “COVID-19 and Sri Lanka: Challenges, Policy Responses and Outlook” contained in the CB   annual report for [...]

No work, no money: Task force urged to help the poor living with COVID-19

Sri Lanka will be ramping up action to protect the poorest of the poor and set the stage for rapid recovery of the coronavirus-affected economy through the efforts of a newly appointed Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication, the Presidential media division said. The immediate task of this force would be to [...]

Pharma chamber applauds efforts of the pharma industry to help Sri Lankans

The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI), while recognising all medical and healthcare workers as well as the law enforcement for their unstinted service during the COVID-19 outbreak, has publicly thanked the local pharmaceutical industry that includes importers, distributors, and pharmacies, along with the regulators, for their exceptional work during the curfew period. The [...]

Mobitel helps Police with hi-tech body cameras

Mobitel helps Police with  hi-tech body cameras

Govt. to boost food production, alternative revenue channels

Govt. to boost food production, alternative revenue channels

The government has tasked all key state agencies involved in food production to increase supply and reduce poverty in the provinces and create opportunities to boost revenues. In this respect a new gazette was issued to initiate the Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation on April 22 with the aim of boosting exports [...]

A ‘nightingale’ in the FTZ women’s labour force

A ‘nightingale’ in the FTZ women’s labour force

Free trade zones (FTZs) were a concept created in the mid-1980s to create a new generation of factories for exports. The early stages of FTZs were considered as somewhat restrictive labour units even though the fact remains that they were able to turn around the rural economy by employing rural young women and the factories [...]

English Tea Shop wins prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise

English Tea Shop wins prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise

English Tea Shop, which has been in the forefront of the organic tea industry in Sri Lanka in infusing Prajava (community) through Creating Shared Value (CSV), has won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, the UK’s highest accolade for business success in sustainability. English Tea Shop has been given the award for [...]

99X Technology combats COVID-19 digitally in Sri Lanka and Scandinavia

Top Sri Lankan product engineering company 99X Technology, during the current global lockdown, has harnessed its core strength – software product engineering – to rapidly deliver digital solutions to strengthen communities and organisations globally against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One such solution was created together with UNDP Sri Lanka, who partnered with 99X [...]

Most jobs in a company cannot be performed from home

Most jobs in a company cannot be performed from home

While organisations are trying to implement the ‘work from home’ rule amongst its employees during the COVID-19 lockdown, it has come to a point of realization that 50 per cent of these jobs cannot be performed from home. Meanwhile 15 per cent of companies feel working from home has always been a part of the [...]

Sri Lanka apparel workers return to work

Around 260 garment factories in Sri Lanka’s Export Processing Zones (EPZ) have been reopened with 50 per cent of the 500,000 female workers recalled for work after a month-long shutdown owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Factory management said that this action has been taken to allow most-needed workers living near the factories to return to [...]

Ceylon Tea production costs soar

Ceylon Tea has been making relative gains in prices but this has not contributed to cover overall costs to produce it on the plantations, Regional Plantation Companies said. “As producers we encourage the increase in price,” but the fact remains that the “increase in no way absorbs the increased cost of production currently faced by [...]

Exporters chamber urges state intervention in labour crisis

The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), in order to avoid a major labour crisis vis-à-vis the COVID-19 pandemic, has urged the Government, to move the relevant state authorities, to initiate immediate action to resolve the prevailing labour issues. The chamber which represents exporters, submitted the following proposals to the Minister of Skills Development, Employment and Labour [...]

Emirates SkyCargo supports Sri Lankan exporters’ supply chain

Emirates SkyCargo supports  Sri Lankan exporters’ supply chain

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has helped Sri Lankan exporters despatch nearly 100 tonnes of local produce to markets in Europe, West Asia and Asia over the past two weeks, keeping supply chains and revenue flows open despite the suspension of scheduled passenger flights from Colombo. The cargo airline deployed two Boeing 777-300 [...]

ComBank offers non-performing borrowers with post-COVID-19 concessions

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced a series of concessions for borrowers whose loans had already been classified as non-performing when the government’s measures against the spread of COVID-19 began to impact on businesses. These concessions are offered under the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s relief measures to support COVID-19 hit borrowers. The scheme [...]

Seylan Bank’s affected customers benefit from host of relief measures

Seylan Bank has initiated a host of financial relief measures for all customers during these times of economic unpredictability. The bank’s measures are fully compliant with regulations imposed by the Central Bank in light of the COVID-19 crisis and aim to ensure the financial health of its institutional and retail customers. Institutional clients in the [...]

Union Bank continues to support customers during crisis

Union Bank is continuing its commitment to support and help the bank’s customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Explaining the various measures it has taken in a media release, the bank said it initiated steps to roll out the financial relief scheme recommended by the Central Bank in March, in a bid to help communities [...]

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