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Defending the Colombo Port City

Defending the Colombo Port City

State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal shows a map of the new Colombo Port City Commission at a media conference in Colombo on Friday. The bill setting up the commission is being challenged in the Supreme Court and widely criticised for its wide-ranging powers. Pic by Indika Handuwala  

SL to cut oil imports amidst dwindling forex reserves

Sri Lanka will be curtailing crude and refined oil imports this year in an effort to shield the dwindling of foreign reserves, Finance Ministry sources said. The fuel purchases in low volumes will be made from producing countries in the Gulf region on favourable terms with one year credit facility instead of the current credit [...]

Trade unions, 14 others challenge Port City Commission Bill

The government-controlled, Leslie Devendra-led Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya is among five trade unions along with other organisations and individuals challenging the constitutionality of the new Colombo Port City Commission Bill. Altogether 15 petitions have been filed challenging the bill of which submissions will be heard by a 5-judge bench of the Supreme Court tomorrow [...]

Costs more to travel to SL, says SLAITO

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is finding it hard to attract tourists due to the strict health guidelines and added to this is the concern among tour operators of the need to have a high priced PCR test. The US$40 PCR test is costing Rs.8000 whereas the real cost at a private hospital is about Rs.6500 [...]

What’s good for the goose!!

The government, as in all their recent predecessors, is cottoning onto the same gullible mistakes – especially where private banks are concerned. The Business Times learns that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has written to certain directors representing state-held shareholdings in private commercial banks asking them to resign and make way for the incumbent government [...]

Government back-tracks on palm oil import ban

The Government has taken two steps back after the first step of banning the import of palm oil, the most popular cooking oil, which followed the Prime Minister’s directive of lifting the restriction on certain refined palm oil based products within 24 hours of the President’s prohibition order. According to the sequence of events, the [...]

“Pay Your Workers” $24 m the apparel industry owes

Apparel sector trade unions have commenced a campaign “Pay Your Workers” as part of a global initiative highlighting worker problems amid the COVID-19 pandemic that activists claim Sri Lankan brands and suppliers owe workers US$24 million. The Sri Lankan apparel sector’s suppliers and brands owe its workers US$24 million in payments calculated for the months [...]

Look before you leap!

Look before you leap!

Picture a tree in your garden, the flowers of which have blossomed under your loving care; where you would sit on a bench underneath the branches and have numerous chats over the years with family and friends! The margosa tree in the garden is a similar companion but on this Thursday morning except for the [...]

Brain drain and migration

Brain drain and migration

I called Suranjith on his mobile phone on the eve of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, but there was no answer. “He must be still in the US,” I thought. Suranjith is his nick name. After graduating from the Sri Jayewardenepura University, he joined the Sri Lanka Administrative Service in the mid-1980s. He has [...]

People’s Bank Investment Banking Unit creates history organising SL’s largest ever Listed Debenture Issue

People’s Bank Investment Banking Unit creates history organising SL’s largest ever Listed Debenture Issue

The People’s Bank Investment Banking Unit (PBIBU) reached a new high in its track record by successfully ensuring oversubscription of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Debenture Issue for Rs. 20 billion., the largest ever Listed Debenture Issue in Sri Lanka. “Accordingly, CEB’s Senior, Unsecured, Listed, Redeemable, Rated Debentures with a maturity period of five years [...]

India’s desert salt farmers feel the heat from climate change

LITTLE KUTCH, AFP April 15, 2021 – Roshni Thakor left school to harvest salt from a sun-baked Indian desert, a backbreaking trade practised by her ancestors for centuries but now threatened by climate change. For eight months every year, farmers toil in scorching heat to pump out briny water from handmade wells in a sparse [...]

Colombo Port City a dreamer’s paradise

A Draft Bill converts the Colombo Port City with sweeping tax incentives etc into a special economic zone. The Sri Lanka Government’s long distance view looks hazy and should change its lenses and see what is going to be its near future. Even before the commencement of this landfill from the sea, there were beautiful [...]

Micro finance sector undergoes reforms despite present cash crunch

Sri Lanka’s micro finance sector is to undergo reforms with the government’s new strategy of uplifting the living standard of the low income households who have already been trapped in a vicious debt cycle. The Finance Ministry is now in the process of devising new plans of overhauling the microfinance institutions (MFIs) market with the [...]

Showcasing Sri Lanka’s jewellery to the world

Showcasing  Sri Lanka’s  jewellery to the world

The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) recently hosted their second Key Person’s Forum for the industry, with the objective of facilitating the industry during this pandemic period and boosting overall tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism. The forum was conducted with Tourism Minister Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga, State Minister of Gem and [...]

Will the boom last?

LONDON – For much of the past year, I have argued that a cyclical economic recovery from the COVID-19 disruption would be stronger than most people expected. In offering that outlook, my emphasis was on the cyclical (rather than structural) nature of the crisis: the lockdowns were always going to be only temporary; safe and [...]

ICTA and German company to collaborate on start-ups

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany recently initiated and facilitated the signing of a MOU between the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka and ENPACT e.V. in Berlin, Germany, which represents the Berlin Senate’s start-up initiative “AsiaBerlin”. This is with a view to fostering a strong bridge between Berlin, the start-up [...]

Five accolades for NDB from Global Banking and Finance Review 2021

Five accolades for NDB from Global Banking and Finance Review 2021

NDB was recently felicitated with five accolades by the Global Banking and Finance Magazine of UK 2021 for the bank’s exceptional performance in various categories including “Empowering Women in Business, Digital Transformation and Leadership”. NDB was felicitated with awards for “Decade of Excellence Project and Infrastructure Financing Sri Lanka 2021” for the fourth consecutive year, [...]

Litro Gas Lanka revolutionises LPG market with the new Premium Hybrid 18 Litre Cylinder

Litro Gas Lanka revolutionises  LPG market with the new Premium Hybrid 18 Litre Cylinder

Litro Gas Lanka is introducing a unique LPG solution to meet an increasing consumer demand. The new Premium Hybrid 18 Litre Cylinder is expected to revolutionise the LPG industry in Sri Lanka by offering an outstanding economic benefit in a size that meets global specifications. Priced at only Rs 1,395, the new Litro Premium Hybrid [...]

Former SLTDA chairman queries need for new Tourism Act in pandemic

Former SLTDA chairman queries need for new Tourism Act in pandemic

Square pegs in round holes cannot decide for an industry run predominantly by the private sector by calling for a change of the legislation that governs tourism by appointing bureaucrats to the helm of its governing bodies but need to focus on overcoming the challenges of a global pandemic. Former Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority [...]

New high for manufacturing sector in Sri Lanka Purchasing Managers’ Index

Indicating a strong revival in manufacturing activities in the country, the manufacturing Sri Lanka Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reached a 9-month high at 67 in March 2021, according to the Central Bank. This was largely attributable to the increases observed in Production, New Orders, and Stock of Purchases sub-indices, the Bank said in a media [...]

Armed with phones and seeds, jobless Kenyans tackle illegal logging

 KWALE, Kenya, April 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Standing under a thick green canopy in coastal Kenya’s Shim Hills, Mohamed Mwaramuno squints at his fellow forest ranger’s smartphone. With about a dozen rangers, he has been using an app that through satellite feeds maps signs of forest fires, illegal logging and people encroaching on water [...]

Goodrich Lanka Pvt Ltd wins at International Chartered Ship Brokers (ICS) Awards

Goodrich Lanka Pvt Ltd wins at International Chartered Ship  Brokers (ICS) Awards

Goodrich Lanka Pvt Ltd was awarded the Best NVOCC (Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier) Agent for outbound trade at the Institute of Chartered Ship (ICS) Brokers Customer Service Awards Ceremony held on March 26 at the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. Managing Director Dr. Taarik Booso and Director/CEO Anuruddha Withanarachchi receiving the award thanked all their customers [...]

Samsung takes Sri Lankan E-Sports to the next-level with ‘Samsung Combat Arena 2021’

Samsung, touted as Sri Lanka’s No.1 smartphone brand and pioneer of E-sports in Sri Lanka, has announced the ‘Samsung Combat Arena 2021’, an E-sports gaming event and tournament featuring one of the largest prize pools in Sri Lankan E-sports to-date. The event and tournament will be held at the One Galle Face Mall, Colombo on [...]

Ceylon Federation of Labour says Colombo Port City Bill affects workers rights

The Colombo Port City Bill establishes an all-powerful Colombo Port City Economic Commission (CPCEC) in the newly extended territory of Sri Lanka known as the Port City, according to a trade union. “The economic policy it seeks to pursue is directed first and foremost to the attraction to Sri Lanka in a major way of [...]

Changing face of workspaces globally

Changing face of workspaces globally

Singapore (TTG) -The rise of remote working has fuelled an appetite for extended stays among travellers seeking to escape from work-from-home routines. With that, hospitality players and destinations are adapting their offerings to tap on the longer-stay trend. With the global pandemic changing how people work, travel and live, the remote working trend continues to [...]

Virtusa sponsors first virtual IEEE Sri Lanka Robotics workshop

Virtusa sponsors first virtual IEEE Sri Lanka Robotics workshop

Virtusa Corporation, a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering, and IT services and solutions that help clients change and disrupt markets through innovation engineering, recently sponsored the first in a series of ‘Workshop’ branded events organised by IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Sri Lanka Section Chapter in partnership with IEEE Sri Lanka Section. [...]

National Film Corporation faces financial irregularity charges

Sri Lanka’s state-owned National Film Corporation (NFC) is now running at a loss as the revenue from screening films in local cinema halls has come down to a very low level. On top of this financial irregularities in the corporation during the last few years have made it impossible to continue day-to-day functions. The Committee [...]

Hyundai hands over ‘The Suites’ and ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life to JK Properties

Hyundai hands over ‘The Suites’ and ‘The  Offices’ at Cinnamon Life to JK Properties

Cinnamon Life, John Keells Properties’ iconic mixed-development project, is getting closer to redefining Colombo’s skyline with the completion of its plush residential tower ‘The Suites’ at Cinnamon Life and the state-of-the-art office tower, ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life, the company said on Friday in a media release. With its construction now complete, the 196-unit apartment [...]

Colombo Port City will herald new era for SL

Sri Lanka is set to achieve unprecedented economic gains from the Colombo Port City which will be transformed as a centre of excellence in doing business with all necessary facilities made for doing business easily available under one roof, State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. Rejecting opposition concerns over the Port City Economic [...]

SC appoints Aroshana Fernando to SL Management Team

SC appoints Aroshana Fernando to SL Management Team

Standard Chartered Sri Lanka has recently appointed Aroshana Fernando as the Head of Consumer, Private & Business Banking (CPBB). He joins the bank with 19 years’ experience in the Consumer/Retail Asset Business, gained from multiple international engagements in an array of different markets, the bank said in a media release. Mr. Fernando began his banking [...]

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