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Trading shutdown

Trading shutdown

A pumpkin farmer sleeps, amidst his produce, at the Dambulla Economic Centre on Friday morning. Trading activities at the centre have been affected by COVID-19 cases in surrounding areas. Pic by Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa

EPF to be transformed to a part-pension fund

Private sector employees are to be given pension rights under a new move by the government to amend the Employment Provident Fund Act. The EPF and Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) are to be transformed  into a part-pension fund functioning under the Treasury, official sources said adding that the Finance Ministry has been directed to work [...]

Government will import urgent LPG stocks if necessary

The Government will strive to maintain Liquified Petroleum (LP) gas prices at current levels – despite demands to increase prices – and provide funds to the state-owned importer to import stocks if there is a shortage. The Finance Ministry will intervene in the immediate purchase of LP gas from the international market as a remedy [...]

Investor’s paradise at Port City Colombo

Sri Lanka’s plans for the Port City Colombo is to make it an investor’s paradise as the country looks at improving its ease of doing business rankings by relaxing its “archaic and stringent labour laws”. “We have very archaic and stringent labour laws and that is why we rank very low in the ease of [...]

CSE to do 15 more IPOs this year

Thanks to the ‘valiant’ efforts by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) some 15 Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) are in the pipeline for this year, capital market officials said. This is on the back of three (IPOs) already done so far for the year. WindForce Ltd, listed at the [...]

Tourism industry gears for changing Act

The tourism industry that has been firing guns all around against a proposed new Tourism Act has taken a breather following reassurances from Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga that, they would be heard. Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) President Tilak Weerasinghe, present at Thursday’s stakeholders meeting with the Minister, told the Business Times [...]

SL – REITs tax proposals to entice property companies

Amendments to the Inland Revenue Act (IRD) on tax incentives to support the newly introduced SL-REITs (Sri Lanka Real Estate Investment Trusts) have already stirred property companies to get on board, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials said. ”The SEC submitted budget proposals and other representations to the Ministry of Finance on SL- REITS and [...]

Heading towards a disaster

Heading towards a disaster

The above title is not mine, but comes from a politician-turned-agriculture scientist who didn’t mince his words when he described – during a TV interview – the irrational decision of the government to ban chemical fertiliser and pesticides. It’s once again troubled times for Sri Lanka’s agriculture, as the decision by the government was without [...]

Fishing in troubled waters

Fishing in troubled waters

Gamini has a business; his company is engaged in both imports and manufacturing. He is a close friend of mine too; when it comes to “government support” for business, he and I are in two different ideological positions and, I must tell you why. I look at it from an “overall economic point of view”, [...]

Western Region Megapolis project faces mega obstacles

Sri Lanka’s ambitious US$40 billion Western Region Megapolis Planning Project (WRMPP) launched by the previous regime with the aim of re-developing the Colombo City and suburbs is now facing major obstacles in realising its 15-year vision, an official progress review report has revealed. This project comprising 150 smaller projects will be revised in accordance with [...]

JAT presents gender-balanced Board of Directors

JAT presents gender-balanced Board of Directors

JAT Holdings, a mover and shaker in Sri Lanka’s wood coatings sector, recently announced a gender balanced leadership, inclusive of three women of distinction who have been appointed to its high-powered Board of Directors. In a media release, the company said Dr. Siva Selliah, (Chairman, JAT) and Aelian Gunawardene, (Managing Director, JAT) have acknowledged the [...]

Cargills, Unilever team up to help reduce plastic waste

Two leading corporates — Cargills and Unilever Sri Lanka –, recognising the need for a holistic solution to tackle the growing concern on managing plastic waste in the country, have joined to establish a sustainable plastic waste management system across nine Cargills Food City outlets in Colombo. Utilising the diverse network of resources and expertise [...]

People’s Insurance PLC offers most comprehensive medical insurance cover

People’s Insurance PLC, in an unprecedented effort to enhance its product offerings to customers across Sri Lanka, recently announced its plans to diversify into the health insurance space of the country. “This strategic move to establish its presence as a health insurance provider builds on the well-established public image of People’s Insurance as the insurer [...]

NDBIB advises Sunshine Energy on hydropower asset sale

NDB Investment Bank (NDBIB) continues to lead and facilitate strategic Mergers and Acquisition (M and A) transactions in Sri Lanka this year as well with the recently concluded divestiture of the hydropower assets of Sunshine Energy (Pvt) Ltd (SEL) to Aitken Spence PLC. NDBIB acted as the exclusive sell side advisor to the divesting shareholders [...]

SriLankan losses at Rs.30.9 bn in Apr. 2020- Jan. 2021:CB

SriLankan losses at Rs.30.9 bn in Apr. 2020- Jan. 2021:CB

SriLankan Airlines (SLA) incurred an operating loss of Rs. 30.9 billion in the period April 2020 to January 2021 due to the travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in comparison to the Rs. 13.9 billion loss recorded during the period April 2019 to January 2020, which also included the impact of the [...]

State lands information and management system crumbles

Sri Lanka’s state lands information and management system is crumbling at present after spending Rs.129.89 million since 2013, due to inefficiency of official administration and irregularities during the periods of successive governments, a recent Auditor General’s report revealed. The present government is also continuing the handing over of state-owned land for multinational and private companies [...]

Over 20 European, Sri Lankan incubators/accelerators join EU-SLIP network

Over 20 European and Sri Lankan incubators/accelerators have joined the EU-SLIP network, with eight ongoing EU-Sri Lankan incubator partnerships. The EU-Sri Lanka Innovation Partnership (EU-SLIP) initiative has been fostering innovation cooperation between Europe and Sri Lanka since 2020 with the ambition of reaching out to other countries in South Asia. The initiative has brought together [...]

DFCC Bank reports sound performance and growth

DFCC Bank reports sound performance and growth

DFCC Bank, against a backdrop of an extremely challenging environment and in supporting the efforts by the Government to uplift and stabilise the economy, concluded the quarter ended March 31, 2021 with a sound performance and growth. The DFCC Group comprises DFCC Bank PLC (DFCC), and its subsidiaries – Lanka Industrial Estates Ltd (LINDEL), DFCC [...]

Helitours transformation into a state-owned company runs into a storm

Helitours (Pvt) Ltd, a domestic airline managed by the Sri Lanka Air Force, is to be transformed to a state-owned company to streamline its operations and minimise its losses, official sources said. The carrier’s current network of “civil passenger transportation in military aircraft” flights covers services from Ratmalana to Jaffna via Trincomalee-China Bay and Batticaloa [...]

Inorganic fertiliser, agrochemicals ban and fallacies of organic agriculture

Inorganic fertiliser, agrochemicals ban  and fallacies of organic agriculture

To applause from the audience that comprised high officials, the President determinedly declared that import of inorganic fertilisers will be “banned” in the near future to “protect” Sri Lankans from the adverse effects of such chemicals on the “health” of the larger population. That was on April 22. The Cabinet approved the proposal of the [...]

Angel Fund to invest in 2 start-ups

On the back of investing in Niftron, a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that aims to make blockchain simpler and more affordable for businesses at all levels and industries, the Angel Fund, an initiative of the Lankan Angel Network (LAN) has identified two more start-ups to put money in. “We identified a company in the Fintech space [...]

TRACE Uva Chapter was launched recently

TRACE Uva Chapter  was launched recently

The first-ever regional chapter of TRACE (Technologically Re-Awakening the Culture of Excellence), the founding and governing body of the TRACE Expert City Maradana, was launched in Uva Province recently at the Bandarawela Hotel. The Uva chapter launch took place as the TRACE team has decided to establish its first-ever regional facility in Uva Province to [...]

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