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Restaurants reopen

Restaurants reopen

Patrons at a restaurant in Colombo. Health authorities on Monday allowed restaurants to reopen at 25 percent capacity under COVID-19 rules. Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara  

Stage set to launch Special GST

The Government is ready to introduce the Special Goods and Services Tax (SGST) in a major reform of the country’s taxation by enacting the new GST bill in parliament soon after its approval by the Cabinet of Ministers, a senior Treasury official divulged. The new draft bill now being finalised by the Legal Draftsman’s Department [...]

ISB repayment headaches totalling $14 billion stretch until 2030

With the severe foreign exchange crisis the country is facing, the issue of international sovereign bond (ISBs) has come into focus with a combined total of US$14.050 billion being issued since 2011 upto date, Central Bank data shows. While an ISB for $1 billion at 6.25 percent interest was floated in 2011 – and which [...]

Laws to regulate real estate fraud

The Ministry of Justice is conceptualising a set of rules to combat real estate fraud. “We are at the initial stages of drafting these regulations,” Ali Sabry, Minister of Justice told the Business Times recently. The laws will protect unsuspecting investors and those who are prone to being cheated by fraudsters in the real estate [...]

Fertiliser policy worries Ceylon Tea buyers

Sri Lanka’s fertiliser policy has caused a stir among tea buyers eager to find out if stocks will continue to pour in while exporters believe it’s only a matter of time before Sri Lanka could lose markets that generates a total of US$1.2 billion in annual revenue. Exporters hope there might be a change of [...]

Macksons expands manufacturing biz in Bangladesh

Macksons Holdings, a diversified group of fourteen companies is expanding operations in Bangladesh in manufacturing paints, tiles, and in import/ export and trading. “We have joined with a Bangladeshi partner, and we are looking forward to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries to either start a manufacturing facility there or to add [...]

Steadying the ship

Steadying the ship

With travel restrictions ending but social distancing advocated as the new Delta COVID-19 variant caused havoc in many countries, the down-the-lane trio was meeting more frequently. “Basil amathi kenek wuna-ne. Mama kalpana karanne ethuma kochcha avashyada kiyala Rajapaksa aanduwata (Basil became a minister. I wonder how important he is to the Rajapaksa regime),” said Serapina, [...]

Climbing trees to get phone signals

Climbing trees to  get phone signals

One fine afternoon around 3 pm, a 4-wheel cab was seen descending through misty mountains and endless bends along the Haputale – Balangoda road. The passenger, occupying the front-left seat appears to be exhausted by the work which he attended since that early morning; he was L. Jayasinghe, a business consultant working for a private [...]

BIA Terminal-2 project embroiled in irregular deal

BIA Terminal-2 project embroiled in irregular deal

Terminal -2 construction work of the Bandaranaike International Airport Development Project (BIADP) Stage 2 is now facing an obstacle in continuing the work following the rejection of a proposal by the present contractor Taisei Corporation to engage a Chinese sub contractor to carry out construction activities with them. Japan Airport Consultants (JAC) Inc, the project [...]

EU wants more protection for SL workers in FTZs

The European Commission (EC) has highlighted that more action is needed to protect Sri Lankan workers from anti-union discrimination. “The assessment of Sri Lanka in the GSP report of February 2020 covering the period 2018-2019 highlighted that further actions were indeed required to ensure adequate protection from anti-union discrimination,” the EC has stated in a [...]

Dilmah initiates conservation corridor on Endana Estate

Dilmah, in its efforts to foster respect for the environment and encourage harmonious coexistence of man and nature, initiated through Dilmah Conservation, a Nature Corridor on Endana Estate, in the Sabaragamuwa Province. The initiative focuses on the restoration and revitalisation of a habitat, by connecting two isolated forest patches located in the vicinity of the [...]

SLT-MOBITEL’s first 4G Tower under Gamata Sanniwedanaya Project

SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider, has facilitated the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka’s (TRCSL) ‘Gamata Sanniwedanaya’ Project by commissioning its first 4G tower in Panana, Weligepola this week. Oshada Senanayake, Director General – TRCSL, Lalith Seneviratne, Group CEO – SLT-MOBITEL, Chandika Vitharana, Acting CEO – Mobitel (Pvt.) Ltd., members of [...]

CB urges cuts in banks’ ‘unnecessary’ expenses

The Central Bank (CB) has called for information on commercial banks’ expenses deemed as ‘unnecessary’ by them. This follows a CB directive sent last June to commercial banks amidst the pandemic to stop ‘unnecessary’ expenses including marketing budgets and increase in directors’ emoluments. “The details of last and this month’s spend were sent recently,” a [...]

Sri Lanka expedites efforts of mobilising foreign financing

Sri Lanka is now expediting efforts of mobilising foreign financing in infrastructure facilities and strategic development initiatives while giving priority to essential development initiatives according to government’s policy framework document. Arrangements have been made to mobilise foreign financing of US$633.8 million by entering into four agreements with foreign development partners and lending agencies, in the [...]

CB wastes valuable foreign exchange on non-circulating coins

CB wastes valuable foreign exchange on non-circulating coins

The Central Bank (CB) of Sri Lanka issues coins to commemorate special events in Sri Lanka. For the first time in Sri Lanka, the CB has thought it fit to issue a coin to commemorate an event unrelated to Sri Lanka, the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and to make matters more [...]

Home appliances from Hambantota Port Industrial Park in 12 months

Home appliances from Hambantota Port Industrial Park in 12 months

The Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) has moved into top gear to accelerate the progress of its industrial park, combining the latest concept “HIPG Speed” into the port’s “standard operating procedures” (SOP). HIPG with its partner Shenzhen Xinji Group with whom they recently signed an agreement will introduce the “Plug and Play” concept soon and [...]

Vallibel Finance records pre-tax profit of Rs.2.38 bn

Vallibel Finance PLC has demonstrated resilience and industry leadership status in the financial year 2020/21, in a year plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, by recording a Profit before Tax of Rs. 2.3 billion, up by 28.3 percent and Profit after Tax of Rs. 1.7 billion from Rs. 1.2 billion in the previous year. The strong [...]

Kotmale, SL’s largest private sector collector of fresh milk

Kotmale has become one of Sri Lanka’s national dairy brands contributing to the nourishment of the country and strengthening the local dairy farming community. A fully owned subsidiary of leading food company Cargills (Ceylon) PLC, Kotmale is a 100 percent Sri Lankan company and by sourcing fresh milk from over 17,000 local dairy farmers, Kotmale [...]

Janashakthi Life’s Board strengthened by new entrants

Janashakthi Insurance PLC has announced several new appointments to the board including that of former test captain Mahela Jayawardena. The others are Warini De Costa, Annika Senanayake, Dinesh Schaffter and Ravi Liyanage, all with effect from July 5 which are subject to regulatory approval, the company said in a statement. “We are pleased to welcome [...]

Dialog inaugurates first tower under “Gamata Sanniwedanaya” initiative

Dialog Axiata PLC, touted as the widest network in Sri Lanka, recently inaugurated the ‘Gamata Sanniwedanaya’ initiative by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) with a tower in Kachchigala, Ratnapura. Dialog aims to enhance coverage to deep rural communities through 450 additional towers, including TRCSL’s “Gamata Sanniwedanaya” project, in the next six months, [...]

GSP+ concessions withdrawal will mostly affect SMEs

Sri Lanka’s apparel industry wants a shift from the present trade concessions of a specific programme to something more stable like a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) while the risk of the withdrawal of the EU preferential trade pact will mostly impact the SMEs. Brandix Group Finance Director Hasitha Premaratne, said at a webinar on ‘Quick [...]

Reviving tourism in Sri Lanka

Reviving tourism in Sri Lanka

The tourism industry is, by far, the worst affected industry by the COVID-19 pandemic; not just in Sri Lanka, but across the world. In 2018, the last ‘good year’ for tourism, Sri Lanka generated US$4.5 billion as forex earnings, a contribution of 5 percent to the country’s GDP, thanks to 2.3 million foreign arrivals. Taking [...]

CB Governor says working to achieve debt-free country status

Central Bank Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman has predicted a sustained economic recovery towards achieving a GDP growth rate of around 5 percent in 2021 while working towards achieving the status of an ideal debt-free country. “Debt free in the sense is not zero debt but easily manageable debt. Ideals are difficult to achieve,” he said [...]

Katunayake EPZ opens care centre for workers

Workers in the Free Trade Zones are provided with intermediate care centres within the zones with the centre at the Katunayake EPZ opened on Monday with a bed capacity of 425. The Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association (FTZMA) together with the Board of Investment and Crystal Martin Ceylon Pvt Ltd (CMPL) has established an Intermediate [...]

CSE / CHEC exchange initial spade work

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is to seek all regulatory approvals from the relevant authorities – the capital market regulator and the Central Bank – to establish a regionally recognised financial exchange within the country’s borders with the CHEC Port City Colombo, senior officials said. The capital market operator signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) [...]

Fertiliser crisis aggravates due to bureaucratic blunder

Sri Lanka’s farmers are facing enormous difficulties amidst a tug of war between the government and private fertiliser importers over existing stocks of fertiliser. Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has blamed the leading import companies for holding onto their fertiliser stocks imported for the distribution during the Yala harvesting season. He told parliament that these companies [...]

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