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Jetwing staff doubles up as farmers

Jetwing staff doubles up as farmers

Staff at the Jetwing hotel in Dambulla has been doubling up as farmers to engage in organic agriculture on nearby fields, a vocation which became more prominent in the absence of tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here a group of hotel staff in one of the fields. Pic by Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa  

US dollar shortage burdens debt-ridden CPC

The debt-ridden Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is heading towards an unprecedented financial crisis due to a dollar shortage in state banks to settle its fuel import payment bills when clearing shipments from the port. The CPC had to face severe difficulties in clearing its recent crude oil shipment which arrived on July 5 at the [...]

Tax breaks, other relief for doing business in Sri Lanka

New entrepreneurs are being encouraged in doing business by offering unprecedented tax breaks and other concessions and introducing financial sector reforms, Finance Ministry sources divulged. As an initial step 50 percent tax concession will be offered for the years 2021/2022 for such companies that are listed before 31 December 2021 and to maintain a corporate [...]

Browns bullish on investments in local, international hotels

LOLC Holdings PLC’s strategic investment arm, Browns Investments through its subsidiary, BI Leisure Holdings is on the lookout for more hotels in Mauritius on the back of acquiring PL Resort Limited (there) and in such similar destinations, senior officials said. The company is also on the acquisition mode for hotels locally, they said. “We are [...]

Flying out becomes a dream for Lankans

Sri Lankans are facing restrictions on travel overseas despite the vaccination drive that is facing roadblocks in countries especially in Europe. While some states continue to impose travel restrictions on countries like Sri Lanka others are also shutting doors on those fully vaccinated with Chinese and Indian vaccines. Past President – Travel Agents Association of [...]

TRC on a mission to eliminate cybercrime

In the light of recent cybercrimes rising at an alarming rate and most recently the sexual trafficking case which left the country dumbfounded has led the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRC) to act swiftly to deal with cybercrimes and criminals. As a first step, the telco regulator is amending the archaic law the authority is currently [...]

Behind-the-scenes SMEs

Behind-the-scenes SMEs

Aldoris, the choon-paan karaya, had come down the lane in his modified tuk-tuk offering his hot-hot breakfast pastries. The trio had purchased some ‘kimbula banis’ at the gate and while Serapina and Mabel Rasthiyadu went to the bench under the margosa tree, Kussi Amma Sera walked into the kitchen, placed the food on a plate [...]

“Triple T” in trouble

“Triple T” in trouble

Textiles, tourism and tea are the most important commodities in our export mix which includes both goods and services. The three sectors alone account for more than half of Sri Lanka’s export income. Hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 19-billion-dollar export income of the country fell by US$6 billion in earnings last year. Despite import [...]

Financial management in ministries under Treasury scrutiny

Financial management in ministries under Treasury scrutiny

Financial functions of 28 ministries and 40 state ministries are to be strictly monitored and supervised by the Finance Ministry under a new management initiative. New Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa has issued a directive to appoint a separate Treasury official entrusted with the task of financial management and supervision with responsibility in accordance with the [...]

Sri Lanka 1H US$ earnings on tea exports up from last year

Customs data analysed by Asia Siyaka Commodities Brokers confirms that during the period January – June 2021 the country earned US$ 650 million; up 13.8 percent on last year’s figure of $571 million. This was achieved on a 10 percent increase of quantity shipped this year which rose to 136.9 million compared with 124.1 million [...]

Govt. and opposition should work together to deal with pandemic

Govt. and opposition should work together to deal with pandemic

Instead of finger-pointing and accusations between the government and the opposition over the manner in which the COVID-19 pandemic was being managed, the pandemic should have brought all political parties on one crisis platform to deal with the situation. This point was addressed by a member of the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) during a [...]

Chemical fertiliser ban: A policy blunder?

Chemical fertiliser ban: A policy blunder?

Are you struggling to come to grips with the chemical fertiliser ban amidst a macroeconomic crisis? If so, you are not alone. We had similar questions about the policy: Whether the ban can solve the Balance of Payment(BOP) crisis; can we go 100 percent organic overnight and ensure food security or can we save dollars [...]

IFC and FCCISL to jointly help Sri Lankan businesses

World Bank’s IFC and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sri Lanka (FCCISL), to help close the gender gap and promote greater work-life balance, particularly at a time of COVID-19 impacts, have launched a new online learning series to strengthen business commitment towards flexible work and family-friendly practices to help employees. Over 40 [...]

Hotels Association commends Govt. on easing health restrictions

The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) has commended the Government for easing health restrictions on incoming passengers from non-travel restricted countries. In a statement the THASL thanked the Minister of Health, the Minister of Tourism, the Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, the Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism and its Director General for their [...]

New ASPI index calculation method to tackle low market liquidity

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will revisit the methodology of calculating the All Share Price Index (ASPI) to determine the possibility of index movements being linked to the public float of listed company constituents of the index to deal with stocks data highly volatile and liquid, officials said. This was precipitated by illiquid LOLC Development [...]

Sri Lanka welcomes Digital Nomads

Sri Lanka was recently recognised as one of the top destinations for Digital Nomads, emerging second in Club Med’s index of the best places and countries around the world to become a Digital Nomad. Club Med collected and assessed data in line with the growing demand for the nomadic lifestyles which enables travellers to escape [...]

EVS introduces Global Study Partners facility for students

Leading visa consultancy agency Expo Visa Services (EVS) recently introduced a highly individualised, innovative, and scalable student recruitment platform called Global Study Partners (GSP) after becoming the first channel partner for GSP in Sri Lanka. The platform provides guidance — from application to enrolment — to prospective students and those wishing to migrate and study [...]

Sri Lanka grapples to settle mounting foreign debt

Sri Lanka is taking a patch work approach to settle upcoming massive foreign debt repayment by using available foreign reserves without a credible debt reduction plan in place, several economic experts say. The Central Bank, left with its own devices, has granted permission to commercial banks and the National Savings Bank (NSB) to purchase international [...]

Mahela and Sanga venture into online grocery retail

Mahela and Sanga venture into online grocery retail

Cricket legends Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara, partners in many business ventures, have come together this time to launch an online grocery retail store – PROVIDORE. The company offers an end-to-end service from order placement to delivery, ensuring the safe storage, handling and delivery of the groceries, guarantees the quality of products by working directly [...]

Virtual event on local arts on Monday July 19

Saskia Fernando Gallery is launching #SupportLocalArt: The Talk Series, a virtual event supported by Nations Trust Private Banking. The first event of “SupportLocalArt Talk: The Patron” will be held on Monday July 19 with a panel comprising Anojie Amerasinghe, Patron and Social Entrepreneur; Ajit Gunawardene, Founding Committee Chair of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary [...]

JAT Holdings displays outstanding performance, recording the best Q1 in company history

JAT Holdings displays  outstanding performance, recording the best Q1 in company history

JAT Holdings, amidst adverse economic conditions, compounded by a month-long island-wide lockdown, has reported a commendable performance in Q1 of FY22 (April-June) with record revenue of Rs. 1.4 billion against Rs.485 million in Q1 FY21 and Rs. 1 billion in FY20, in the aftermath of the Easter Attacks and the pandemic. Consolidated Profit After Tax [...]

Dubai Global Home offers opportunities for Sri Lankans in the UAE

Dubai Global Home (DGH), a global business initiative providing opportunities to set up businesses, travel, holidays, shopping, investments, education, healthcare, jobs, living and migration in Dubai, UAE, has been launched for prospective global citizens in Sri Lanka. The initiative is an innovative approach to delivering detailed information, consulting, representation, and support services for many opportunities [...]

Awareness workshop on SL’s biomedical device development

As Sri Lanka grapples with the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, a fundamental issue has once again re-emerged. The pandemic has manifested how as a developing nation, Sri Lankans are at the mercy of foreign aid and wealthier nations, to provide vaccines, oxygen concentrators, COVID response equipment and High Dependency Unit equipment. Thus, [...]

Fully vaccinated tourists allowed quarantine-free entry

As Sri Lanka paves the way to restart tourism, fully vaccinated international travellers who have received the second dose of the vaccine 14 days prior to arrival will now be allowed to enter the country without undergoing quarantine, Sri Lanka Tourism said in a statement this week. While several restrictions remain for unvaccinated or partially [...]

Future of Ceylon Tea in grave crisis

Future of Ceylon Tea in grave crisis

Sri Lanka’s tea industry gravely hit by the ban on fertiliser is further impacted by a slide in prices and smallholders fear imported organic fertiliser will kill the plant that has been the primary sustenance of Sri Lanka’s economy. Tea prices have sliding this year since March when it reached a peak of Rs.656.72 and [...]

Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi together with LOLC unveils Buddha statue in Kenya

Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi  together with LOLC   unveils Buddha statue in Kenya

The Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya has installed a statue of Lord Gautama Buddha outside the premises of the Chancery building. The statue was ceremonially unveiled by the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Nairobi, Veluppillai Kananathan together with LOLC’s Deputy Chairman, Ishara Nanayakkara. The statue was unveiled amidst the presence of members of [...]

Ensure job security at National Holiday Resorts

Joint trade unions at the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) have requested the authorities to ensure job security of the workers at the National Holiday Resorts which is being considered to be leased out. While the employees at these holiday resorts in Bandarawela, Kataragama and Anuradhapura have requested their jobs be secured without claiming [...]

Avanthi Colombage, new Visa Country Manager for Sri Lanka/Maldives

Avanthi Colombage, new Visa Country Manager for Sri Lanka/Maldives

Visa Inc, a world leader in digital payments, has announced the appointment of Avanthi Colombage as Country Manager – Sri Lanka and Maldives for Visa. Ms. Colombage, who replaces Anthony Watson, will head the operations of the company in the two markets from Colombo and be a part of Visa’s leadership team in the region, [...]

CEAT expands radial tyre production to 600,000 units a year

CEAT Kelani Holdings has announced a production increase of 84,000 radial tyres per year for passenger cars and vans, in its second expansion in this segment within the past four months. The expansion will see Sri Lanka’s top tyre brand take annual radial tyre production to 600,000 – an increase of 16 per cent over [...]

Event managers urge authorities to allow increased numbers at corporate events

The Event Management Association (EMA) of Sri Lanka this week made a fervent plea to the government to consider their proposals including increasing the numbers at corporate events to 150 (which has been allowed for weddings) in the COVID-19 pandemic situation, otherwise many of their members would have to close down, losing jobs for many [...]

Timeless learnings

It has been a decade since I left an organisation which had a profound effect on my career. In June 2011, I walked out of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) for the last time as an employee of ICTA. As I reflect on the time I spent at ICTA a decade later, I [...]

Brandix joins Sri Lanka’s Olympic squad as a sponsor

Brandix joins Sri Lanka’s Olympic squad as a sponsor

Brandix Apparel Limited, a leading apparel manufacturer in Sri Lanka, has committed its support for the Sri Lanka Olympic Team as a Presenting Partner for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Rajiv Malalasekera, Chief Executive Officer – Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited symbolically presented the sponsorship cheque to Suresh Subramaniam, President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri [...]

Cinnamon Grand Hotel hosts Sri Lankan Olympic contingent

Cinnamon Grand Hotel hosts  Sri Lankan Olympic contingent

Cinnamon Life, as a way of appreciating Sri Lanka’s Olympic team for representing the country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, is hosting the contingent at Cinnamon Grand Colombo from July 8 to 26. Cinnamon Life, which is Sri Lanka’s first ever integrated resort is hosting the entire contingent on full board complimentary basis, in [...]

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