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Hotel workers protest

Hotel workers protest

Distressed hotel industry workers urging the government to provide them relief and a moratorium on their bank loans among other demands during a demonstration this week in Aluthgama, a popular seaside resort town. (See connected story on this Page). Pic by Tusitha Kumara de Silva  

Govt. to relax some import restrictions

The government is to ease import restrictions on several product categories required to manufacture value-added and export-based products for the export market while retaining the ban on vehicle and non-essential imports, according to a high-level decision. Necessary guidelines have been issued and the Central Bank should facilitate the import of essential commodities like fuel, food [...]

Sri Lanka’s forex crisis squeezes banks

Banks are grappling with a situation of ‘whom to serve’ with importers breathing down their necks, foreign investors in the stock market demanding to take their money out and parents rushing to get additional approval to send cash to their children studying abroad. The forex crisis is building up with no foreseeable solution, rendering them [...]

Hotel workers struggle to live

Sri Lanka’s hotel workers are struggling to survive as they have been thrown into a pitiful state with a meagre salary and no extra payments to sustain them as the pandemic continues. With rising cost of loans, absence of service charges and tips, and no extra jobs to sustain their livelihoods, hotel workers are urging [...]

Basil –an early riser

With Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa becoming an early riser, the ministry has been re-energised with all staff members urged to carry out their responsibilities diligently working from office or home using digital facilities, officials said. The minister has set an example to officials on the importance of productivity and making maximum use of working hours [...]

Spa Ceylon expands on wellness drive

Few consumer goods industries have experienced the type of explosive growth like Spa Ceylon which is aggressively embracing its global expansion, counting 105 branded stores and shop-in-shop outlets in Europe, Asia, and Africa while plans are on to branch out to the US in two years. “We have noticed that all over the world people [...]

Kotelawala Uni gets over Rs.36 bn from BOC, NSB

Two state banks, the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) and the National Savings Bank (NSB) were recently directed by the authorities to pump Rs.36. 54 billion to the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University under a Treasury guarantee, a Finance Ministry report revealed. The move will risk the government’s contingency liability as the ability of the Kotelawala [...]

Daunting challenges

Daunting challenges

As I watched from my home-office window, Aldoris, the choon-paan karaya in his modified tuk-tuk accompanied by his unmistakable tune, driving down the lane, I reflected on a number of developments that garnered the government’s attention this week. Adding to the new developments are the persistently ‘ongoing’ ones like protests by farmers across the country [...]

Prospering in a crisis

Prospering in a crisis

There are some nations – I believe, they are a few in the world -, which consolidate their positions in the midst of the crisis in order to prosper when the time is right. At the same time, many seem to have taken the crises as unavoidable stages of the world economy so that it’s [...]

New SEC Act to end vagueness, boost regulation

The proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act will tackle the ambiguities of the existing law while introducing key features for capital market development apart from enhancing regulation. Viraj Dayaratna, SEC Chairman told the Business Times recently that ‘all’ the market offences have been defined in the Act and the conduct that would amount to [...]

MarCom Collective urges clients to temporarily suspend calling for pitches, competitive bids

The MarCom Collective, on behalf of the marketing communication industry, has appealed to clients to refrain from calling for pitches and competitive quotations with concepts and to continue to work with their existing partners until the current situation eases for all. The proposed timeframe is 18 months, commencing from July 1, the Collective said in [...]

Four-lane elevated expressway more costlier than the LRT

The ongoing construction of a four-lane elevated expressway connecting the Athurugiriya interchange and Kelani Bridge is more costlier when compared to the Japanese funded Light Railway Transport (LRT) project scrapped by the government citing the reason as financial constraints, according to Treasury sources. China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), which is already carrying out several mega [...]

Hayleys Fabric installs Sri Lanka’s largest solar roof

Hayleys Fabric installs  Sri Lanka’s largest solar roof

Leading textile manufacturer, Hayleys Fabric has further reduced its carbon footprint by 15 percent with the installation of the largest private sector rooftop solar power system in Sri Lanka, contributing 6,241,500kWh of power per annum to the National Grid. Installed by sister company Hayleys Fentons, the rooftop solar project was set up at Hayleys Fabric’s [...]

SDB bank issues 10% shares to Belgian investor

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) has agreed with SDB bank to take up a 10 percent share of the bank, amounting to Rs. 925 million at Rs. 51.50 a share, via SDB bank’s Secondary Public Offering (SPO). The agreement was made on July 9 and is a milestone achievement for BIO and [...]

Five local Green Energy Innovators in Green Energy Champion Accelerator 2021

The Green Energy Champion Accelerator 2021 has kicked off with five green energy-based businesses, which have been selected to develop their business ideas and prospects for local and international partnerships in the Green Energy ecosystem, the organisers said in a media release. The 6-month long accelerator programme will provide intense and immersive training and mentoring [...]

Sri Lanka rejects Moody’s plans of a possible rating downgrade

The Sri Lankan Government has rejected plans by rating agency Moody’s to place ‘under review for a downgrade’ the Government of Sri Lanka’s Caa1 foreign currency long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings. The Caa1 rating is judged to be of poor standing and is subject to very high credit risk. Expressing surprise at the [...]

ComBank partners UoM to support academic research

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has come forward to provide a stimulus for academic research in Sri Lanka via a ground-breaking collaboration with the University of Moratuwa (UoM), the country’s leading provider of technological higher education. Sri Lanka’s largest private bank has announced it is partnering with the university to offer education loans with preferential [...]

Laugfs grapples with LPG imports amidst dollar constraint

Liquid Petroleum Gas supply of Laugfs Gas Plc has come to a standstill countrywide as the company is facing difficulties in opening Letters of Credit at relevant banks due to the current dollar shortage, Laugfs Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya said. Mr. Wegapitiya told the Business Times that the company has not taken any decision to halt [...]

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