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Shift to kerosene due to mounting LPG costs

Shift to kerosene due to mounting LPG costs

Some consumers seem to be shifting to the use of kerosene cookers to overcome the high cost of LPG. In a picture taken by Akila Jayawardana, this vendor is seen in Pettah selling kerosene cookers.

$2.5 b controversial deal in the pipeline for CPC funding

The debt-ridden Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will fall into a liquidity trap due to its quest for foreign funds from local agents of international private lenders to settle its fuel bill and debt servicing for bank borrowings despite Treasury support to secure those funds locally, informed sources said, The Treasury had given a sovereign guarantee [...]

Sri Lanka: Sleeping beauty in tourism

Sri Lanka tourism authorities need to market the destination prior to talking about numbers that only look good as statistics. The 13,547 recorded visitor arrivals last month were mostly Sri Lankan passport holders or Indians on quarantine that cannot be accounted as generating tourism revenue into the country. Sri Lanka’s main competitors are gradually waking [...]

CB directions further dry dollar conversions

Little has improved in Sri Lanka’s forex crisis as many exporters are reluctant to open letters of credit for large transactions, bankers say. “The Central Bank (CB) directions to maintain US dollar conversion rate at Rs. 203 has dried up conversions further,” a banker told the Business Times on Wednesday. He said only Usance or [...]

Fertiliser for tea in 6-8 weeks

Sri Lanka’s tea industry will receive the much needed fertiliser in 6-8 weeks once the government finalises which source will be used to provide the Nitrogen content. Plantations Minister Ramesh Pathirana told the Business Times on Friday that they have not yet finalised the source of the Nitrogen. At present they are considering the options [...]

SEC to monitor stocks related social media activity

Sri Lanka’s capital market regulator is serious about watching/punishing false and misleading social media messages to front-run stocks. So much so that a separate unit looking at what is being said on social media such as Twitter was set up at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently. The recent wild rides at the Colombo [...]

Strapped for cash

Strapped for cash

There was a noisy conversation happening at the gate. The trio was discussing their hobby horse – rising food prices just as Aldoris, the choon- paan karaya, arrived in his tuk-tuk. “Ah den oya giya sumaneta wediya ganan wedi karala neda (Ah… so your prices are higher than last week),” said Kussi Amma Sera. “Monawa [...]

Prodigal son, returned!

Prodigal son, returned!

Apoorva (not her real name) was an employee of Air India and served for 20 years as an air hostess till mid-1990s. Then she bought an expensive apartment in a cosy area in Delhi. A relative asked her: “My gosh, it’s a miracle! How did you buy that apartment?” Her response was that “it is [...]

Central Bank to increase single shareholder limit of banks

Increasing the single shareholder limit of banks is being actively considered by the Central Bank (CB), keeping in line with the 6-month road map for ensuring macroeconomic and financial system stability. “Share ownership rules will be reviewed this year, as stated in the road map, by the new Governor, Nivard Cabraal,” a CB official told [...]

Data Protection Bill to Parliament soon to safeguard personal data

Sri Lanka is set to ensure the protection of personal data aiming to regulate the processing of such information by presenting the Data Protection Bill in parliament soon (probably next month), Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) sources said. With the accelerated digitalisation in public and private sector institutions in the country which depend on personal [...]

Migrant worker remittances grew by 5% in 2020 despite many returnees

Migrant worker remittances grew by 5% in 2020 despite many returnees

While air ticket prices soared beyond the reach of Sri Lankan migrant workers desperate to return in 2020 during the pandemic, an interesting development was that despite large numbers returning, remittances by workers grew by 5 percent in 2020, according to one of the country’s foremost researchers on labour migration. There were many reasons for [...]

Imports substitution: The way forward

Imports substitution: The way forward

I read with interest Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne (SA)’s articles related to export oriented economies, which appeared in the Business Times of September 26 and October 10. As indicated by SA, during 1956-77, the import substitution eras of Sri Lanka, there were shortages of many essential items, and queues at cooperatives shops. Most of the local [...]

Dialog Axiata wins global award for Excellence in AI, Data & Insights

Dialog Axiata PLC has clinched a coveted TM Forum 2021 Excellence Award that recognises outstanding achievements in Digital Transformation across Communications Service Providers (CSPs), Solutions Developers and Innovators globally. Dialog was selected as joint winners alongside the combine of China Unicom & Huawei, in the AI, Data and Insights category, emerging ahead of a shortlist [...]

PB ranked among ‘Top 10 Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka’

People’s Bank, which reaches over 14 customers, was once again featured among the coveted top 10 ‘Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka’ for the 2020/21 financial year, organised by the International Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ICCSL) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Open for both listed and unlisted companies, the annual [...]

NDB introduces first-ever Mobile App for SMEs – NEOS Biz

NDB has introduced yet another first in Sri Lanka, in the form of a new mobile banking platform titled NDB NEOSBiz, specially targeted at SME businesses. NDB NEOSBiz is both an online as well as mobile application and the platform comes with a host of benefits for SMEs enabling them to manage their business transactions [...]

Increasing growth to 5-6% will depend on investment flows to the country

Sri Lanka sees a reshaped recovery on the cards assuming a focused growth to pre-pandemic output level. But the critical challenge is to lift the growth rate to 5-6 percent and to maintain it in the medium term depending on how investments will perform. “But Sri Lanka had little fiscal space to rely on when [...]

Suresh Shah appointed Chairman of

Suresh Shah appointed Chairman of

Suresh K. Shah, formerly Founding CEO/Director of Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC and former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, has been appointed as the Founding Chairman of grocery-tech platform is an online grocery and household products marketplace, carrying daily essentials, fresh produce, meats and seafood, everyday supermarket items, premium imported selections, ready-to-eat [...]

Softlogic launches SL’s first foreign currency insurance solution

Softlogic Life has introduced a new USD savings life insurance solution, ‘Dollar Saver’ that will be offered to Sri Lankans working and living overseas. The company said in a media release that the 2-year savings plan enables Sri Lankans residing overseas to enjoy a 6.5 percent guaranteed annual return on their savings in dollars, while [...]

COPA proposes to amend the Inland Revenue Act to expedite tax collection

Sri Lanka’s tax revenue collection is to be expedited amidst technical and legal issues and certain obstacles in linking state institutions with the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS) of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), official sources said. Measures will be taken to recover arrears in taxes amounting to Rs. 107 billion indicated in the [...]

Central Bank intervenes to tackle importers’ miseries

Sri Lanka‘s dollar shortage is being handled effectively with the intervention of the Central Bank (CB) using new tools introduced in the monetary authority’s six month road map, re-appointed CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal divulged. A large number of food commodity containers including milk food which was struck at the port due to non-payment of [...]

A Facelift for Facebook

A Facelift for Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO – If the testimony of whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook data scientist, before a US Senate subcommittee told us anything, it was that tech companies cannot be relied upon to regulate themselves. And why should they be? It is a basic principle of modern economics that governments mandate the terms of operation [...]

Sri Lanka’s T-20 World Cup jerseys made from recycled plastic waste

Sri Lanka’s T-20 World Cup jerseys made from recycled plastic waste

MAS Holdings has manufactured Sri Lanka’s ICC T-20 World Cup jerseys using fugitive plastics collected from around the island. MAS Active, together with their supply chain partners TRISCHEL Fabric (Pvt) Ltd and Eco Spindles Sri Lanka, leveraged their combined capabilities to transform discarded PET waste into recycled polyester, which is then manufactured into high quality [...]

SLT-MOBITEL Customer Care first in Asia to receive ISO 18295-1:2017

SLT-MOBITEL Mobile has become the first in Asia to receive the international ISO 18295-1:2017 quality standard for its Customer Contact Centre (CCC) operations recently. Additionally, SLT-MOBITEL was also awarded ISO 9001:2015 for demonstrated ability to meet customer, statutory and regulatory standards, the company said in an announcement. Commenting on the recognition, Jean Fernandez, Senior General [...]

IFC issues 1st Sri Lankan Rupee-Denominated Bond

IFC, the World Bank-affiliate, in a major step towards supporting the private sector in Sri Lanka amid a significant economic downturn, has issued its first-ever rupee-denominated bond in the country. The bond – called the ‘Serendib Bond’ – is a significant milestone towards ensuring that the private-sector has access to long-term offshore financing in local [...]

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