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Food crisis

The Sunday Times Business Club recently organised a discussion on the food crisis (See story on Page 4). Pix by M.A. Pushpa Kumara    

Casinos owe huge sums in taxes to the IRD

Casinos owe huge sums in taxes to the IRD

Starved for tax revenue, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is going after tax evaders owing billions of rupees to the state with casinos backed by two of Sri Lanka’s most powerful and influential businessmen, being among the evaders. According to the evader’s list compiled by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Bally’s Casino Colombo owned by [...]

Larger firms swallow smaller ones

Sri Lanka’s soaring inflation has set the foundation for larger firms to be ruthless in wiping out their smaller counterparts. “The larger companies that can manage supply chains better will be ruthless in taking prices higher in this high inflationary environment,” said Mahendra Jayasekara, Managing Director Lanka Tiles PLC and Lanka Walltiles PLC. Another manufacturing [...]

Corporates’: Show proof of spending taxes

The Treasury reimposing 2019 taxes is all good, but companies are demanding to see where their hard-earned money goes as they only too well are aware of how wasteful state expenditure can be. “We all agree that the government revenue has to increase but we need to have the right to scrutinise the activities of [...]

Govt. mulls JVs for Mattala/Ratmalana airports

The Government is seriously considering the possibility of forming joint ventures for Mattala and Ratmalana international airports separately due to heavy losses in revenue, dwindling traffic and a passenger slump in the present social unrest and economic crises. Both these airports are not generating income even to meet the operating expenses including the payment of [...]

Glyphosate ban to be reversed?

Agriculture sector authorities are currently working on reversing a ban on Glyphosate following a request from the Plantation Ministry. Agriculture Department Director General Dr. Ajantha De Silva said that they have already submitted a technical paper to a Parliamentary sub-committee in a bid to commence the process of reversing a ban on the much needed [...]

Under-taxing and over-spending

Under-taxing and over-spending

Last Sunday I had to chair a webinar on ‘Tax Reforms for Economic Recovery in Sri Lanka’. While R.H.S. Samarathunga, former Secretary to the Ministry of Finance spoke on the taxation problem of Sri Lanka from a macroeconomic perspective, Murtaza Jafferjee, CEO of JB Securities Ltd. presented its microeconomic anomalies from a business perspective. Coincidently, [...]

Gasping for breath

Gasping for breath

The above words were exactly how ‘Nana’ Mohideen, the jolly trader from Moneragala, described the plight of Sri Lankans today. He had arrived in Colombo and gave me a call to catch up on what he may have been missing these past few months. “Sri Lankans are having a hard time, noh!” he said. “Very [...]

Shipping agents want port charges in dlrs deferred

Sri Lanka’s shipping industry has opposed the latest move by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to impose dollar payments for port charges from June 1. As a result the authorities have been compelled to defer it by one month with the new date being July 1. SLPA wants shipping lines to pay stevedoring and [...]

People’s Bank says recovery of NPAs a priority

The People’s Bank said this week that it considers recovery of Non-Performing Assets (NPA), which have accumulated over two decades, as a matter of utmost priority. The bank was responding to reports during a recent Parliamentary committee meeting which spoke of the large amount of NPAs at this state bank. It said NPAs are loans [...]

Shortage of rice forecast after Oct. 2022

Shortage of rice forecast after Oct. 2022

From October this year Sri Lanka won’t have sufficient rice for local consumption due to a shortfall in rice production, according to Professor Buddhi Marambe Senior Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya. One of Sri Lanka’s foremost agriculture experts, he was speaking on the food crisis at a recent meeting organised by the Sunday [...]

Need to privatise state-owned enterprises

Need to privatise state-owned enterprises

As predicted in my previous articles, inflation will continue to skyrocket under supply constraints and negative real interest rates. The current interest rates set by the Central Bank are too low to curb the demand. Given the severity of the current situation, the government has to initially focus on securing funds from the International Monetary [...]

Sri Lanka achieves self-sufficiency in peanuts in 2021

Sri Lanka achieves self-sufficiency in peanuts in 2021

Peanuts cultivated as a food crop in the country have recorded a high yield doubling the local demand with the largest harvest of all time, Agriculture Department sources divulged. Sri Lanka has achieved self-sufficiency in the production of peanuts with a record harvest of 64,000 metric tons doubling the country’s annual demand of 30,000 metric [...]

Sunshine Holdings reports strong results for FY22

Sunshine Holdings PLC has reported strong growth in top and bottom-line performances for the year ended 31st March 2022 (FY21/22). During this year, the group posted consolidated revenue of Rs. 32.2 billion, up by 32.2 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY). Group’s Profit After Tax (PAT) also increased by 96.9 per cent to Rs. 5 billion, compared [...]

Digitalisation can add momentum for economic rebound

The Sri Lankan economy is deteriorating continuously, nor, recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth will further ease in coming years, and inflation will accelerate, according to our latest economic projections in May. These outcomes are not only due to the external shocks such as the pandemic, and the ongoing war in Ukraine, but also due [...]

Local firms resort to barter system following fuel shortage

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sri Lankan companies are at wits end to make things work and continue their businesses. So much so that some of them have resorted to barter systems when settling suppliers. Fuel shortages and fuel price increases are seeing entire supply chains of business being disrupted, businesses say. “Now we [...]

SL’s food inflation at over 57 % last month

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100)1 increased to 39.1 per cent in May 2022 from 29.8 per cent in April 2022. This increase in Y-o-Y inflation was driven by the monthly increases of both Food and Non-Food categories, the Central Bank said in a [...]

Highest ever profit of Rs.14.2 bln for 2021/2022 at Aitken Spence

Diversified blue-chip Aitken Spence PLC has reported a profit before tax of Rs. 14.2 billion for the 12 months ending 31st March 2022 compared to the loss reported before tax of Rs. 2.8 billion last year, in a huge change of fortunes. This performance was driven by the group’s diverse presence in eight countries spanning [...]

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