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Rising gold-backed loans elevate risks for Sri Lankan finance companies: Fitch

Nov 20 (AD) Rising gold-backed lending among SL’s finance and leasing companies (FLC) sector is exposing financiers to higher collateral price risk and making them more susceptible to any adverse movements in gold prices, says Fitch Ratings. SL FLCs have grown gold-backed loans rapidly in the past several years amid shrinking demand for their core vehicle-financing business. Gold-backed loan balances more than quadrupled between the financial year ending March 2019 more..

රනිල්ගේ අයවැය කුඩුපට්ටම් කරන...

CID arrests Medical Supplies Division Director

Nov 20 (DM) Director of the Medical Supplies Division of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kapila Wickramanayaka and three others were arrested by the CID over the Immunoglobulin import case. Besides Dr. Kapila Wickramanayaka, Niran Dhananjaya (Accountant - Supplies), Assistant Director Shanthi Solomon, and Pharmacist Sujith Kumara are among those arrested. They have been arrested over the alleged involvement in importing substandard Immunoglobulin injections using more..

Sri Lanka will import keeri samba if shortages persist: Minister

Nov 20 (EN) Consumer affairs authority (CAA) will take “necessary action” about the shortages of keeri samba in the market, minister Nalin Fernando said. Complaints that keeri samba, a premium domestic rice, had disappeared from supermarket shelves have been circulating for months. Fernando accused rice mill owners of not releasing rice stocks to the market. “There is an issue with keeri samba. For about a month and a half keeri samba has not been issued to the market. more..

National Budget 2024: Proposals presented without feasibility study: Bakeer Markar

Nov 20 (FT) SJB MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar tabled a report which appeared on the Daily FT, titled Dr. Sharmini Coorey responds to Port City Economic Commission in Parliament as evidence that decisions made without proper study or scientific analysis have resulted in a substantial loss of the nation’s income. Joining the debate on the second reading of the Budget over the weekend, Bakeer Markar noted that more..

Sri Lanka must use court verdict to recover stolen assets: CBK

Nov 20 (EN) The govt must use a recent Supreme Court verdict on SL’s economic crisis to recover “stolen assets” and redistribute them among the public, former president Chandrika Kumaratunga said. She said the Supreme Court’s verdict on who was responsible for bankruting Sri Lanka was a rare and special one. “The only question I have is, there are many other people connected to it who have not been named. But this is a very rare ruling in this country, and it is a great one,” she said. more..

Petition against SLC interim committee recalled on Wednesday

Nov 20 (AD) Court of Appeal has decided to take up for further consideration the petition against the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee, on Wednesday (22). Accordingly, the President’s Counsel who appeared on behalf of the Minister of Sports Roshan Ranasinghe before the court mentioned that no future actions will be taken regarding the gazette notification issued by the minister until the next court date. The relevant petition was taken up before new panel more..

Sri Lanka budget deficit illegal, fiscal rules should be relaxed: Harsha

Nov 20 (EN) SL’s budget deficit for 2024 of 7.6% of gross domestic product violates a fiscal management responsibility law, and the law should be amended for the year to make it legal chairman of the parliament’s Public Finance Panel Harsha de Silva said. The deficit is 9.1% of GDP with bank bailout costs. “This is against the Fiscal Management Responsibility A “which states we have to maintain the budget deficit at 5%,” de Silva said. more..

High density cultivation system to increase tea yield by five times: Minister

Nov 20 (EN) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority to promote a high-density tea cultivation system and use of new technology to increase yields. “Maximum yields and high-quality tea can be obtained from a minimum amount of land through this system,” Amaraweera said when he visited a 7.5 acre Velipenna, Peragaswatte tea estate which utilizes this system, according to a statement issued by the govet information department. more..

CBSL announces new composition of Governing Board, Monetary Policy Board

Nov 20 (FT) Central Bank on Friday announced new composition of the Governing Board and the Monetary Policy Board. In terms of the provisions of the Central Bank Act, No. 16 of 2023, the Governing. Board of CBSL has been established as the body responsible for overseeing the administration and management of the affairs of CBSL and determination of the general policies of CBSL. In terms of the law, the appointed members of the previously existing Monetary Board of more..

රටට හෙටක් නවතම මත විමසුමේ...

National Security: MoD responds accordingly on allegations of LTTE video

Nov 20 (TM) The Ministry of Defence will respond appropriately to alleged preparations to release an artificial intelligence (AI)-generated video aimed at indicating that the slain leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Velupillai Prabhakaran's daughter Dwaraka is still alive, it is learnt. It was recently reported by the media that an AI-generated video clip was being prepared in order to be circulated on 27 Nov, indicating that Dwaraka was still alive. more..

Speaker names Members to serve in the Legislative Standing Committees

Nov 20 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella questioned in Parliament on Saturday the real motive of bringing in new election laws at a time when the elections have been put off indefinitely in the country. He raised this question soon after Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced to the House names of co-opted members for the consideration of the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) and Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Bills. more..

Govt revenue surges by 43.5%, yet expanding budget deficit spurs VAT hike

Nov 20 (DM) The govt's revenue in the first eight months saw a robust 43.5% increase, but the budget deficit continued to stretch higher, forcing the govt to double down on the revenue based fiscal consolidation path it subscribed to with the IMF by raising the VAT from next year. IMF among other things cited the limited progress on the revenue front for holding back the release of the second programme tranche when more..

Govt revenue surges by 43.5%, yet expanding budget deficit spurs VAT hike

Nov 20 (DM) The govt's revenue in the first eight months saw a robust 43.5% increase, but the budget deficit continued to stretch higher, forcing the of more..

Deloitte bullish about SL's growth prospects

Nov 20 (FT) Global consulting giant Deloitte is bullish about SL’s growth prospects and is committed to make significant investments. This optimism was shared by Deloitte South Asia CEO Romal Shetty ahead of his visit to SL today. “We are bullish about the growth prospects of the country. We see the SL Govt embarking on a bold reformation agenda, and the private sector too is gearing up for growth. We want to be a positive force to support this process from both more..

Video: ’Will resign if allegations proven’: COPE Chairman

Nov 20 (DM) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and Chairman of the COPE Prof. Ranjith Bandara engaged in a heated argument in Parliament during which fresh allegations were hurled against each other. Hurling a fresh allegation against the COPE chief, Premadasa said the Colombo Business School owned by Professor Bandara has been preparing corporate plans for the state enterprises which are summoned more..

Cabinet takes decision to fix sugar shortage after control price

Nov 20 (AD) Cabinet of Ministers has decided for the stocks of sugar which were imported when the import tax was 25 cents to be taken over by the govt and sell them through Lanka Sathosa and other supermarkets at a controlled price. He said that the sugar stocks in question will be taken over by the govt and provided to Lanka Sathosa and other supermarkets as well as selected cooperatives to be sold at the controlled price of Rs. 275 per kilogram throughout a period of one month. more..

40-litre fuel subsidy for farmers whose crops were damaged in Yala season

Nov 20 (DM) Agriculture Ministry has decided to provide 40 litres of diesel as subsidy per hectare free of charge for each farmer whose crops were damaged during the last Yala season. The vouchers for farmers to obtain the fuel were distributed yesterday at an event with the participation of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera during a programme in Agunakolapalassa. "This fuel subsidy is available to all farmers who suffered crop losses in the Walawe zone, Hambantota and Kurunegala more..

රාජපක්ෂලාගේ උවමනාවට කර්නල්...

Wither revenue targets!

Nov 21 (DM) Against the backdrop of the govt’s plans to increase the VAT from 15% to 18% from January next year in order to meet the revenue target set by the IMF under its bailout package for Sri Lanka, the Daily Mirror yesterday reported that the number of VAT files registered is found to be way below the actual figure. No doubt, this denies substantial revenue collected from end consumers of goods and services to the state coffers. The COPA Chairman State Minister more..

Making sense of RAMIS mess

Nov 21 (CT) Problems once again have been brought to light about the Inland Revenue Department’s (IRD) Revenue Administration Management Information System or RAMIS which is designed to maintain databases and oversee the country’s tax network. Currently, the Govt is in discussions on utilising RAMIS to enhance the existing tax network in the country, but a senior official from the IRD noted two main challenges, that prevent them from using the system more..

‘Budget has drawn mixed responses’

Nov 21 (TM) Budget 2024 presented by President and Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilisation, and National Policies Ranil Wickremesinghe has been termed a fairy tale with promises of revenue that lack grounding in reality, by Verité Research Executive Director Dr. Nishan de Mel. Admittedly, it is a challenging time when a balancing act is required in keeping the masses happy on the one hand and more..

The slow train of SOE reforms

Nov 21 (TM) Sri Lanka has attempted to reform the state sector many times before, with little success. On many such occasions, the lack of political will played a key role in deciding if the reforms agenda was limited to speeches and ministerial discussions or if it was going anywhere. Today, after a long period of political turmoil, economic crisis and in the face of bankruptcy, Govt seems to have found a measure of political will to effect change. This was reflected in the Cabinet of Ministers more..

FAO’s vision for a sustainable future in SL’s fisheries and aquaculture sector

Nov 21 (DM) On this World Fisheries Day, we reflect on the intricate web that connects the oceans to our lives and livelihoods. SL’s fishing industry stands as a testament to the nation’s cultural richness and economic vitality. It is in this context that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) collaborates with the Ministry of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, National Aquaculture Development Authority, National Aquatic Resources Research & Development Agency more..

Govt’s Allocation to Hingurakgoda Airport Comes Amid Aviation Crisis

Nov 21 (CT) Govt’s decision to allocate Rs 2 billion for preliminary construction at the Hingurakgoda Airport in Eastern SL has drawn attention, sparking debates amidst existing aviation challenges at Mattala, Batticaloa, and Jaffna airports as well as the BIA second phase construction that has come to a standstill due to the Japanese pullout from the project following the economic crisis. Over the airport infrastructure, feasibility studies more..

Editorial: Bloodsuckers!

Nov 21 (Island) Has the govt begun to realise the futility of defending the indefensible? It has chosen to heed strident calls being made for action against the corrupt who are enriching themselves by endangering the lives of patients and causing enormous losses to the state coffers. After weeks of dilly-dallying, CID has arrested four health officials for the procurement of a stock of substandard intravenous human immunoglobulin (IVIG) and misappropriating a huge amount of public more..

SL’s Journey on Universal Children’s Day

Nov 21 (GV) Universal Children’s Day is an important global event that focuses on the rights and welfare of children worldwide. It is celebrated on the 20th of November in commemoration of two significant milestones in the history of children’s rights. On Nov 20, 1959, the General Assembly approved the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which established the importance of protecting and promoting children’s rights on a global scale. Then, on this day in 1989, more..

වෙන නමකින් අරක්කු පෙරන ජොනී

A court rightly affronted by SL’s monkeys who see no evil, do no evil, hear no evil

Nov 21 (ST) A ringing reminder by the Supreme Court this week holding three Rajapaksas (two former Presidents and a Minister of Finance) along with their economic tsars and a politically driven Monetary Board responsible for SL’s calamitous bankruptcy, was that the Rule of Law is not only rights and equality….(it) is also about functionality and efficiency for (the) sustainable economic development of the nation and all of its people. That awful pronouncement must surely make more..

Asil to take part at IBA Junior Boxing Championship

Nov 21 (DN) Asil Murajudeen, the 16-year-old gold medalist from Zahira College in the All Island School Games, is set to begin his first international boxing venture. Asil, a consistent champion in the All Island School Games Boxing Tournament for the past two years, will be representing Sri Lanka in the IBA World Junior Boxing Championship. The championship is scheduled to take place in Yerevan, Armenia, from Nov 22 to Dec 4. Asil, who competes in the 60kg weight category, more..

SLT sale suffers signal drop with Mobitel going to courts against Dialog-Airtel merger

Nov 21 (FT) The sale of SLT Mobitel’s majority stake of 50.23% stake has hit a roadblock in view of the State controlled firm’s mobile brand taking the Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) to Court opposing the proposed merger of Dialog and Airtel citing the latter is monopolistic and would seriously jeopardise its viability. Early this month, Finance Ministry issued Request for Qualification (RfQ) from interested parties to more..

Madushanka into ICC Team of Tournament

Nov 21 (DN) Sri Lankan young left arm paceman Dilshan Madushanka is included in the ICC men’s cricket World Cup 2023 Team of the Tournament. Players from five teams have been named in this team while Madushanka is the only team member out of the four semi final teams. Madushanka took 21 wickets and third among the highest wickets takers in this tournament. All-rounder Glenn Maxwell and spinner Adam Zampa are included after helping Australia to a record-extending sixth triumph. more..

A Budget to dismember state universities

Nov 21 (Island) SL is going through its worst economic crisis since the 1930s, and the stabilisation policies of the Government could drastically change the political economic landscape of the country. Amidst these changes underway, education more broadly and the university system in particular, have come under considerable strain. In this column, I analyse the recent Budget Speech and the dangers inherent in it for access to university education for future generations. more..

Harsha de Silva

Team Sri Lanka ready for Bahrain International Badminton Challenge

Nov 21 (Island) A team of nine shuttlers will be in action at the 2023 Bahrain International Challenge which is set to unfold at the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam (BKS) from November 21-26. Organized under the patronage of the Bahrain Badminton and Squash Federation (BBSF), the tournament has earned Level 3 sanctioning from Badminton Asia, the sport’s governing body in the continent. The formidable Sri Lanka contingent for the Bahrain International Challenge includes: more..

‘SL could expect steady inflow of forex once debt restructuring is done’

Nov 21 (Island) Once SL’s debt is restructured a lot of forex would be coming into the country. SL’s economy is doing well compared to last year and although prices are high, the situation is stabilizing, Deputy Head of Mission, embassy of Japan in SL, Katsuki Kotaro said. Kotaro was speaking in the capacity of Chief Guest at the 41st SL Apparel Exporters’ Association AGM held recently. He added that while the crisis is drying out, getting foreign exchange is absolutely crucial for SL. more..

The budget shatters expectations of relief, raises fears of more taxes

Nov 21 (ST) People have expressed mixed reactions to the budget, with some of their expectations of relief on the cost of living shattered as the budget was more focused on strengthening the economy. People, already battered by the economic crisis, expected the govt to reduce prices of essential goods, relax more import limits, and reduce taxes. With fuel, electricity, and cooking gas prices increasing recently, many reacted angrily as more..

Budget 2024 will boost education sector: Prof. Amaratunge

Nov 21 (SO) The education sector was given a major boost through the 2024 Budget and for the first time a prez of the country (Ranil Wickremesinghe) invited foreign universities to set up universities in Sri Lanka. This will be taken very positively by the international university fraternity, said Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Prof. Sampath Amaratunge on the sidelines of the Raigam Tele awards launch. On Thursday, the President told the SL diaspora if more..

Hashan breaks barriers in professional baseball

Nov 21 (DN) Hashan Seneviratne is set to make history as the first Sri Lankan baseball player participating in the prestigious professional Franchise League tournament organized by United Baseball in Dubai. The event is scheduled to take place at the Dubai Int'l Cricket Stadium on Nov 24 and 25. Seneviratne secured a significant contract with United East, marking him as the first Sri Lankan baseball player to achieve such a feat in the Baseball United All-Star League. more..