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Social Contribution Tax to be a cascading tax

Jul 2 (TM) The proposed Social Security Contribution (SSC) Tax will have a cascading effect through the supply chain, as each party in the chain will be taxed based on their margins. Speaking before the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) on 15 June, Treasury Fiscal Policy Department Director General Kapila Senanayake said that the SSC would have the same tax base as the Nation Building Tax (NBT) was removed under Prez Rajapaksa’s directive in December 2019. more..

'Devale land to be used for cultivation'

Jul 2 (ST) Basnayake Nilame of Maha Vishnu Devale and Aluthnuwara has instructed his Vidanes (devale headmen) that 42,000 acres of land under the devale should be utilised for cultivation. He said that the devale would not require a return on the activity. If any difficulty were to arise, the devale would provide assistance to the cultivators, he said. Basnayake Nilame Mahendra Ratwatte said that though they have 42,000 acres of land around the Central Province, only about 24,000 persons more..

Doubling of Taxi fares in SL’s capital highlights Central Bank conundrum

Jul 2 (BN) The cost of transport in SL’s capital Colombo doubled last month even though most residents were stuck at home due to a severe shortage of fuel, highlighting a crucial dilemma for the central bank. Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe has to decide on July 7 whether to raise borrowing costs after data Thursday showed price pressures breached hyperinflation levels. Higher interest rates could nip a potential cost-spiral and more..

Sri Lanka to get emergency grant aid of USD 3 Mn from Japan

Jul 2 (AD) The Govt of Japan has decided to provide Emergency Grant Aid of USD 3 million through UNICEF and World Food Program (WFP) for the provision of medicine and food in a manner that would directly benefit the Sri Lankan people. In a statement regarding its position on the economic situation in Sri Lanka, the Japanese Embassy in Colombo said, Japan sincerely hopes that this assistance will be of help to overcome the hardship faced by the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Duopoly not providing daily cooking gas need

Jul 2 (ST) Despite assurances of uninterrupted supply by the cooking gas duopoly — state-owned Litro Gas and privately-held Laugfs Gas — thousands of men, women, elderly, and even children are in queues waiting for days demanding cylinders for their homes and small businesses. “Diyaw, diyaw, gas diyaw," is a common chant. About 100,000 gas canisters a day are needed, it has been estimated. There have also been regular protests by Sri Lankans at dealerships and more..

Harsha says no IMF agreement until deal struck with creditors

Jul 2 (TM) The IMF's hands are tied over helping help SL, as it is unable to provide financing until the country comes to an agreement with its creditors, Opposition MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said. He said that even though SL had sought help from the IMF 16 times earlier, about four or five programmes have been abandoned midway. “However, this time it’s different from the other 16 times, as the hands of the IMF are bound; the IMF does not have more..

Young Climate Change makers applications close 15 July

Jul 2 (CT) Applications are now being accepted for the Young Climate Change makers and can be found on the SL Development Journalist Forum’s official website. Enthusiastic individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who are passionate about climate action and advocacy, are analytical, and demonstrate leadership qualities and innovation are strongly encouraged to apply for the programme by 15 July 2022. The US Department of State, in collaboration with SL Development Journalist more..

Daily power cut duration will increase significantly: Ajith

Jul 2 (NR) CEO of the SJB MP Ajith P Perera says the daily power cut duration could likely increase further owing to the diesel shortage in the country. Perera said all citizens must take to the streets to bring about a genuine change. Perera said due to the lack of diesel in the country the duration of power cuts will increase further in the days ahead while the short-sighted actions of the govt will also lead to electricity tariffs increasing by two or threefold. more..

22 නංගි පෙන්නලා අක්ක දෙන තක්කඩි ගේමක්!

Govt owes organic fertiliser producers Rs 20B

Jul 2 (CT) Organic fertiliser producers are currently facing a serious financial strain over the failure of the Govt to pay the sum of Rs 20 billion, which was due to them for the Yala season. They stated the full value of the proposed sum has still not been paid to the producers of organic fertiliser. This was stated by the head of the Environment-Friendly Fertiliser Producers Union, Shammi Kirinde and Secretary, Shaminda Kankanamge. They charged that despite the producers having submitted more..

Govt to offer Rs.7,500 allowance to worst-hit citizens from WB, ADB fund

Jul 2 (DM) In a bid to support the people from the worsening economic crisis that has made it challenging to access food, fuel and gas, the govt yesterday said it is gearing up to provide a fresh round of assistance to those severely impacted. From this month onwards (July), the govt plans to roll out an allowance of Rs.7500 to those hit by the crisis, said Minister Ramesh Pathirana. The allowance will be extended from the funds received from the international donor agencies. more..

Export-Import Department software not maintained

Jul 2 (TM) The software that was developed for the licensing process of the Department of Imports and Exports has not undergone maintenance regularly following its installation, hence resulting in issues. A source from ICTA, who wished to remain anonymous, stated: “Once such a system is provided, the State bodies have to maintain it”, adding that in the usual context, the IT solutions provider is not obliged to perform more..

Postal workers on strike urged to report for work

Jul 22 (AD) If postal workers on strike do not report for work with immediate effect, they will be considered as having vacated their positions, Post Master General says. The postal trade unions will be informed about this in writing today, he added. Due to the prevailing crisis situation in the country, it was decided that all post offices and sub-post offices island-wide will be operative only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On June 26, the postal workers resorted to a trade union action more..

Sri Lanka: Is a new India-centric aid group more viable than others?

Jul 2 (ORF) In the midst of daily reports of eternal scarcity, especially of fuel and medicines and food, SL’s embattled PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s announcement on planning a donor conference with India, China, and Japan has not received the required media space. With his earlier proposal for an IMF-centric aid consortium likely to face hurdles owing to the West’s overbearing approach to human rights issues targeting SL, another India-centric Asia grouping may hold the answer with more..

CPC quizzed why fuel shipment not ordered before July 22 as fuel runs out

Jul 2 (DM) Senior management of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has been quizzed by the Prez and Finance Ministry as to why a fuel shipment has not been ordered before July 22 even after being informed that the funds are ready to be released by the treasury. In a meeting held last week between the Prez, treasury officials and CPC management, CPC was quizzed as to why an order had not been placed for fuel at its earliest more..

Migrant workers hit with higher health certificate costs

Jul 2 (ST) The price of a pre-departure expatriate health certificate required by all prospective migrants to West Asia has shot up from Rs 18,000 to Rs 38,000, prompting cries that the licensed medical clinics were financially exploiting workers. Other costs have also jumped. For instance, the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine that cost between Rs700-900 is now Rs 3,900. “We have repeatedly brought this to the attention of the authorities but there’s no response,” more..

IMF agreement with SL must be contingent on critical reforms: US senate committee

Jul 2 (AD) US Senate Foreign Relations Committee says IMF’s agreement with SL must be contingent on Central Bank independence, strong anti-corruption measures and promotion of the rule of law. “Without these critical reforms, Sri Lanka could suffer further economic mismanagement & uncontrollable debt,” the committee said further in a tweet. The IMF, upon concluding the mission staff’s visit to SL earlier this week, stated that talks with SL authorities made significant progress on more..

Litro gas denies statements regarding salary scale

Jul 2 (DM) Litro Gas Lanka, yesterday denied the statements making rounds on social media, regarding its salary structure. In a statement to the media, it said the company spends less than 2% of its annual turnover on salaries for its less than 200-member staff. “Our team includes experts and professionals with global and local experience in their chosen field of expertise and are not paid state-backed pensions or other tax-free incentives more..

SJB accuses Govt of robbing funds

Jul 2 (CT) SJB accused the Govt of robbing funds even amidst an economic crisis. MP Ashok Abeysinghe said the Govt, by not issuing fuel for three weeks, is preparing the public to get accustomed to the crisis. “Sagala Ratnayake on 29 June stated that a fuel shipment will not arrive in the island until 22 July. Govt is attempting to hand over filling stations to foreign companies and is working towards extending the fuel shortage. Govt is attempting to create such a situation and more..

SL seeks assistance from Kerala in India

Jul 2 (DM) Deputy High Commissioner of SL in Chennai Dr. D. Venkateshwaran has sought assistance from the state government of Kerala to get over the current crisis situation, a statement from his office said. In the meeting with the Chief Minister, held at Kerala Legislative Assembly building, the Deputy High Commissioner stressed the historical cultural bond and bio-geographic similarity between SL and Kerala, while highlighting the assistance given by India to Sri Lanka in hard times. more..

Sri Lanka seeks greater cooperation with India in food processing & dairy sectors

Jul 22 (AD) Sri Lanka and India have agreed to explore further avenues towards greater cooperation in the food processing and dairy sectors. The matter was taken up for discussion when SL’s High Commissioner to India, Milinda Moragoda met with India’s Minister of Food Processing Industries Pashupati Kumar Paras on Friday in New Delhi. The Indian govt led by PM Shri Narendra Modi is always ready to help SL in these difficult times, more..

Spread of flu: 'Nothing unusual, but vulnerable groups must take extra care'

Jul 2 (ST) As influenza continued to show an upward trend across the country, vulnerable people were urged to take extra care to prevent getting the infection. If they do catch the flu, to rest and stay hydrated and also seek medical attention. A special word of caution goes out to expectant mothers and the elderly who are immuno-compromised from Consultant Medical Virologist Dr Jude Jayamaha. Comparing two women, one who is expecting a baby and the other who is not, more..

Counterfeit liquor with fake stickers mushroom in market

Jul 2 (TM) The foolproof liquor sticker system that was recently introduced by the Excise Dept for liquor products to curb mushrooming illicit liquor production is being misused by certain groups to evade taxation, particularly in the northern and eastern areas of the island. Information received from senior liquor industry officials reveals that these liquor products carry a sticker that resembles the authentic foolproof liquor sticker, thereby hoodwinking the seller and the consumers. more..

වෙරළ ඉක්ම ආ සයුර

Can the COPE cope?

Jul 3 (CT) Our endless queues are possibly the most visible representation of SL’s uncontrolled downward spiral. Round the clock, long lines of vehicles waiting for fuel wind along the narrow roads, confounding further the urban disarray which is Colombo. The vehicles are separated; motor cars in one line, heavy diesel vehicles in another, while the three wheelers and motor cycles form a third. These parked vehicles clog the roads completely. It is routine to be waiting for more than 12 hours. more..

Present situation of the North Eastern Tamils

Jul 3 (CT) Someone asked me; How do you view the present situation of the North Eastern Tamils? My response was; Two days ago a woman aged about 30 years was seen fallen on the road close to my residence here in Nallur. An elderly lady saw this and immediately brought it to the notice of my Police Security. Initially those around her including this elderly lady gave water & something to eat to revive her. They brought her to my residence. On inquiring we were told she was married, more..

SLFP MP slams Prez; says he did in 2.5 years what Prabhakaran could not do in 30 years

Jul 3 (CT) SLFP MP Duminda Dissanayake said Prez Rajapaksa achieved something in two and a half years that LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had tried and failed to do in 30 years – ruin the country’s economy. “Velupillai wanted to bring this country’s economy to its knees. That is why he launched attacks in Colombo and committed so many other acts. But we understand now that Prez Rajapaksa did in two and a half years more..

The recovery from the ruin: Rolling back nationalisation

Jul 3 (ST) And so, the country has reached its nadir. PM says it is the worst economic crisis faced by this island nation since the 1869 coffee blight. So then, it is not even the worst since Independence as is commonly said. When the World Food Programme (WFP) launches a mobile phone app appealing to people around the globe to provide a SL child with a meal for 80 US cents, and this country is now being compared to one of those famine-prone states of yesteryear Africa, it speaks for itself. more..

No moratorium means crematorium for tourism industry: Stakeholders

Jul 3 (SO) The tourism industry has the potential to earn around USD 1 billion this year provided policy makers are keen to support the industry and the media plays a pivotal role in conveying positive vibes to the local and global travel and leisure community, said Hotels Association of SL (THASL) Past Chairman Hiran Cooray at a media briefing convened by THASL, SL Association of Inbound Operators (SLAITO) and the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASMET) more..

'Food security: Crisis an opportunity to reach self-sufficiency'

Jul 3 (TM) SL’s farmers have once again stepped up and answered the call to feed the nation amidst severe hardships, as policymakers scramble to get governance geared to help them. As the risk of a worsening food shortage looms on the horizon, ordinary Sri Lankans are mobilising to grow, with aid from international agencies and friendly countries. Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said that SL was planning more..

Averting a food crisis

Jul 3 (SO) SL used to be called the Granary of the East in ancient times. Such was its reputation as an agricultural power. Our ancient irrigation systems, most of which are still functional, are ample testimony to our prowess in this vital sector. Until fairly recently, SL was self-sufficient in rice and many other crops. With the opening of the economy in the late 1970s, a flood of imports poured into the country, among them various foods. Paradoxically, some of these crops and foods were grown more..

Bridging the trust deficit

Jul 3 (TM) SL’s current leadership has been dangerously flirting with the prospect of a slide to chaos, fuelled primarily by the unmitigated escalation of the economic crisis. It is however to the credit of the people that, despite the multiple burdens piled on their hands in quick succession, they have been more than willing to stomach their share of the suffering in the hope that one day soon, things will indeed take a turn for the better. Unfortunately, however, that anticipated more..

ජෙප්පො - පෙරට්ටෝ හදන ජනතා ආණ්ඩුව

Guns in wrong hand

Jul 3 (Island) Recent news on the results of inadequate gun control laws in the United States of America reminds us Lankans in this so-called Socialist Democratic Republic of SL, of the gun control here we have known in the past and what applies at present. Older readers would remember the redoubtable C. Sutheralingam who sailed into the then coveted Ceylon Civil Service and then resigned saying he was tired of signing gun licences & dog licences in various kachcheris. more..

Russo-Lankan relations: Sri Lankan delegation to Moscow delayed

Jul 3 (TM) The visit by a SL delegation to Moscow for discussions on fuel and fertiliser imports, which was scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed by a week, The Sunday Morning reliably learns. SL is in urgent need of crude oil, petroleum products, fertiliser, and coal to ensure its energy and food security. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prez Rajapaksa has written to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding SL’s situation and the need to purchase fuel and fertiliser. more..

Fuel price hike: Business and consumers under pressure

Jul 3 (TM) The economic crisis has impacted a wide range of sectors – perhaps none more so than agriculture, transport, and trade, with the country under virtual lockdown following the restriction of fuel supply for private use. With the reduction of fuel distribution and allocations being made only for essential services such as port, health services, and food transport until 10 July, it appears that day-to-day life of citizens has collapsed. more..

Stop the bickering, join forces, now!

Jul 3 (ST) My dear Sajith, Anura, Champika and the Field Marshall, I thought of writing to you this week because the entire country is slowly but surely coming to a standstill. No one seems to have any idea about what will happen next. We have seen insurgencies, terrorism, tsunamis, terror attacks and pandemics but we haven’t seen anything like this! Gota maama who took over promising us visions of splendour and prosperity, which is nowhere to be seen. His government is in tatters. more..

The govt’s very bleak future

Jul 3 (Island) When Ranil Wickremesinghe became PM a month or so ago, he warned that things would get worse before they get better. Mr Wickremesinghe has addressed the nation at least thrice since then, and on all three occasions he has reiterated this warning. To be fair, he is right: we will hit rock-bottom before we start climbing up. In appointing Wickremesinghe as his PM, Prez Rajapaksa took a gamble. The gamble worked for a month. Now, however, we are at a standstill. more..

Yupun heads to Oregon as the third-fastest sprinter in Asia

Jul 3 (Island) Sprinter Yupyn Abeykoon, who is one of the three SL athletes to have secured their passage to the upcoming World Championships in Oregon, finished fourth in the 100 metres at the final Wanda Diamond League meeting in Stockholm’s historic Olympic Stadium on Thursday. SL’s only athlete to have competed at a Diamond League meet, Abeykoon clocked 10.21 seconds for his fourth-place finish. more..

Energy Minister briefs CPC and CPSTL unions on Cabinet decision

Jul 3 (AD) Minister Kanchana Wijesekera held a discussion with the representatives of the trade unions from Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd (CPSTL). The minister said he briefed the trade union leaders on the Cabinet proposal that was approved last Monday (27) and the cargo plan for July/August. In a tweet, he also said that the proposal to invite oil producing companies to import fuel and operate retail sales was explained more..