68-floor vertical tower and 63-floor leaning tower
Altair Colombo, well-known for its unique and acclaimed architectural value and splendorous addition redefining the skyline of Colombo, on par with the ongoing real-estate boom, to the new Colombo Skyline, was ceremoniously declared open on 27 th October 2021 by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The ceremonial opening of the iconic residential towers denotes the epitome of positive and expedient economic backing of neighbouring India to Sri Lanka, with Altair notably, being the biggest FDI investment in Colombo for real estate to date and the only FDI investment from the South City Group of Kolkata, an Indian investor in Sri Lanka of its calibre. Altair, therefore, is truly a symbol and a showpiece of the foreign investment potential in the real estate industry in Sri Lanka for all enthusiastic investors around the globe.
Alongside Mahinda Rajapaksa, the grand opening of Altair was held under the auspices of Special Guest Minister of Youth & Sports, Minister of Development Co-ordination and Monitoring and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development, Namal Rajapaksa, Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Sirinimal Perera (Special Authorized Officer- Altair Project), Sushil Mohta, Jugal Khetawat, Rajendra Bachhawat, Prakash Bachhawat (Directors/Shareholders of South City Projects Kolkata Ltd) and Manmohan Bagree, Director Indocean Developers Pvt Ltd.
The event also exemplifies that customers are now able to initiate the fit-outs of the apartments through a phased out schedule with the total sold apartments ready to be handed over within the next few weeks.
Since, there were architectural and engineering challenges that encompassed unto creation of one-of-its kind edifice, the construction and finishing of ALTAIR posed many complexities which affected construction schedules. Therefore, as the main developer, Indocean (Pvt) Limited., the local subsidy of the world-renowned South City Projects (Kolkata) Ltd expressed their delight over the acceleration of the project progress in the last few months especially amidst the Covid 19 pandemic due to the significant support extended by the Government of Sri Lanka.
The breathtaking real estate masterpiece is a creative magnum opus of living legend Moshe Safdie, creator of Marina Bay Sands and the Jewel in Singapore and many other icons.
ALTAIR comprises 404 luxurious apartments spread across 1.5mn square feet on 68 floors with ventilation, light, privacy and optimally laid out living spaces as its’ design guidance.
With the full completion and the commencement of the handover process, Indocean Developers Pvt Ltd are confident that the lifestyle facelift that Altair would bring into Sri Lanka with sophisticated brand experience would become a true value addition to the vibrant cosmopolitan lifestyle in new Colombo.
ComBank partners with PayHere to offer Q+ users a unique eCommerce experience
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has partnered with PayHere, Sri Lanka’s largest Aggregated Internet Payment Gateway Service, to offer users of its Q+ Payment App a unique, user-friendly and secure eCommerce experience.
Commercial Bank customers can now conveniently pay for their purchases via the Q+ app to over 3300 registered PayHere Online Payment Service enabled merchants. The Bank’s Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card holders who pay through Q+, the fastest-growing QR app in the country, will not be required to tap in their card details as this information is already stored on the app, the Bank said.
Payments to PayHere merchants via the Q+ Online Pay facility will enhance customer convenience as the transaction will only require the entering of users’ mobile numbers registered with the app. Disbursements via Q+ require authentication using a static PIN which ensures the safety and security of transactions, making the Q+ App more secure than a normal card as the customers’ sensitive data is not transmitted to merchant websites.
TAMAP drives Stakeholder Forum for Good Agriculture Practice
The inaugural meeting of the GAP Stakeholder Forum was held with the support of the Technical Assistance to the Modernisation of Agriculture Programme (TAMAP) at the Department of Agriculture in Peradeniya on 17 November 2021. Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) programme, introduced by the Department of Agriculture in 2016, was a promising step taken to minimise adverse impacts of agriculture on the ecosystem and human health while meeting steadily rising demand for food. Although the programme had an encouraging start, the overall conversion of farmers to implementing GAP remained low. Over the past six years, 1500 farmers registered as GAP producers out of the 1.8 million farmers in Sri Lanka. To align with the current policy of the Sri Lankan Government to improve ecological friendliness of farming, it is important to transform all production units towards GAP farms.
Studies showed that to achieve this goal, the GAP implementation strategies needed to be updated and infused into the mainstream agriculture, facilitating a quick transformation of the current approach towards a macro-level system. Therefore, the requirement for a rapid strategizing of such an approach followed by periodic review of GAP performance arose. This initiated the need for a stakeholder forum.
The key purpose of the forum is to provide a common platform for key stakeholders to meet in formulating a strategy to mainstream SL GAP, propose a way forward for implementation such recommendations, and to regularly review program performance and adopt remedial action to achieve GAP objectives.
Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture who chaired the Forum in his opening statement commented, “GAP programme has emerged a solution to challenges faced by Sri Lankan agriculture today to improve safety of users and ensuring good environmental performance. Reinforced by facilitating legislation and approved national standards, GAP programme provides a strong foundation towards addressing above concerns.”.
Over forty participants were present at the forum, representing the various stakeholder groups comprising producers, distributers, SL GAP team, academics, and market players. Ms D. S. Ratnasinghe, Addl. Director (Agribusiness) and Dr W. M. W. Weerakoon, National Coordinator outlined the status of the GAP programme and the challenges faced.
The deliberations during the forum were broken down into five main areas: Technical, financial, institutional, and social problems faced by GAP stakeholders on maintaining production, supply, product quality, and consumer trust. Gaps in technology transfer and adoption, marketing and quality control measures and means for increased rate of adoption and GAP farm certification; Gaps in current GAP process and procedures, user friendliness and applicability; Future technological needs towards increasing production, productivity, product quality and ecosystem sustainability; and Policy needs for increased adoption of GAP to mainstream GAP into national agriculture agenda.
Prof. G. Pushpakumara, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya and Ms Jayantha Ilankoon, ADG (Dev) moderated the forum through group activity, outcome presentations and strategic discussions on the way forward.
Concluding the forum, Dr Nihal Atapattu, stated, “TAMAP, along with the European Union that provided the funding support is very pleased to have assisted to launch several interventions that would promote recognition of GAP as a premier means of strengthening Sri Lankan agriculture in sustainably meet requirements of the domestic and export markets. TAMAP expects that the Stakeholder Forum launched today will be a milestone event in advancing GAP to achieve its potential in Sri Lanka”.
HNB’s commitment to expand e-commerce and digital payments wins Daraz award
HNB has been recognized by Daraz for exceptional contribution to its growth, in an independent endorsement of Sri Lanka’s leading private bank’s commitment to expand e-commerce and digital payments throughout the country.
The award, for the ‘Card Base with Highest Overall Growth’, was presented to HNB at the ‘Daraz Payment Partner Performance Awards 2021’. HNB, which ranks among Daraz’s best banking partners, recorded the highest growth on total payment volume, buyer engagement and total transactions month-on-month, for both credit and debit cards for the year 2020-2021.
“This award is an important validation how the local economy – both businesses and consumers – are benefiting from HNB’s cohesive programme to drive greater adoption of e-commerce and digital payments,” HNB Head of Cards, Gauthami Niranjan said. “These efforts are particularly significant at present, given how digital and contactless payments can assist in reducing the spread of the pandemic and support the Bank’s and the country’s vision to transform Sri Lanka to a cashless economy.”
Currently, HNB Cardholders enjoy multiple offers on Daraz, Sri Lanka’s leading online marketplace, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global e-commerce giant, the Alibaba Group. These include zero-interest instalment plans up to 48 months with attractive discounts for HNB Credit and Debit Cards and 10% off site-wide on Daraz for all HNB Credit Cards on purchases made during Saturdays. In addition, HNB tied up with Daraz for its 11:11 and Black Friday sales, which provided HNB Cardholders access to a range of offers and massive discounts.
HNB has been a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s banking industry in the digital banking and digital payments space. These include the launch of digital wallet and payment app, HNB SOLO and introducing Asia’s first-ever fitness-linked savings product in the form of the HNB FIT Savings Account.
With 254 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically-innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd. The bank was also ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for five consecutive years. HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020.
SL defenceless, warn experts
Dimuth on the verge of several batting milestones
Amasha smashes Susanthika’s Army record, Roshan dazzles with hurdles feat
7-billion-rupee diamond heist; Madush splls the beans before being shot
The Burghers of Ceylon/Sri Lanka- Reminiscences and Anecdotes
Unfit, unprofessional, fat Sri Lankans
news6 days ago
Treasury loses USD 18 mn as minister blocks CCD probe into generator fraud
Features7 days ago
Is President Gotabaya planning to pack his bags?
Features6 days ago
ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK
news5 days ago
Cash-strapped govt. seeks Indian lifeline: Basil to visit New Delhi
Sports7 days ago
Aravinda points out flaws in LPL
news4 days ago
New Kelani Bridge to be declared open today by President and PM
news2 days ago
Church welcomes Prez’s promise to move against those named in Easter Sunday PCoI
Sports6 days ago
Marvelous Madugalle completes 200 Test matches