Nimal Lanza, State Minister for Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure said that the government has taken steps to implement a number of development projects this year, giving priority to the development of the rural economy and rural infrastructure development.
Nimal Lanza expressed these views while participating in a discussion on road development in the Colombo District at the ministry.
Speaking further he said,
‘In the past year, the protection of the people of the country from the Covids had been given priority and no further emphasis was given to development activities. However, a number of programs have been launched this year to promote rural infrastructure and the rural economy on the support of the public following the health care practices and vaccination program. Among them are expressway projects led by the Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando, rural bridge projects, 100,000 km development program, Ape Kade Ape Kade program and several other programs including providing concrete or interlocking for a Divisional Secretariat.
‘We are talking only about the programs implemented by the ministry of Highways and the State Ministry of Rural Roads and Infrastructure. Thus, all Ministries have implemented a number of programs to develop the infrastructure and uplift the rural economy to benefit the 22 million people.
‘We are implementing these development programs in the face of the Covid 19 challenge. In the face of this challenge, the government has taken steps to prioritize development programs this year while protecting the people of the country.
‘President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over a country that had economic and national security second only to China among South Asian countries to good governance in 2015, and in 2019 good governance handed over a country with an economy similar to that of Afghanistan and national security to zero. In such a situation President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has, reaffirmed national security.’
The minister further stated that the present government has taken steps to overcome the economic challenges by realizing the “vision of prosperity”.
State Minister of Education Reforms, Open Universities and Distance Learning Promotion , Susil Premajayantha and a group of Colombo Municipal Councilors were also present on the occasion.
OPPO releases new OPPO A54 in Sri Lanka
OPPO, the leading global smart device brand, announces the launch of OPPO A54 in Sri Lanka.
A54’s attention to design and great usability is evident in both its exquisite appearance and how it helps to capture great looking shots. This starts with the Material of the Rear Cover, which uses metallic material for its 3D panel, but contributes to a stronger and less bendable structure but also a comfortable in-hand feel. As a result, A54 weighs about 192g and is 8.4mm thin. To align the overall look and feel of the phone, close attention is paid to the Middle Frame Process.
“A Series is designed to enhance or complement our users’ lifestyles and OPPO A54 achieves just this with a phone that manages to balance a high-end performance with contemporary design. Its large 5000mAh battery and 18W Fast Charge makes sure you’re fully powered to get you through your day. With A54, you’ll also have enough storage and memory to make sure that you’ll enjoy your entertainment without the frustrations of an underperforming smartphone,” said Bob Li, CEO, XINDA Lanka (OPPO Sri Lanka).
The Rear Cameras itself feature a 13MP Main Camera, 2MP Macro Camera for close range shots, and 2MP Bokehfor brilliant bokeh shots that blur the background and highlight the subject of the photo. A54 enhances shots in all environments with Dazzle Color, balancing the saturation and brightness. A54 also supports filming videos including SLO-MO at 720P at 90FPS with the rear camera, and up to 10 video Filters including Original, Gentle, Noon, Subtle and more.
Pan Asia Bank records best-ever Q1 results in challenging times – Profit After Tax soars by 81% to post Rs. 750 mn.
Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC reported the best-ever first quarter financial results during the quarter ended 31st March 2021 to report a Pre-Tax Profit of Rs. 986 Mn and a Post-Tax Profit of Rs. 750 Mn after recording impressive growth rates of 51% and 81% respectively, demonstrating the resilience amidst challenging macro economic conditions. The Bank’s performance was characterised by strength and resilience, despite the heightened uncertainty due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 impact on the Sri Lankan economy, the Bank’s Operating Profits before VAT on Financial Services reached Rs. 1,197 Mn with an increase of 47%, reflecting excellence in core banking performance and the success of cost containment measures evidenced by improvement in all key matrices which now rank among the industry bests. This feat was achieved even after setting aside provisions for probable loan losses amounting to Rs. 638 Mn. The Bank increased the provision buffers for probable deterioration in credit quality through management overlays, experience adjustments and adjustments for the exposures in the elevated risk industries during the quarter. As a result, total impairment charges for the quarter increased by 21% on YoY basis.
The Bank’s Net Interest Income for the period witnessed an increase of 17% due to significant reduction in financial cost of funds at a rate faster than the drop in interest yields of interest bearing assets. Consequently, the Bank’s Net Interest Margin for the quarter improved to 5.07% from 4.41% reported three months ago. In the meantime, the Bank’s Net Fee and Commission Income recorded a growth of 28% with the rebound in demand for credit due to revival of economic activity amidst the low interest rate regime. The volatility in foreign exchange rates enabled the Bank to increase its Foreign Exchange Income substantially as reflected in Other Operating Income.
The Bank is committed to revenue maximisation and cost management despite sector vulnerabilities that prevailed since last year. The Bank’s Cost-to-Income Ratio improved from 45.66% to 38.08% within a three months period owing to the excellence in core banking performance which is reflected in the noteworthy overall growth in key revenue lines and various strategies and measures taken to contain overhead costs. In fact, the Bank managed to bring down its Other Operating Expenses by 9% in 2021 Q1 compared to 2020 Q1. Meanwhile, increased allocations for performance bonuses, development of human capital and staff welfare led to an increase in personnel costs during the reporting period compared to 2020 Q1.
The Bank’s Post-Tax Profits for the reporting quarter also gained to an extent due to application of lower corporate income tax rate of 24% for tax provisioning in accordance with the guideline issued by CA Sri Lanka on 23rd April 2021.
The Bank continues to report solid Key Profitability Indicators which rank among the highest in the industry. The Bank’s Pre-Tax Return on Assets also improved to 2.24% from 1.70%. Further, the Bank reported a stunning Return on Equity (ROE) of 19.27% during the quarter under review which stands among the industry best. The ROE is the most important performance indicator to gauge the attractiveness of the Banking sector and Pan Asia Bank during its last few years has consistently remained an outlier in the industry.
SLIIT nurtures school children at ‘Soft Skills + 2021’
The SLIIT Business School (SBS) organised ‘Soft Skills+ 2021’ concluded on an extremely successful note recently helping students engage, cooperate and thrive in building their talents towards personal development and career progression.
SLIIT Soft Skills+ event is an annual flagship CSR Project of the SLIIT Business School organized with the primary objective of developing secondary school students’ soft skills in positive thinking, creativity, analytical thinking, leadership skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, and teamwork.
Over the years, the programme has garnered much popularity among schools and participants. Due to its tremendous success achieved in previous programmes, Soft Skills+ 2021 followed an upgraded structure. For the first time in the Soft Skills+ programme history, the event was held via online platforms, including a Soft Skills-based online quiz and an online workshop for students and teachers.
During the Grand Finale, Prof. Samantha Thelijjagoda, Dean of SLIIT Business School welcomed the participants and distinguished guests. Prof. Lalith Gamage, Vice Chancellor, SLIIT also addressed the gathering.
Facilities for infected pregnant women inadequate – SLCOG
Those who had AstraZeneca first jab, should take Sputnik V with adenovirus 26 – Specialist
When a wonderful human being crosses the great divide
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
Sports3 days ago
How Arjuna spotted and nurtured Praveen Jayawickrama’s talent
Features1 day ago
Boosting immune system to fight Covid-19: Is it possible?
Features6 days ago
Mrs Shivashanthie Narayansuwami
Features6 days ago
The Fulbright Scholar – Taking wing to the U.S.
Opinion5 days ago
Agrochemical ban: Heading for national disaster?
Features6 days ago
Sri Lanka in Geneva
Features5 days ago
Unbridled exploitation of natural resources belonging to nation
Business4 days ago
George Steuart Health launches GS Sports towards developing a Stronger Sri Lanka