Central Bank Executive Officers’ Union decries mob attacks
The following is a statement issued by the Central Bank Executive Officers’ Union on the recent mob attacks on protests:
Our Union vehemently condemns with contempt, the despicable attack by mobs, incited and directed by certain politicians, on peaceful protests that have been continuing for more than a month, aimed at untimely implementation of policy measures, intense pressure on the lives of the general public and forcing the government to make positive measures. We also emphasize the importance of conducting an independent investigation to identify the perpetrators of these attacks and bringing them before the court of law without delay.
After consistently ignoring the recommendations of the professionals at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), the responsible parties have taken the initial step to enter into a program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We firmly emphasize the importance of formulating and implementing medium and long-term economic and structural reforms to address the current acute economic crisis and to reduce the risk of recurrence. In the short-run, the governing political authority has the responsibility for providing the basic necessities of life for the people and maintaining social stability. Further, endorsement of effective measures, as soon as possible such as working with the IMF and the World Bank, entering into bilateral or multilateral agreements with allied countries is quintessential. However, engaging in activities that violate the freedom of the peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, etc., and enforcing repressive laws that encourage such violations may adversely affect international cooperation.
Representing the executive officers of CBSL exclusively, our Union continues to extend its technical assistance in taking all the progressive measures to strengthen the entire financial system and the already weakened economy.
In such a situation, the Parliament has a greater responsibility, including restoring political stability and enacting legislation to implement required reforms. Under this, it is imperative that, procedures for appointing the heads of independent public institutions which should essentially be depoliticized, including the CBSL Governor, and members of the Monetary Board, must be properly in place as well as the enactment of the proposed ‘Central Bank Act’ (Draft).
As the Central Bank Executive Officers’ Union, we urge all political parties and groups to make an active and genuine contribution to resolving the current economic crisis as attaining economic stability would be impossible without having political and social stability.
NSB Chairman hands over annual report to President
Dr. Harsha Cabral, Chairman of the National Savings Bank, formally presented the bank’s annual report for the year 2022 to Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization & National Policies President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday (01).
The report, titled “Strengthening Our Strength,” provides an integrated overview of the bank’s performance within the economic framework and its engagements with the social and environmental sectors.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka relaxes its Monetary Policy stance
The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, at its meeting held on 31 May 2023, decided to reduce the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank by 250 basis points to 13.00 per cent and 14.00 per cent, respectively.
The Board arrived at this decision with a view to easing monetary conditions in line with the faster than expected slowing of inflation, gradual dissipation of inflationary pressures and further anchoring of inflation expectations. The commencing of such monetary easing is expected to provide an impetus for the economy to rebound from the historic contraction of activity witnessed in 2022, while easing pressures in the financial markets.
‘Damro-revived Agalawatte Plantations in impressive start to 2023’
* Q1 Revenue grows 49.7% to Rs 1.489 billion
* Pre-tax profit up 44.6% to Rs 417.2 million
* Major investments in replanting of rubber and tea to continue in 2023
Agalawatte Plantations PLC (APL) has reported impressive revenue and profit growth in the first quarter of 2023, consolidating on the remarkable turnaround achieved subsequent to the acquisition of a majority stake in the Company by the Damro Group.
Revenue grew by 49.7% to Rs 1.489 billion for the three months ending 31st March 2023, with revenue from tea doubling to Rs 796.2 million over the first quarter of 2022, and revenue from oil palm up 57.5% to Rs 305.1 million. Rubber contributed Rs 216.9 million to the Company’s top line in the quarter reviewed.
Stable tea prices and an increased oil palm crop enabled APL to post pre-tax profit of Rs 417.2 million for the three months, reflecting growth of 44.6%. Total assets grew by 21.2% since end 2022 to Rs 6.448 billion as at 31st March 2023, and the Company’s net assets value per share improved by 23.5% to Rs 26.09.
Nalaka Gunathilake, Managing Director / CEO of Agalawatte Plantations described the growth achieved in the first quarter of 2023 as extremely encouraging in the context of the Company’s achievement of net profit of Rs 1.76 billion for the year ended 31st December 2022, the highest profit in its history.
Once debt-ridden and at risk of liquidation, Agalawatte Plantations became part of the Damro Group in 2017 when the latter acquired the majority stake in the Company and infused Rs 3.2 billion for the payment of unsettled dues and statutory obligations. Timely investments in replanting, factory modernisation, redefining strategic focus and leadership transformed the Company into the strong corporate it is today, Gunathilake said. Good management practices together with agricultural inputs and professional human resources management policies too played pivotal role in this turnaround.
APL produces around 2 million kgs of latex annually and the company has facilities to manufacture Latex Crepe, Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS) and Centrifuged latex depending on the demand in the market. The Company’s tea production is around 2 million kgs per year and this volume is expected to increase with the availability of chemical fertilizer and agrochemicals in the country. APL also produces more than 11 million kgs of oil palm crop annually, generating substantial returns for the Company.
With the Company’s acquisition by Damro Group a strategic management decision was taken to prioritise replanting across all estates under APL management. An extent of over 2,600 acres of aged and uneconomical rubber land has since been replanted with high yielding clones to ensure company’s productivity and sustainability in the years ahead.
The Company disclosed that a further extent of over 1,000 acres is to be replanted in 2023 and land preparation and preliminary work in these areas has already commenced. In order to support the company’s ambitious rubber replanting programme, Agalawatte Plantations has its own network of rubber nurseries and has established 400,000 seedlings in six regional nurseries to supply healthy and vigorous plants.
Between 2017-2022, an extent of over 263 acres of tea has also been replanted and the preliminary work on another 150 acres has been commenced in 2023. Five tea nurseries with 900,000 plants will supply the requirement of high yielding vigorous tea plants for the replanting programme.
APL said it is gearing up for a new phase of growth in the tea plantations by obtaining system and quality management certifications. The company has obtained the Rain Forest Alliance (RA) certification for its upcountry tea estates while all tea manufacturing facilities have obtained the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System certification.
MS Dhoni undergoes knee surgery in Mumbai
NSB Chairman hands over annual report to President
The Government’s objective is to develop Sri Lanka as a thriving nation by 2048 – President
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
#Sundayisland Sunday Island- 31 January- Headlines
Features7 days ago
Murders, exhumations, sacking: hence never a dull day in Paradise
Business7 days ago
Daraz Group Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
Features5 days ago
An autobigraphy of a remarkable self-made billionaire
News3 days ago
Police looking for security guard of Sirisena’s brother
News6 days ago
VIPs/VVIPs now have to undergo Customs checks
News7 days ago
‘Smuggling only one aspect of so-called VIPs’ corrupt practices’
Business6 days ago
President spearheads Sri Lanka’s economic revival and seeks Japanese investment
Features5 days ago
Where are Sri Lanka’s economists?