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Central Bank of Sri Lanka: Monetary Board appoints four new Assistant Governors



The Monetary Board, at its meeting held on 17th November 2021 has promoted K G P Sirikumara, D Kumaratunge, Mrs. U L Muthugala, and C P S Bandara to the post of Assistant Governor with effect from 17th November 2021.

K G P Sirikumara

He has served the Central Bank for more than 21 years in different capacities in the Departments of Legal and Compliance and Secretariat. He has served as a member in the National Payments Council, Financial Stability Committee, Non-financial Risk Management Committee, and in the Panel of Experts appointed under the Payment Devices Frauds Act, No.30 of 2006. He has also functioned as an observer in the Monetary Board Advisory Audit Committee and Board Risk Oversight Committee.

He has been instrumental in introducing numerous law reforms in the banking and financial sector, financial market infrastructures, capital markets and combating money laundering and terrorist financing. He has introduced strict governance standards within the Bank, and introduced resolution and enforcement measures to strengthen the financial sector.

Sirikumara holds Master of Laws Degrees from the Monash University, Australia and the University of Colombo. He also holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from the University of Colombo. He is an Attorney -at- Law and a member of the International Compliance Association (ICA), United Kingdom. He possesses International Diplomas in Anti Money Laundering (Graduate) and in Compliance (Graduate).

D Kumaratunge

Kumaratunge has over 30 years of experience in the Central Bank and has worked in the Departments of Economic Research, Centre for Banking Studies, Information Technology, and Management Audit in different capacities before serving as the Director of Payments and Settlements Department from 2016.

He has represented CBSL in the Board of Directors of the Lanka Financial Services Bureau Limited (LFSBL) and in the Governing Council of the National Institute of Business Management. He has been a member of the Academic Council and in the Syllabus Review Panel of the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka and has also served in the Steering Committee to Monitor the use of Transit Card appointed by the Ministry of Transport, Workers’ Remittances Task Force, IT/BPO Sectoral Task Force appointed by the Presidential Task Force, Steering Committee on Digital Platform Policy Framework, Roadmap & Action Plan to create a uniform Digital Business Landscape by ICTA Agency of Sri Lanka, and of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Centre for Banking Studies, CBSL.

Kumaratunge holds a Master of Science Degree in Information Technology from the University of Colombo, Master of Arts Degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics from the University of Essex, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Peradeniya. He also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology obtained from the University of Colombo.

Mrs. U L Muthugala

Mrs. Muthugala has served the Central Bank for more than 30 years in the Departments of Secretariat, Finance, Bank Supervision, Public Debt, International Operations, Internal Audit, Financial System Stability, Supervision of Non-Bank Financial Institutions in different capacities.

She has functioned as the Chief Accountant as well as the Secretary of the CBSL. She also possesses expertise in core central banking areas of financial system stability, supervision and regulation

of financial institutions, debt and portfolio management and international finance, and foreign reserves management.

Mrs. Muthugala has further served as a member of several committees including Foreign Reserves Management Committee, Domestic Debt Management Committee, Internal Investment Committee, Committee on the International Sovereign Bond issue by the Government of Sri Lanka, Emergency Action T

She holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Colombo and is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), United Kingdom. She also possesses the ACI Dealing Certificate of the Financial Markets Association.

C P S Bandara

C P S Bandara has over 24 years of experience at the Central Bank in the areas of financial system stability, economic and price stability, corporate services, agency functions, business continuity planning, enterprise-wide risk management and strategic planning. He has served in the Departments of Risk Management, Policy Review and Monitoring, Payments and Settlements, Public Debt and Information Technology.

He has served as the Secretary to the Sovereign Ratings Committee, Member of the Steering Committee for international sovereign bond issuances by the Government of Sri Lanka,

Secretary to the Payments Reform Steering Committee, Assistant Secretary to the Board Risk Oversight Committee, Secretary to the Non-Financial Risk Management Committee, Member of the Employees’ Provident Fund Investment Oversight Committee and as an Observer of the Monetary Board Advisory Audit Committee, Business Continuity Planning Committee, International Reserves Investment Oversight Committee, Internal Investment Oversight Committee, and the Financial System Stability Committee. He also served as a member in many cabinet appointed committees established to improve the country’s financial market infrastructure by implementing national level projects.

He holds a Master of Science Degree in Information Technology from Charles Sturt University, Australia, a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Computer Science from Monash University, Australia and a Diploma in Central Banking. He is also a Member of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka.

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Technical Certificates of Completion for 64 out of 74 plots of Port City Colombo SEZ



Technical Certificates of Completion for 64 out of 74 plots of the Port City Colombo SEZ have been received by the Commission, a Colombo Port City Economic Commission semi-annual progress report for FY 2022 notes.

A press release by the Commssion said: ‘The Colombo Port City Economic Commission (the Commission), the Single Window Investment Facilitator authorised to assist investors, businesses, and residents in conducting their activities seamlessly and efficiently in Port City Colombo, is pleased to release its semi-annual progress report for FY 2022 from July to December 2022.

‘The Port City Colombo Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is designed to be a prestigious, strategically located city in the heart of South Asia, with sustainable high-quality public spaces and infrastructure, providing top-quality commercial, entertainment, medical, education and lifestyle. International destinations such as DIFC, DMCC, Labuan, Singapore, and Mauritius were studied for their regulatory frameworks, fiscal incentives, and operational efficiency to identify the most competitive processes and policies for Port City Colombo. The benchmarking study was done by global consultants such as Boston Consulting Group, PwC, KPMG, EY, Pinsent Masons, Zico Law, JLL, etc., for the SEZ’s thrust sectors, supported by market feedback on both fiscal and non-fiscal parameters.

‘Port City Colombo SEZ Regulations for the registration, licensing, authorisation and other approvals of Authorised Persons, were published by extraordinary gazette in September 2022, bearing number 2299/46. The SEZ’s Regulations for the registration and licensing of Authorised Person Fees, were also gazetted in September 2022, bearing number 2299/47. The registration of offshore company regulations were gazetted in the month of November 2022, bearing number 2306/54.

‘Agreements have been signed between the Commission and the Registrar General of Companies and Controller General of Immigration and Emigration in order to streamline services offered to Authorised Persons.

‘Sectoral Progress Highlights:

Banking – The Minister of Finance issued licences under the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act to four (4) banks during the first half of 2022. The Commission has since received requests from three (3) more banks during 2022. Additionally, 10 Financial and Banking Regulations were also drafted under Sections 44 and Sections 45 of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act No. 11 of 2021 and are awaiting review with the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka.

Security – The Sri Lanka Police opened a Post on-site for visitor protection, with water access control and lifeguard services being handed to the Sri Lanka Navy. CCTV networks were also installed in public areas.

Social Infrastructure – In addition to an internationally-reputed hospital and school, the Commission has identified the need for a world-class university within Port City Colombo and modified the Master Plan accordingly.

Commercial Infrastructure – With the retail mall infrastructure complete, the commencement of the interior work has begun. The mall will showcase premium merchandise, with an array of cuisine options and entertainment, and is set to commence operations by Q2 of 2023.

Immigration and Visa Arrangements – In collaboration with the Department of Immigration and Emigration, the Commission has introduced three (3) new visa categories for Port City Colombo. These 3 visa categories are – the Investor visa for ten (10) years, the Employment visa for up to five (5) years, and the Resident visa for five (5) years. Port City Colombo visas allow supplementary benefits, such as visas for the spouse, kids, and other support staff members, which can be obtained under the primary visa applicant. The visa fee is USD 200 per year for each applicant. Visas are renewable as required and applicable only to Foreign Investors.

Master Plan Implementation – A planning committee consisting of key stakeholders was created to expedite the approval of building plans submitted under the Development Control Regulations (DCRs) for each plot of the Port City Colombo SEZ. The DCRs provide a clear framework for the development of buildings, land use, green spaces, utility networks, and sustainability measures, among other factors.

Preliminary designs for the Marina Development and Villa Project have been submitted by two investors, with several more plots in the final stages of discussion for lease.

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New wealth tax proposals exert negative impact on shares



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading activities yesterday were somewhat negative because investors were worried about the impact of the IMF-inspired new wealth tax proposals on citizens, market analysts said.

Apart from profit- takings, the effects of the new direct tax system on citizens created some confusion for stock market investors, analysts said. This was also highlighted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament yesterday.

Amid those developments both indices moved downward. The All Share Price Index went down by 77.4 points and S and P SL-20 declined by 24.6 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.5 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in First Capital Holdings, which crossed one million shares to the tune of Rs 33 million; its shares traded at Rs 33.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; SLT Rs 428 million (4 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 115 million (651,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 98.7 million (716000 shares traded), Lanka Hospitals Rs 57.2 million (440,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 51million (7.5 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 50.40 million (1.5 million shares traded) and First Capital Treasuries Rs 46.2 million (two million shares traded). During the day 69.9 million shares volumes changed hands in 21000 transactions.

Yesterday the rupee appreciated against the US dollar. The buying rate was Rs 312.61 and the selling rate Rs 330.16. Further, the price of gold also reduced due to the rupee appreciation.

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Dialog, Sri Lanka Air Force & EWIS provides digital education to Ravaneswaran Tamil School, Trincomalee



Dialog Axiata PLC recently joined hands with the Sri Lanka Air Force and E-W Information Systems Ltd to re-furbish the computer laboratory of the Ravaneswaran Tamil School in Kanniya, Trincomalee and upgraded the facility with digital educational tools and equipment. This worthy cause was initiated and directed by the Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) and the Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC.

Dialog provided Magicbit Pro units with full pluggable and sensor modules to explore creativity with technology. Magicbit is an innovation platform and a STEM tool made for Internet of Things (loT), Robotics, Electronics and Programming. Dialog, furthermore, provided Nenasa TV facility and a pledged support for fully paid student broadband facility. Nenasa TV is a Public-Private-Partnership with the Ministry of Education; an initiative to support grade 1 to 13 students through eight dedicated TV channels in Sinhalese and Tamil. The content aired on each channel is provided and strictly monitored by the Ministry of Education.

The Sri Lanka Air Force in China Bay swiftly provided the labour for all civil work and assisted in repairing computers which needed attention, in a span of a few days. E-W Information Systems Ltd provided brand new desktop computers and sourced some of the hardware required to restore the remaining machines, together with Dialog.

Thamotharampillai Sivanantham, Principal of Ravaneswaran Tamil School, expressed his views on this occasion “Our children had an IT laboratory, but with hardly any usable equipment. Still one of our students won the Regional ICT award in 2022. I am very positive our students will fully benefit from the new ICT equipment and internet services. Additionally, our facility was beautifully restored in just a few days. On behalf of the school administration, parents & students I would like to thank Dialog, Sri Lanka Airforce and EWIS for coming together and providing us this service”.

The students and the school administration were overwhelmed by this generosity, a need for many years. Dialog also offered teacher-student training in the use of the technology and will continue to provide service and support on connectivity and together with the SLAF and EWIS would continue to monitor the progress achieved by the school through the provided technology and pledged further assistance in time. This worthy cause was executed parallel to the 10th edition of the Commanders’ Cup golf tournament in Trincomalee, which was sponsored by Dialog Enterprise.

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