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Colombo Port City will not be handed over to China – State Minister Cabraal

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 
 
The government will not hand over the Colombo Port City to China through the Port City Economic Commission Bill. Once the Bill is passed the Port City would be under Sri Lankan jurisdiction, where all major decisions with regard to it will be taken by the President. The entity would not be detrimental to the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka,  State Minister of Money & Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal said.
 
 ” Under the Bill,  a Special Economic Commission of the Port City will be set-up and the President will be empowered to appoint five to seven members to  the Commission, which will take all decisions for the Port City Special Economic Zone development activities, the State Minister told the media. The press briefing was organised by the Ministry of Finance and held at the Finance Ministry auditorium yesterday. 
 
 Cabraal said that the total land mass envisaged to be under the Port City is 269 hectares and the  Bill titled the ‘Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act’, provides the legal framework for setting up of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) within the Colombo Port City and proposes the establishment of a Commission empowered to grant registrations, licenses, authorizations and other approvals to carry on businesses and other activities in the Special Economic Zone subjected to Sri Lankan jurisdiction.  
 
 Cabraal said that parliament will oversee the Port City’s activities. Financial, legal and other administrative activities will be governed and regulated by the Sri Lankan government. Financial activities will be done with concurrence of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the relevant law and order and jurisdiction will be subjected to local jurisdiction, he said. 
 
 Cabraal added – ‘Once the businesses are established there will be 85000 new employment opportunities and those employees will not be subjected to the Inland Revenue Law of the country. All  companies have to be registered under the Commission and the Commission will impose a one percent tax on all the set up companies’ turnover. All taxes and all area related taxes will be imposed by the Commission and credited to the Consolidated Fund and in turn will go to the Inland Revenue Department.
 
 ‘Only foreign direct investors will invest in the Port City and local investors are not permitted to invest in it. The Commission will also set up a one- stop-shop, which takes all the decisions in setting up offshore banking, promoting tourism, IT and BOP companies, port and shipping companies and any other business related entities. But foreign legal and accounting firms cannot be set up.
 
 ‘All company registering, licensing, approvals and regulation of activities will be done by the Commission in consultation with the government and regulatory bodies. Further, the Administrative District Act which was passed in 2019 recognised that the Port City is a part of Sri Lanka.’



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HNB supports Sri Lanka Welfare Society of Blind Women

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Supporting the livelihoods of visually impaired women, Sri Lanka’s most customer friendly bank HNB PLC donated 300 white canes and dry ration packs to the members of the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of the Blind Women.

The donations made utilizing voluntary contributions gathered by HNB employees, were handed over to members of the Society at a special event at HNB Towers under the patronage of HNB Managing Director and CEO Jonathan Alles.

“HNB is proud to partner with the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of the Blind Women to serve the visually impaired women of the country. Our goal is to do our part in ensuring they are given opportunities, recognition and respect that are equal to every other citizen, and we hope that partnerships of this nature will pave the way for a more inclusive and caring society,” HNB Managing Director and CEO, Jonathan Alles said.

With 252 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. Over the recent past, the bank was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.

HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020, in addition to winning the coveted Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka Award for the 11th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2020, in recognition of its sustainable growth and continuous improvements in processes, products and services amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment.

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People’s Insurance enters Medical Insurance market with ‘the most comprehensive medical insurance cover available in Sri Lanka’

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In an unprecedented effort to enhance its product offerings to customers across Sri Lanka, People’s Insurance PLC recently announced its plans to diversify into the health insurance space of the country. This strategic move to establish its presence as a health insurance provider builds on the well-established public image of People’s Insurance as the insurer who cares with love.

As the market is already heavily saturated with health insurance products offered by the competition, Peoples Insurance had the strategic objective of offering a product to make them stand out from the rest. Following a customer first approach, the insurer has decided to be a step above its competitors by offering a highly comprehensive medical insurance cover available in the country.

Citizens of Sri Lanka and those individuals who currently reside in the country are eligible to obtain a medical insurance cover from People’s Insurance. Individuals can be covered from their 5th birthday onwards. However, infants from the age of 3 months can also be protected by these covers provided that their parents have a medical cover from People’s Insurance too.

Jeevani Kariyawasam, the Head of Operations at People’s Insurance PLC commented on this new development, “When People’s Insurance PLC began to contemplate our entry into the health insurance sector, we knew we had to be different. As we are known as the only insurer who cares with love, our health insurance product had to reflect this strongly. Due to this, we decided to position ourselves as an insurance provider with a highly comprehensive product in the health insurance space. With affordable premiums, we have made every effort to ensure that Sri Lankans can enjoy the peace of mind that health insurance brings about.”

Medical schemes will vary from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 2 million and premiums will depend on the sum insured, along with the customer’s age band. It is also noteworthy that the geographical scope of treatment extends beyond Sri Lanka and into India as well. Costs related to ambulance call outs, inpatient proceedings, surgical treatments, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and pre and post hospitalization expenses are just a few of the areas that this comprehensive product covers.

As People’s Insurance PLC has a trusted and well established name in the minds of Sri Lankan customers, it is expected that their entrance into the medical insurance sector will be welcomed by citizens across the island. With the underlying goal of caring for its customers beyond anything else, this new development will allow for more Sri Lankans access to proper healthcare services. This decision truly resonates with a purpose beyond profit initiative.

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Browns Investments purchases 9.9 percent stake in HNB, boosting market

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By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE activities were positive but not bullish yesterday. Besides, the CSE announcement on a transaction where Browns Investments purchased a 9.9% stake in HNB plus last minute buying interest brought a positive note to the stock market, analysts said. Browns Investments bought 42 million HNB shares in the price range of Rs. 125.75 and Rs. 132.25 for RS 5.3 billion.

This quantum of shares or 9.9 % percent stake of HNB purchased by Brown Investments happened during the months of April and May, market sources said. Amid those developments both indices were positive. All Share Price Index was up by 45.85 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 890.3 million with a single crossing. The crossing is from Sampath Bank which crossed 500000 shares to the tune of RS 26 million and its shares traded at Rs. 52.

In the retail market, top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, J K H RS 189 million (1.4 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 181 million (27.8 million shares traded),Expo Lanka Rs. 53.8 million (1.2 million shares traded), Sampath Bank 50.2 million (1 million shares traded)and Royal ceramic Rs. 47.3 million (1.4 million shares traded). During the day 74.2 million share volume changed hands in 10600 transactions.

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