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DPL empowers 3000 small holder rubber farmers in Moneragala

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Directors and staff from DPL with fertilizer at the distribution ceremony

By Steve A. Morrell

Dipped Products Ltd ( DPL) through its Firstlight Initiative, over a period of some 12 years, empowered around 3000 rubber farmers in Moneragala to expand their rubber growing initiative to ensure their rubber production is absorbed by the company. It is also significant that the company continues to assist these farmers and their families.

At Moneragala we spoke to these farmers who were enthusiastic about their supplier relationship with the company and continuous good standing with it consequent to supplying raw material, latex and sheet rubber; all of which was readily absorbed by the company.

Grower and rubber farmer Kariyawasam Pathirange Karunadasa, who we met at the fertilizer distribution ceremony in Moneragala, informed us about the impact of DPL on the prosperity of rubber growers. He said he commenced planting rubber in his small tract of land in the late ‘70s. He experienced some ups and downs in this planting venture because at that time prices were not attractive and although he was one of the first to plant rubber in the area he had been considering planting some other crops on his land due to fluctuating fortunes. But he continued with rubber.

However, DPL entered the area and bought sheet rubber as well as latex each day from site. The rubber farmers did not have to journey long distances to sell their raw material. Karunadasa said that because of the impact of DPL and their entry to Moneragala, rubber farmers prospered.

DPL paid good prices for their produce. Although rubber prices were currently low, the company paid extremely fair prices for produce collected. We also discussed the benefits of DPL with a few others as well who informed us of positive impact of DPL on production of rubber in Moneragala.

Additionally, each planter family was assisted with school books for their children and urgent cash for emergencies. Karunadasa also told us he was able to have by – pass surgery because his earnings from rubber were growing.

Karunadasa said payment was prompt and all proceeds were deposited in their bank accounts. He said farmers had full confidence in the services of DPL. He added that each rubber grower earned as much as Rs, 75,000 monthly. In some instances earnings exceeded that amount.

Similar success stories were recorded by us from at least five other rubber growers whom we interviewed.

At Moneragala, Deputy Managing Director, DPL R.H.Pushpika Janadheera said when DPL initiated their support for rubber farmers in Moneragala, the original number of farmers who supplied latex and crepe rubber was only around five. But currently, after about 12 years, the number grew to its current supplier base of over 3000 farmers who supply raw material exclusively to DPL.

He explained that this supplier base grew to its current number because of the integrity of the company in its dealings with rubber growers. The position that DPL was prompt in settling dues of rubber farmers was fully confirmed by these suppliers.

DPL assistance to families, including the provision of school books to children and similar Corporate Social Responsibility projects, further enhanced the reputation of the company.

During wet weather, rubber tapping is usually suspended because of expected damage to tapping panels. Such risks were minimized in Moneragala because of its dry zone character.

Production of rubber in Sri Lanka was only about one percent of world production. Leaders in rubber production in the world, Janadheera said, were Thailand and Indonesia, who each produced about 30 percent of the world’s rubber.

Apart from Moneragala, rubber was also purchased from Hanwella, Kuruwita and Bibile. DPL’s entry to Moneragala was also prompted by the need to encourage the use of fertilizer in small grower plots to increase production.

Fertiliser was issued in our presence to growers at subsidized rates.Janadheera said DPL’s advice to rubber farmers was based on instructions issued by the Rubber Research Institute. He confirmed active participation by Regional Plantation Companies in rubber growing.



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HNB partners with Gammadda to develop Yaya 6 village in Anuradhapura

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HNB PLC recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Capital Maharaja Group’s initiative Gammadda Sri Lanka, the country’s largest rural development movement to develop infrastructure facilities of the Yaya 6 village Mahawilachchiya, in the Anuradhapura District.

The project is powered by HNB’s exclusive private banking proposition, The Club HNB, with the goal of engaging members and in opportunities for focused, impactful philanthropy.

A special event was hosted at The Club HNB premises on Greenpath which was attended by special guests from Yaya 6, Gammadda News 1st team and exclusive invitees of The Club HNB, during which HNB Managing Director/ CEO Jonathan Alles and Capital Maharaja Group Director Chevaan Daniel inaugurated the partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

“Rural communities form the backbone of this nation, therefore, HNB is proud to partner with the Capital Maharaja Group to support their ambitious and vital work under the Gammadda initiative. We are also grateful to The Club HNB membership and our branch network for once again stepping forward and contributing generously towards the upliftment of rural communities across Sri Lanka,” Alles said.

Providing access to clean drinking water is the 1st step in the agenda and a RO plant will be installed under the first phase of the development project. This will not only save lives but also prevent Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) prevalent in the region.

A new fully furnished library and computer lab will be just two other infrastructural additions to the village school Saliyamala Vidyalaya Pemaduwa, in addition to new washrooms which are to be constructed for the students and staff members. The project also entails renovation and refurbishment of the main road, the village temple, cleaning of the agrarian tank and construction of a new community hall under the initiative.

“It has been amazing working with HNB to achieve our mutual goal of providing Yaya 6 with much-needed infrastructure facilities. This project would not have been possible if not for the HNB customers, who came forward with their generous contributions to help this village in need. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone of you who made this possible,” Capital Maharaja Group Director Chevaan Daniel said.

Notably, acclaimed Sri Lankan pianist and music director Soundarie David’s composition of ‘Stand up and be the change’, that was created to help raise funds and create awareness about the project was performed at the event by Soul Sounds with music provided by Ranga Dasanayake at the event.

Editor-in-chief and founder of ARTRA magazine Azara Jaleel, who was also present at the event, auctioned off a painting from the ARTRA Canvas collection to The Club HNB members in aid of the project.

“I am happy to be here today, where two great institutions have come together for this great cause. We are fortunate as customers to be able to contribute in any way possible, and we hope to join you in visiting Yaya 6 soon,” a valued Club customer,Mrs Niloo Jayatilleke said.

Those who wish to make a contribution to the initiative can make a payment via HNB SOLO, through a direct payment on the payment app or deposit funds to the account titled ‘We are the change’, account number: 005010173025.

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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The Finance Houses Association announces revision of Self-Regulation Code

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The Finance Houses Association of Sri Lanka (FHA) the apex body of all Registered Finance companies has announced the introduction of its revised Self-Regulation Code which has been voluntarily practised by member companies over a long period of time, but has to be adapted to changing times.

The timely revisions to the Code were effected with a view to maintaining the highest standards on strategic and business operations in Sri Lanka’s Non-Banking Financial and Leasing Institutions (NBFI) sector.

The FHA collective of 39 Licensed Finance Companies (LFCs) is the driver of financial inclusion of Sri Lanka’s MSME sector which has a large footprint in the Bottom of the Pyramid segment of the country. The MSME sector is no less than the backbone of Sri Lankan economy involving over 70% of businesses in Sri Lanka, providing employment for 45% of the labor force and generating 52% of GDP.

Titled “Code of Conduct of Licensed Finance Companies Sri Lanka” the updated instrument was handed over to the Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka Prof. W. D. Lakshman and Bank’s officials by FHA Council members on March 18 at the Central Bank premises.

Niroshan Udage, chairman of FHA elaborated: “FHA’s time tested gentlemen’s agreement that was codified some time ago needed revisions and updates as per the requirements of today’s changing times. The overall objectives of updating the Code were to comply to all current regulatory and legal requirements while adhering to industry best practices. We take humble pride in the fact that the Code was not imposed on our sector by any authority but was self-introduced by all FHA members on their own will, which demonstrates the members’ strong commitment to sectoral integrity and their social responsibility.”

On March 18 members of FHA also handed over their Sustainability Mandate to the Governor of Central Bank Prof. W. D. Lakshman and top officials of the Bank. “The purpose of the Sustainability Mandate is to serve as the guideline for the LFCs to integrate sustainability principles holistically into their businesses, enabling sustainable value creation through their own financing approaches, in line with defined sustainability guidelines that would ultimately contribute towards national sustainability agenda and UN Sustainable Development Goals” said chairman Niroshan Udage.

 

 

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‘CSE to bounce back, provided Corona-19 is held in check’

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

The CSE was, once again, somewhat sluggish yesterday on account of investor fears over a possible Covid-19 third wave, but the expectation in some sections that May corporate earnings will be exceptionally good had an uplifting impact on the market during the latter part of the day. The CSE could be expected to bounce back, top stock market analysts said.

” CSE will bounce back within the next few weeks if the Covid 19 new wave  does not impact  the global scenario, Head of Sales, Softlogic Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd. Eardley Kern  told ‘The Island Financial Review’.

He said that the upcoming quarterly corporate earnings will likely be among the best in recent times and this would enable the market to perform in a positive way.     

Windforce Ltd., the renewable energy firm, began trading above its price of Rs. 16 per share yesterday after raising Rs. 3.2 billion for wind power projects in Sri Lanka and Senegal. It contributed more than 28 percent to market turnover from its IPO, Kern said 

Windforce stocks fetched Rs. 17.90 initially  and rose to as much as Rs. 19.00 in intra-day trading, after being heavily oversubscribed, but settled at Rs. 18, which was an increase of Rs. 2.40 or 15 percent.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. All Share Price Index declined by 105.53 points  and S and P SL20 went down by 47.08 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 2.61 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Windforce, which crossed 7.2 million shares to the tune of Rs. 131.6 million; its shares traded at Rs. 18.50 and Sampath Bank 400,000 shares crossed for Rs. 20.4 million; its shares fetching Rs. 51.

In the retail market, five main contributors to the turnover were, Windforce Rs. 738 million (40.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 281.5 million (44.6 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 195 million (3.4 million shares traded), Piramal Glass Rs. 126.4 million (11 million shares traded) and Hayleys Rs. 113 million (1.5 million shares traded). During the day 139.3 million share volumes changed hands in 19927 transactions.  

  “The indices exhibited significant volatility during the early hours of trading and witnessed a continuous downwards movement during the whole session but Windforce gave some notable impetus to the market yesterday, analysts said.

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