Opposition says they were left in the dark
By Sanath Nanayakkare
Co- Cabinet Spokesman and Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said Tuesday that approval was granted to award the contract to the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) – for the construction of the elevated expressway – that connects Athurugiriya interchange and New Kelani Bridge on pillars.
“The Cabinet of Ministers decided to hand over the contract to CHEC due to the attractive bids they offered. Accordingly, the company will have three years to construct the elevated highway and 15 years to cover the cost invested in it. The company will be given the ownership of the project for 18 years, and after that the company should hand over the ownership of the expressway to the government”, Gammanpila said..
Meanwhile Opposition MP Dr. Harsha de Silva told Sirasa News yesterday this announcement by the Cabinet spokesman had left them thoroughly perplexed and they would demand transparency on the decision once the parliament is convened once the lockdown was lifted.
“The government knows that the previous government had done a study on this project which cost about Rs. 100 million. It found that the first section alone up to Rajagiriya would cost Rs. 50 billion or US$ 280 million plus pre-construction costs to relocate the existing electrical and other infrastructure which would cost about Rs. 12 billion. While that was the case, the current government also had called for proposals to be submitted for the project to the Chairman of BOI, the Secretary to the Ministry of Highways and President’s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. The government had then said it would not put any money into this project or bear any debt related to it. And that the project company should have sufficient funds to carry it out on zero profitability requirements, and the government would strictly enforce these conditions. Now we don’t know whether the government has received any proposals conforming to that criteria or not. But suddenly in the middle of the pandemic, we were told by the Cabinet spokesman on Tuesday that they agreed to award the project to CHEC company which the President had initially said wouldn’t be carried through. We have been kept in the dark about what is going on in this regard in the middle of the lockdown. How much is the cost of the project; will the government have any financing in it; was this approved by the Cabinet and parliament? We will raise these questions when the parliament is convened once the lockdown is lifted,” he said.
U.S. confident SL would ensure required facilitation for U.S. investors
Sri Lankan government has pledged to address the pending policy issues and I am confident that once the pandemic subsides, concrete efforts will begin to improve ease of doing business and ensure the required facilitation for US investors, Martin Kelly, Charge d’ Affairs of the Embassy of the United States of America in Sri Lanka said recently speaking at the Sri Lanka Invest Forum 2021 held virtually through June 7-9, 2021
“Sri Lanka was among the first countries in the region to open its economy and offers the highest standards of living among other advanced indicators in South Asia. Over the last seventeen years, the country continued to transition from an agriculture commodity based economy to become world leader in textile and apparel, a major exporter of IT and communication related services and of course a world class destination for international tourists,” he said.
“Promoting trade and investment opportunities is one of the embassy’s top priorities, and a vital component of our efforts to encourage private sector led development and toward stronger ties between the two countries,” he said.
Kelly said that the government of Sri Lanka has promoted pro-business policies including tax benefits, to attract the U.S. and other foreign direct investments.
ComBank donates ICU beds to Kegalle Teaching Hospital
Commercial Bank Chairman Justice K. Sripavan and Managing Director S. Renganathan with representatives of the Bank and the Kegalle Hospital
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has donated three Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds to the Teaching Hospital Kegalle, which receives over 80,000 admissions and 350,000 clinic visits, annually. The donation was made following a request from the hospital and will help it to provide seamless healthcare services to prevent non-pandemic related morbidities and mortalities while also treating patients who are COVID-19 positive.
The CSR Trust of the Bank has already gifted medical equipment and gear including Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits, face masks, surgical masks, hand sanitisers, Slit lamps, pulse oximeters, multipara monitors and oxygen concentrators to over 16 government hospitals. Commercial Bank also made a monetary donation to the National COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund set up by the government last year.
Trading activity gets slower among retail investors
Lankem Ceylon Rights Issue undersubscribed.
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Stock trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was marginally positive yesterday and the number of retail investor participation was lower compared to previous trading days. Index heavy LOLC group which accounted for more than 30 percent of the turnover, contributed 20 points to the All Share Price Index, stock market analysts said.
Both indices moved upwards. All Share Price Index was up by 35.75 points and S&P SL20 up by 2.01 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.74 billion sans a single crossing. In the retail market top six companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were LOLC Rs 510 million (1.28 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 197 million (4.1 million shares traded), Melstacorp Rs 137 million (2.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 71.5 million (11.3 million shares traded), Windforce Rs 68.2 million (3.5 million shares traded) and Hayleys Holdings Rs 54.8 million (730,000 shares traded).
Index heavy LOLC, which contributed 20 points to the All Share Price Index, appreciated its share price by Rs 18.75 or 4.85 percent. Its share price started trading at Rs 386.25 and at the end of the day it moved up to Rs 405.
A pioneer in renewable energy, Vidullanka PLC has successfully completed raising additional capital of Rs. 253 million to fuel its expansion drive in the solar power sphere.
Lankem Ceylon Plc, Rs. 677 million worth Rights Issue has been undersubscribed. When the issue closed the Company managed to draw only subscriptions for 17.6 million shares worth Rs. 352.3 million. The original plan was to issue 33.85 million shares at Rs. 20 each aiming at raising Rs. 677 million. The basis was one new ordinary share for every one share held. Funds were to be raised to augment working capital requirements.
During the day 67.9 million share volumes changed hands in 17564 share transactions.
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