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Govt. to press ahead with 289 infrastructure projects worth Rs. 5 trillion – State Minister Cabraal

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The government will continue 289 infrastructure projects  worth more than  rupees five trillion  despite current economic challenges,  State Minister for Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal said.

” Sri Lanka was able to pull through a very difficult period due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Despite those challenges  the government was able to maintain macroeconomic fundamentals reasonably well. Further, the rupee has  depreciated  by  6.8 percent last year  and to prevent further rupee depreciation, the Central Bank has taken prudent decisions, State Minister Cabraal said at the Annual General Meeting of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka. The event was held at Kingsbury Hotel last Tuesday. At the event Nandika Buddhipala was elected the new President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka for the year 2021.  

‘In 2020 the government set up macro environmental fundamentals in a proper manner that have set up the platform for stable economic growth  this year. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic situation we were quite resilient and  our exports touched US$  2  billion and imports touched US $ 3 billion and, therefore, we were able to reduce the balance of trade by US$ one billion, Cabraal said.     

Further, foreign remittances increased by 6 percent during last year. Due to the placing of macro environment fundamentals Sri Lanka could achieve  4 percent to 5 percent GDP growth, Cabraal said.

Cabraal added – “Despite all odds we will increase public investments in a reasonable manner to move forward infrastructure projects, which had come to a standstill during the last regime.

‘The Port City project would be a very good project for Sri Lanka and it  would start its development work soon. Once it’s started it would generate many employment opportunities for the country.

‘As the Chamber is involved in supporting the SME sector we need equity funds to develop, apart from bank debt capital. With the development of the stock market activities, SME sector should inject not only debt capital but also equity capital.’

Newly elected president Nandika Buddhipala said it is vital for SMEs and micro SMEs in Sri Lanka to access overseas markets through a credible authentic platform. By creating such a platform for Sri Lanka, the National Chamber believes that Sri Lankan products will reach their market destinations easily.

 ‘To meet this requirement the National Chamber has embarked on a nationally important mission to develop and professionally    manage a web based platform, he added.

 

 



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Cabraal briefs Chief Incumbents on Port City Project Commission Bill

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On the instructions of the President and the Prime Minister, State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal on April 19 visited the Asgiriya Chapter, the Malwathu Chapter and the Chief Prelates of the Amarapura and Ramanna Maha Nikayas and briefed them on the relevant draft commission bill on Port City Project.

Cabinet Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of State Lohan Ratwatte, Minister of State Kanaka Herath, MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara and MP Kokila Gunawardena were also present on the occasion.

 

 

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Growing importance of training for nurses taking care of patients with NCDs

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To keep pace with the rapid expansion and increasing complexity of elderly home healthcare, training needs of home healthcare nurses must be identified and subsequent training programs implemented. English Nursing Care conducts training sessions on a weekly basis covering a variety of care needs for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as diabetes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) record that NCDs are estimated to account for 75% of total deaths in Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, according to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health “although people are living longer, they live more years suffering from disease and disability, mainly from NCDs; life expectancy at birth in Sri Lanka is 74.9 years but healthy life expectancy at birth is only 67.0 years.” This has a significant impact on quality of life.

English Nursing Care Sri Lanka works towards improving the quality of life of the elderly living with NCD’s by training nurses on the most advanced and developed methodologies brought through years of experience internationally and locally. Being responsible for the well-being of your loved ones is pivotal in the service they provide.

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SriLankan Airlines welcomes Indian delegation to Sri Lanka

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SriLankan Airlines in a bid to recommence Indian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka under the proposed bio-bubble tourist arrival concept successfully completed a familiarization tour for Indian media and travel trade professionals recently. A delegation of tour operators, agents, and senior editors representing influential media institutions concluded a familiarization tour in Sri Lanka.

The delegation spent six nights and seven days touring the country while being subjected to mandatory PCR testing and other health guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Health. Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, the delegation toured the most sought-after local tourist sites including Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Bentota. The tour was initiated by SriLankan Holidays and the ground arrangements for the tour were handled by Jetwing Travels, Aitken Spence, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), and Hamoos Travels.

The main purpose of their participation in this fam tour was to restore confidence in visiting Sri Lanka, especially among the Indian tourists to provide them in-depth knowledge on how the country’s tourism industry operates under the bio-bubble concept. Apart from visiting various places, they experienced the stringent health and safety protocols adopted by the country in resuming tourism under the “bio-bubble” concept allowing tourists to roam around without mixing with the local population.

During their stay here, the delegation was hosted for a virtual meet-and-greet with SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage, Chief Executive Officer Vipula Gunathilleka, and Head of Worldwide Sales & Distribution Dimuthu Tennakoon. The discussion focused on the airline’s operations to India, vaccination and quarantine travel arrangements between the two countries, current safety measures, and guidelines pertaining to the bio-bubble concept. They lauded the effort taken by officials to make their trip a memorable one.

The Indian delegation was highly impressed with the opportunities they were given to travel and explore the country and its exclusive holiday prospects for the enthusiastic traveller. This fam tour was a manifestation of the immense potential of Sri Lanka as a post-covid travel destination enticing the Indian traveller.

 

 

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