Govt. to press ahead with 289 infrastructure projects worth Rs. 5 trillion – State Minister Cabraal
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.
Share investors worried over Wealth and Heritage tax
By Hiran H Senewiratne
CSE trading kicked off on a positive note yesterday but the momentum could not be sustained for long owing to investor worries that the government is planning domestic debt restructuring involving the imposition of a wealth and heritage tax on citizens, market sources said.
Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All -Share Price Index went down by 131 points and S and P SL-20 declined by 46.8 points. Turnover stood at Rs 3.4 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Agalawattte Plantations, which crossed 45.3 million shares to the tune of Rs 1.5 billion, its shares traded at Rs 35, CTC 420,000 shares crossed for Rs 269 million and its shares traded at Rs 640, Cargills 100,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 24.5 million; its shares traded at Rs 245 and Hayleys 300,000 shares crossed for Rs 24 million; its shares traded at Rs 80.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, SLT Rs 234 million (two million shares traded), Hayleys RS 121 million (1.5 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 106 million (115,000 shares traded), Softlogic Capital Rs 69 million (5.6 million shares traded), CTC Rs 65.3 million (101,000 shares traded), Sampath Bank RS 54.7 million (one million shares traded) and Commercial Bank RS 52.5 million (801,000 shares traded).During the day 164 million share volumes changed hands in 20000 transactions.
Brandix ‘RightToRead’ initiative gains momentum enriching Sri Lanka students and transforming learning
Inspired by the challenge to provide Sri Lankan children with better access to learning materials and the transformative power to read and comprehend English, Brandix launched the ‘RightToRead’ project in 2018 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
Accordingly, Brandix introduced the ‘ReadToMe’ English learning tool, created by English Helper – India, to improve reading and comprehension skills of Sri Lankan students. Last Monday, Julie Chung, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, visited Susamayawardhana Vidyalaya in Borella, to observe progress of the project and experience how children and educators in Sri Lanka engage with educational technology.
Brandix Lanka Limited, Director, Ajit Johnpillai, said: “Education is the most powerful tool to enrich communities and futures, and Brandix is committed to build a strong foundation for transformational learning for students across Sri Lanka. The progress we have made with RiteToRead over the past two years is promising, and the potential for change in the education sector harnessing such digital technologies is immeasurable. Brandix will continue its commitment to deliver Inspired Solutions for the people of Sri Lanka.”
Dialog TV Boosts Resilience and Capacity with Norsat Satellite Earth Station
Hytera, a leading global provider of professional communications technologies and solutions, is proud to announce the successful deployment of a new backup satellite station for Dialog TV, Sri Lanka’s No.1 satellite Pay TV service provider. The project was fulfilled in 2022 by Hytera and its subsidiary specialized in Satellite Communications (SatCom), Norsat International Inc. The new station enhances the resilience and capacity of Dialog TV’s existing system and ensures continuity of service in the event of damage due to natural disasters.
Dialog TV provides coverage over the entirety of Sri Lanka through the Intelsat 38 Ku-band satellite. As the business expanded, it opted for a backup solution to support its existing satellite station and to strengthen the network’s disaster tolerance.
Hytera and Norsat provided an end-to-end satellite earth station solution that includes the installation, integration, and setup of satellite antennas, a transmission and receiving system, a new network management system (NMS), and a carrier monitoring system (CMS). The NMS makes routine work easier and simpler for on-duty staff, as equipment status, parameter monitoring and configuration, and remote control of the devices can be viewed and accomplished via a single interface. The CMS monitors the carrier spectrum status of satellite signals in real-time and ensures stable signal transmission and receiving.
“We are excited to have been able to work with Dialog TV on this important project,” said Kevin Sun, Sales Director for Hytera South Asia, “Our ability to seamlessly integrate our new equipment and software with Dialog TV’s existing systems has helped to ensure a stable and reliable service for their millions of customers across Sri Lanka.”
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