Connect with us


India driving ahead to be a net exporter of defence equipment in due course



The Industrial Manufacturing Cluster (IMC) is under construction in Hisar, Haryana, adjacent to the Hisar Airport. Aerospace and Defence policy of the State alone aims to attract an investment of at least 1 billion USD in 5 years and generate employment for around 25,000 persons in 5 years.

by Sanath Nanayakkare

The government of India has taken several policy initiatives to become self-reliant in defence equipment manufacturing and a net exporter of same in the not too distant future.India’s states and union territories are encouraging private companies to invest in the field by offering them investment subsidies and by creating a level playing field for private-sector players with sophisticated technologies and R&D capacities to enter the domain.

In this context, Haryana Airports Development Corporation has already started work to position Haryana as a pre-eminent airport and investment destination facilitating balanced regional and sustainable development where private-sector led investments will be lured to involve more actively in manufacturing arms and ammunition among other industries.

The focus of the Indian government on indigenisation and procurement of defence products from the domestic resources is targeted at minimizing expenditure on defence procurement from foreign sources, a visiting Sri Lankan media delegation learned recently.

Under the liberalised economic policies of the Central government of India and the industrial and investment policy of Haryana (North Indian state surrounding New Delhi on three sides), the private-sector will get more opportunities to invest and build defence equipment manufacturing plants and Aerospace and Defence parks in the State of Haryana, they learned.

Commander Mahendra Singh, a retired naval officer speaking to the journalists about the Integrated Aviation Hub (IAH) in Hisar district in the state of Haryana said that India has embarked on a journey of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25, and the Indian Aviation and Aerospace and Defence industries have an extremely important role to play in achieving this aim of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The Indian aviation market has recorded a growth rate of more than 10% in the past fifteen years, which indicates strong potential in commercial flying, air cargo, in-flight services and other ancillary sectors. The State of Haryana is already a part of India’s vision of developing a strong and self- reliant aviation sector. The IAH will facilitate unprecedented connectivity to both the domestic and international airports and will fortify Haryana’s position as an aviation leader in the country. The existing runway length of 4000 ft. is being extended to 10,000ft to facilitate the large aircraft movements for commercial flow of passengers and cargo operations,” he said.

“The IAH is envisioned as a growth hub with industrial and commercial related development work with the establishment of Integrated Manufacturing Cluster (IMC) adjacent to the upcoming airport, also creating an ecosystem to promote the sector on the back of the progressive Aerospace and Defence Policy,” he said.

“When you take Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport as the centre point. On the East side, Jewar Airport is coming up which is at an advanced stage. And on the West you see Hisar Airport coming up. So, Delhi being a congested place, these two airports in due course when aviation is expanding, will share the load of Delhi, be it cargo or be it passenger traffic. The excess load will be diverted to these two places East and West of Delhi.

Referring to the upcoming manufacturing cluster he said,”India is trying to become self-sufficient in its defence requirements vs. defence purchases. And we want to be an exporter of defence equipment in due course. The government has realized that this is a sector which needs boost and that’s why Aerospace and Defence policy has been given priority by the government of India. We not only want to make defence equipment for ourselves, we want to export as well. This is the reason why every state of India has given prime importance to Aerospace and Defence sector. This is one sector which has the potential to grow at a fast rate vis-a-vis the rest of the sectors such as steel, automobile, textile, footwear and accessories which have already grown exponentially,” he said.

Total Traffic at Hisar Airport is expected to be 2.1 million pax in FY 24 and 3.6 million by FY 2030. Total cargo at the airport is estimated at 20k MT in FY 2024 and is expected to grow each year.

Notably, the Aerospace and Defence sector investors will get easy access to land, incentivised R&D facilities, reduced burden on upfront capital and incentives on Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) activities, electricity duty exemption etc.

Six Sri Lankan journalists had the opportunity to see India’s vision to develop Hisar as a global integrated aviation hub with the ongoing construction of infrastructure and the meticulous creation of the anticipated growth hub. The tour was sponsored by and at the request of the Sri Lanka High Commission in India.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CBSL, regulatory authority of value transfer service providers



Currently, institutions providing money transfer services in Sri Lanka such as banks and nonbank financial institutions, are regulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) or other relevant authorities to ensure financial system stability. However, some entities providing similar services operate outside the formal system, potentially disrupting the money transfer system and not being subject to Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regulatory framework.

To address this, the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization, and National Policies issued the Money or Value Transfer Service (MVTS) Providers Regulations, No. 1 of 2024 dated April 20, 2024, under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, No. 28 of 2005. Accordingly, effective from June 3, 2024, these regulations require all MVTS providers to be registered and be monitored, offering unregistered or unlicensed MVTS providers the opportunity to formalize their operations and engage in the money transfer business through formal channels.

For the purpose of these Regulations, MVTS is defined as “financial services that involve the acceptance of cash, cheques, other monetary instruments or other stores of value and the payment of a corresponding sum in cash or other forms to a beneficiary by means of communication, message, transfer, or through a clearing network to which the registered

MVTS Provider belongs. Such transactions may involve one or more intermediaries and a final payment to a third party, and may be from place to place, within, to or from Sri Lanka or any other country”.

As per these Regulations, a person shall engage in the business of or function as an MVTS Provider only under the authority and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a Certificate of Registration issued by CBSL. However, any person who is already engaged in or is eligible to engage in the business of or function as an MVTS Provider under any other licence, permit or authorization issued by CBSL, or any other Regulator or Government entity is exempted from the aforementioned regulation.

Further, existing MVTS Providers who are already providing services without any licence, permit or authorization issued by CBSL, or any other Regulator or Government entity shall apply for a Certificate of Registration from CBSL, within one year from the effective date of these Regulations, June 3, 2024.

The key requirements under the Regulations for a person to engage in the business of or function as an MVTS Provider are as follows:

a. Shall be a company registered under the Companies Act, No. 7 of 2007 having an unimpaired capital of at least Rupees Twenty Million (20 Mn) or such other amount determined by CBSL.

A company limited by guarantee, an offshore company or an overseas company within the meaning of the Companies Act, No. 7 of 2007 is not eligible for registration under these Regulations.

b. Exclusively carry out businesses and activities of an MVTS Provider.

c. Maintain/operate a system or well-defined mechanism for providing MVTS.

An eligible person who intends to engage in the business of an MVTS Provider should submit the duly filled prescribed application to CBSL and obtain a Certificate of Registration. A company issued with such Certificate of Registration will be referred to as a “Registered MVTS Provider” and will be entitled to engage in the business of or function as a MVTS Provider as defined above.

Further, during this business process, transmission of money between Registered MVTS Providers and their Agents shall be by way of bank transfers. Further, they are required to maintain records of Agents, associates, employees engaging in MVTS related activities, and transactions including details of Transmitter, Beneficiary, Agent, the method of transfer, period of safekeeping, etc.

For further clarifications, the Payments and Settlements Department of CBSL can be contacted through Tel: 011 2477642or by

Continue Reading


ComBank donates milestone 300th IT Lab to Nalanda Boys School Minuwangoda



Commercial Bank Chairman Sharhan Muhseen, Deputy Chairman Raja Senanayake and Managing Director/CEO Sanath Manatunge at the formal opening of the 300th IT Lab donated by the Bank.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s nationally-significant campaign to boost digital literacy in Sri Lanka has reached an impactful milestone with the completion of the 300th IT Lab donation by the Bank.

Commercial Bank Chairman Sharhan Muhseen, Deputy Chairman Raja Senanayake, Managing Director Sanath Manatunge, Chief Financial Officer Nandika Buddhipala and Deputy General Manager Retail Banking & Marketing Hasrath Munasinghe, who are Trustees of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility Trust, led the Bank’s representation at the beneficiary school – Nalanda Boys Central College, Minuwangoda, at this momentous event.

Every IT lab donated by Commercial Bank is equipped with new computers and accessories, and furniture, and is maintained and upgraded by the Bank periodically to ensure that the labs are used by multiple batches of students over many years. The Bank estimates that the IT labs it has donated to schools have already benefitted more than 300,000 students.

Funded as a flagship corporate social responsibility initiative of its CSR Trust, Commercial Bank’s IT education programme is aligned with the country’s Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for everyone.

Commercial Bank’s largest commitment in the sphere of corporate social responsibility is to digital technology education in Sri Lanka. Besides the 300 IT labs donated, the Bank has committed itself to be a key partner in the national Smart Schools initiative where 165 schools have been equipped with digital learning facilities. The Bank has also funded digitized school curriculum content complete with practical videos and presentations to facilitate easy learning for students, donated 170 STEM Classrooms and 120 Math Labs to improve critical thinking of students, supported 3,000 students to get qualified via CISCO Networking Academy and launched a software learning platform in government schools by establishing coding clubs to impart coding ability to students.

In 2023, the Bank launched a new project to promote science education in 50 schools in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Science Branch of the Ministry of Education. The project is one of a series of initiatives supported by the Bank to take science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to schools across the country.

Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, Commercial Bank is the largest private sector bank in Sri Lanka and the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World. The Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector, and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector.

Continue Reading


Softlogic Life Insurance launches share buyback plan amidst profit-takings in some counters



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

Softlogic Life Insurance announced a share buyback plan as part of their strategic initiatives. Under this plan the company will purchase five shares per every 32 shares held, market analysts said.The price per share would be Rs 102.4 and the maximum shares to be purchased will be 58.59 million. Meanwhile, Serendib Engineering group announced that it would be delisting from the CSE.

Although the stock market initially positively reacted to the IMF approval granted to Sri Lanka, it later moved to negative territory due to profit- takings. The All Share Price Index went down by 25.02 points, while S and P SL20 declined by 10.40 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.83 billion with five crossings.

Those crossings were reported in Commercial Bank, which crossed 3.5 million shares to the tune of Rs 390 million and its shares traded at Rs 110, HNB 325,000 shares crossed for Rs 66.5 million; its shares traded at Rs 204, JKH 200,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 40.6 million; its shares traded at Rs 203, NTB 180,000 shares crossed for Rs 23.4 million; its shares sold at Rs 130.50 and Sunshine Holdings 310,000 shares crossed for Rs 20.1 million; its shares traded at Rs 65.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Softlogic Capital Rs 128 million (16.8 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs 101.9 million (950,000 shares traded), Commercial Bank Rs 86 million (782,000 shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 85.5 million (1.2 million shares traded), Hayleys Fabrics Rs 83.6 million (1.8 million shares traded), Sunshine Holdings Rs 67.8 million (1 million shares traded) and Sampath Bank Rs 43.4 million (543,000 shares traded). During the day 57.3 million share volumes changed hands in 11000 transactions.

During the day the banking and financial sector firms performed well, especially Commercial Bank and Sampath Bank. Manufacturing sector counters also performed well.

Yesterday, the rupee was quoted at Rs 303.90/304.05 to the US dollar in mid-day trading, while bond yields were broadly stable, and stocks opened 0.13 percent higher, dealers said. The rupee closed at Rs 303.80/304.00 to the greenback.

In the secondary market, yields were broadly stable during the auction, dealers said. A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 was quoted at 10.05/20 percent, up from 10.05/15 percent. A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 was quoted at stable at 10.70/85 percent. A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 was quoted at 11.10/15 percent, down from 11.10/20 percent. A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 was quoted at 11.80/95 percent down from 11.80/12.00 percent.

Continue Reading