Landmark accord to implement Sri Lanka Transit Card
Channa de Silva (General Manager / CEO – LankaClear Pvt Ltd), . Kingsley Ranawaka (chairman – Sri Lanka Transport Board), Dharmasri Kumaratunge (Director Payments and Settlements – CBSL), Cabinet Minister of Transport Gamini Lokuge, Shashi Welgama (chairman – National Transport Commission), Monti Ranatunga (Secretary to the Ministry of Transport), K.B. Rajapakse (Senior Deputy General Manager – Payment, Digital, Process Management & Quality Assurance – People’s Bank)
The Ministry of Transport and the Central Bank played lead roles to get the key stakeholders to sign a four-party agreement to introduce Sri Lanka Transit Card (SLTC) recently. The SLTC initiative, which had been in the drawing board for many years will finally come to light in line with manifesto of HE the President, Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, which proposed a single transport e-ticket system to be introduced in Sri Lanka.
The four-party agreement for the implementation of SLTC was signed amongst Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), National Transport Commission (NTC), People’s Bank and LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd. at the Ministry of Transport on April 22 under the patronage of Gamini Lokuge, Minister of Transport; Dilum Amunugama, State Minister – Vehicle Regulation, Bus Transport Services and Train Compartments and Motor Car Industry, Secretaries and officials of both ministries. Chairman SLTB, Kingsly Ranawaka, Chairman NTC, Sashi Welgama, GM/CEO LankaClear Channa de Silva and Senior DGM, People’s Bank, K. B. Rajapakse signed the historic agreement representing their respective organizations.
The proposal to implement the SLTC submitted by LankaClear, with approval from Central Bank and support from the Ministry of Transport, received cabinet approval in February 2021. SLTC will be issued by all authorized financial institutions under the National Card Scheme (NCS) facilitated by LankaClear. SLTC will be the first-ever 2in1 card to be introduced in Sri Lanka that comes with a unique stored-value component, in addition to debit/credit feature, built into a single chip card. This unique feature of maintaining a single card to be used across ATMs, POS machines and all transport sectors provides a citizen with the convenience of using a single card to carry out multiple modes of transactions. In addition, it will save the government a colossal amount of money in terms of printing and distributing cards if it were implemented as a standalone transport card.
At the pilot phase, SLTC will be accepted in public and private buses in selected routes identified by the Ministry of Transport, which will be gradually extended to other routes and to Sri Lanka Railway. This national initiative was aptly backed by the Ministry of Transport and the Central Bank while People’s Bank came on board as the first bank to issue SLTC, which is set to be rolled out in a couple of months. Bank of Ceylon and other state banks are also in the process of joining this national initiative by issuing SLTC within a few months. The SLTB and NTC are in the process of implementing the required technology backend to facilitate this card in public and private buses.
LankaClear has come forward to operate the network to facilitate the transactions that are carried out for public transport using SLTC, under the guidance of the Central Bank, free of charge in considering the importance of this national initiative. The Ministry of Transport and NTC have obtained the support of all provincial transport authorities towards this initiative as well as the backing of most private bus owner associations. The initiative has gained acceptance amongst all stakeholders as the scheme has been designed in a way that it is proposed to contribute towards the welfare of bus drivers and conductors, who will play a critical role in the execution of this project.
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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