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.
SLT-MOBITEL Partners STEMUP for ‘Hack:bit 2020’
SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT and Mobile Services Provider partnered with STEMUP Educational Foundation to conduct Hack:bit 2020, a virtual inter-school and inter-university nationwide hackathon with the aim of inspiring creativity amongst Sri Lankan youth. The grand finals of the Hack:bit 2020 took place recently with prizes worth Rs. 1.5 million presented to winners who represented School and University categories.
Hack:bit 2020 which was conducted virtually, provided students with a platform to present their innovative ideas through a disruptive product. It also allowed participants to explore their potential, and to develop their ideas into a successful real-world product. SLT-MOBITEL also conducted a webinar on STEMUP education for kids, during the event.
Commenting on the partnership, Chief Marketing Officer, SLT, Mr. Prabhath Dahanayake stated, “It has been a privilege to have joined hands with the STEMUP Foundation to see this event through. As a national service provider that prides itself in the mission of uplifting the nation and creating a tech-driven economy, it has been rewarding to witness young talent on a platform such as Hack:bit 2020 where they are allowed to get creative, to showcase their levels of passion and skill and become even more inspired with the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”
Hack:bit 2020 participants had the privilege of working closely with industry experts who provided valuable know-how and insights to elevate their ideas and to help them further improve. Entries were evaluated by an expert panel of judges on key factors such as uniqueness of the idea, innovativeness, implementation, business value and sustainability. The panel of judges consisted of local technology and academic professionals with years of domain expertise between them.
Prime Lands Residencies IPO introduces “SUBMIT ONLINE from HOME”
Prime Lands Residencies Limited, the condominium property arm of Prime Group, the ‘Maestro of Real Estate Artistry’ in Sri Lanka, recently debuted its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and will now be allowing potential investors the ability to submit applications for the IPO from the safety and comfort of their homes, through their website www.ipo.primeresidencies.lk.
Investors stand to gain a plethora of benefits, including capital appreciation in price, and further share price increases related to the forecasted highly positive Company performance levels, in the near future. Further, this offers investors the chance to invest into real estate, a market considered to be a secure investment under most circumstances, one that is still highly lucrative during these testing times and stands to be stronger after the pandemic passes. By investing in the IPO, investors stand to doubly benefit from the growth of both the real estate market, and the share market, which has also seen highly positive growth forecasts over the turn of the year – having secured returns after investing in a reputed, reliable Company such as Prime. The IPO is being offered at a 40% discount allowing investors to reap a significant capital gain. The Company has also indicated that investors would be eligible to avail a significant dividend payout of 40% from the profits of the financial year, ending 31st March 2021, within a few months of the launch.
Singer and MSI to support passionate gamers and creators reach new heights
The gaming industry in Sri Lanka has witnessed exponential growth with casual gaming enthusiasts, professionals, game developers and graphic designers, all seeking cutting edge technology to fuel their passion and make the most of the growing opportunities.
As the pandemic resulted in most people working and learning from home, gaming has gained a stronger foothold and boosted the online entertainment industry.
Inspired by these customers’ needs and helping them succeed, Singer the nation’s premier consumer durables retailer has partnered with Taiwan-based gaming giant MSI (Miscro-Star International) to usher in a new era for Sri Lanka’s gaming and content creating communities.
MSI has been a consistent pioneer of the global gaming and creative communities and as a brand regarded by many as among one of the most trusted names in gaming and esports. MSI gaming laptops has been repeatedly honoured with a plethora of awards including the prestigious IF Design Award and Red dot winner of 2020, Taiwan Excellence Awards, and most recent recipient of 15 CES 2021 Innovation Awards Honorees for winning products at the Consumer Electronic Show 2021.
Together with MSI, Singer is now ideally placed to support Sri Lankan gamers and creators to make the gaming experience more competitive, personalised and accessible.
AG turns down plum diplomatic post, keeps his options open
Amaraweera to take on Unilever
Karunaratne closes in on top 10 of ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings
7-billion-rupee diamond heist; Madush splls the beans before being shot
The Burghers of Ceylon/Sri Lanka- Reminiscences and Anecdotes
Unfit, unprofessional, fat Sri Lankans
Sports3 days ago
How Arjuna spotted and nurtured Praveen Jayawickrama’s talent
Opinion7 days ago
Banning fertiliser imports and agricultural productivity
Features24 hours ago
Boosting immune system to fight Covid-19: Is it possible?
Features6 days ago
Mrs Shivashanthie Narayansuwami
Features6 days ago
The Fulbright Scholar – Taking wing to the U.S.
Opinion5 days ago
Agrochemical ban: Heading for national disaster?
Features6 days ago
Sri Lanka in Geneva
Features5 days ago
Unbridled exploitation of natural resources belonging to nation