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Locally developed ‘Scan&Pay’ QR code saves Rs. 1.5 billion

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From left – State Minister of Samurdhi, Household Economy, Micro Finance, Self Employment, Business Development and Underutilized State Resources Development Shehan Semasinhe, State Minister of Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection Lasantha Alagiyawanna, State Minister of Money and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena and CBSL Governor Prof. W. D. Lakshman.

by Sanath Nanayakkare

The national ‘Scan and Pay’ digital payment QR code (LankaQR) launched by the Central Bank yesterday has been developed without obtaining consultancy from a foreign firm, which would otherwise have cost about Rs. 1.5 billion for the country, a forum of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) revealed yesterday.

Dharmasri Kumaratunga, Director, Payments and Settlements Department of the CBSL made this revelation at the launch of the National QR Code, LANKAQR.

“Cambodia had paid US$ 8 million for a similar service that it received from Korea. But we were able to develop the National QR code using the technical know-how of our own developers, so it’s tantamount to being able to save about Rs. 1.5 billion which would otherwise have been paid for foreign consultancy,” he said.

Central Bank Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman pointed out that this facility would encourage digital payments in the economy and reduce the cost of cash management as well as formalise the informal sector.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister of Money and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms said that the use of credit cards in the country has increased and the Central Bank has moved further ahead to introduce the National QR Code to accelerate the empowerment of the digital economy. “We should enable the inflows into the country to be formalized attracting those who transfer money to the country through alternative methods. For this we must offer low costs for such inward remittances. Also, we must follow tech developments in the world on a daily basis and adopt them in our financial landscape ensuring cyber-security of those payment and settlement innovations. We shouldn’t lag behind other countries, he said.

The code enables quick and secure transactions at a low cost bringing numerous benefits to the public and the economy.

Customers can use the LANKAQR system to transfer funds directly to a merchant’s bank account where a nominal fee is charged from the merchant.

The new payment system is expected to be beneficial to small and medium enterprises, which account for 90 percent of all businesses and contribute 52 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).



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Rootcode wins Startup of the Year and People’s Choice Award at SAARC Startup Awards 2022

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Rootcode, one of Sri Lanka’s leading tech companies, recently took home the “People’s Choice Award” in addition to being bestowed with the “Startup of the Year” title at the SAARC Startup Awards 2022. This regional recognition marks a significant milestone for the Sri Lankan tech space and workforce. Rootcode’s mission to build great tech is well underway, and it is gaining traction faster than ever.

This is the first time a Sri Lankan tech company has made a name for itself in the regional competition, and it is a watershed moment that has focused the global spotlight on Rootcode’s distinct approach to fostering innovation in Sri Lanka. This is also the first time that a Sri Lankan company was able to take home two awards of those presented at the SAARC Startup Awards.

Global Startup Awards SAARC celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and promotes bridging boundaries through innovation in its regions, which include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, by recognizing them with its most prestigious awards program, attended by top-notch entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, and ecosystem builders from Nordic, Central Europe, SAARC, and ASEAN regions.

Every year, the SAARC Startup Awards bring together hundreds of South Asian startups, entrepreneurs, investors, co-working spaces, and accelerators to provide a platform to highlight trailblazers in the region’s startup world. Rootcode was chosen ahead of dozens of other regional tech startups in the competition.

Sri Lanka is a relative newcomer to the South Asian startup fraternity, and Rootcode’s ability to represent the country on the global stage not long after its inception is remarkable.

“We are extremely humbled and honored by the support shown to us at the SAARC Startup Awards 2022, and being recognized under two categories is a huge milestone for us,” said the CEO and Founder of Rootcode Labs, Alagan Mahalingam. “We have always been driven forward by excellence, collaboration, and integrity, which I believe is the reason why we have come so far and why Rootcode continues to grow every day.”

Rootcode is driven by its focus on helping businesses build great tech not just locally but globally, and its achievement at the SAARC awards stands as a testament to that. Despite the challenging times, this is a win for Sri Lanka.

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INSEE Cement felicitates Sri Lanka’s youngest Commonwealth medallist

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INSEE Cement awarded aspiring wrestler, Nethmi Ahimsa Fernando, who won a Bronze Medal for Sri Lanka at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, LKR 1 million cash reward, to support her to pursue her passion. Suranga Kumara, her coach, also received LKR 250,000 cash reward, in appreciation of his contribution towards Nethmi’s recent achievements. INSEE Cement has also pledged to support Nethmi’s aspiration to represent Sri Lanka at the 2024 Olympic games, while also providing the entire cement requirement for the completion of her new house, which is presently under construction, in collaboration with the Manusath Derana initiative.

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Textile maker Teejay knits strong start to 2022-23

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Q1 revenue more than doubles to Rs 23.9 billion

Teejay Lanka PLC has made a positive start to 2022-23 posting Group revenue of Rs 23.9 billion for the three months ending 30th June 2022. The Group achieved nearly half its full-year revenue of 2021-22 in just the first quarter of the new financial year as a result of the low base of the previous financial year due to the impacts of COVID, the depreciation of the Rupee and the passing on of yarn price increases during the last quarter.

In a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), Sri Lanka’s largest textile manufacturer said it had also recorded significant growth in pre-tax and net profit at both Group and Company level in the quarter reviewed.According to interim financial statements, Group profit before tax for the three months grew by more than Rs 1 billion or 291% to Rs 1.5 billion, while Group net profit for the period was up 301% to Rs 1.2 billion.

At Company level, revenue improved by 108% in the quarter under review to Rs 12.9 billion, while profit before tax grew by 323% to Rs 1.5 billion, and net profit increased by 311% to Rs 1.3 billion.

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