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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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Next Meats, Purveyor of the World’s First Plant-based Yakiniku Meats, Is Now in Singapore

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The Tokyo-based startup makes its debut in the alt-protein hotspot of Singapore Next Meats has collaborated with Aburi-EN to deliver two new meal sets Made with soybean proteins, the Kalbi contains no chemical additives or animal ingredients

SINGAPORE –

 Media OutReach – 14 April 2021 – Next Meats, a purveyor of the world’s first plant-based yakiniku meats, is making its debut in the alternative protein hotspot, Singapore! The Japanese alternative meat company has collaborated this time with popular Japanese restaurant Aburi-EN, which will offer two types of set meals using the NEXT Kalbi (boneless short rib) for the very first time. Made largely from soy proteins, the NEXT Kalbi contains double the amount of protein and half the fats than that of regular meat and even more, it does not contain any chemical additives or cholesterol due to its lack of animal ingredients. Now, Singaporeans can enjoy yakiniku without the guilt! 

The two new menus available at Aburi-EN are the Kalbi Don Set (S$13.80) and the Stamina Teishoku (S$15.80) — which are available for a limited time only. Next Meats has specifically chosen to work with Aburi-EN as they are a Japanese grilled-meat specialist. The two menus are the culmination of many months of research and development, and they will also be Aburi-EN’s first-ever plant-based dishes.

For the Kalbi Don Set, Next Meat’s Kalbi is grilled and served atop a bowl of fragrant Japanese steamed rice. Equally indulgent, the Stamina Teishoku features the Kalbi stir-fried with cabbage along with egg imported from Okinawa. The meat is then served with fragrant Japanese steamed rice, salad, pickles and miso soup. For both dishes, the meats are glazed with a special homemade sauce that packs an irresistible umami punch.   

 Both the Kalbi Don Set and Stamina Teishoku will be available at all Aburi-EN stores from April to July 2021.

 An advocate of sustainable food production and better food security

 The NEXT Kalbi is one of Next Meats’ innovative offerings, which includes other plant-based delicacies such as the NEXT burger and NEXT gyudon (beef bowl). The company champions the importance of saving the planet and humanity through reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (which is produced from meat consumption and animal agriculture) and utilizing biotechnology to combat protein deficiency.

 Through extensive research and development, Next Meats has culminated the knowhow on using molecular binding to mould vegetable proteins from powder. Buoyed by state-of-the-art, proprietary technologies, the company has successfully created vegan substitutes that replicate the texture of real meat.

 

 

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Lanka Hospitals tops healthcare sector in LMD’s Most Awarded Entities

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Lanka hospitals, the internationally accredited multiple award-winning healthcare provider, topped the healthcare sector in the Most Awarded list compiled by LMD magazine for 2019/20.

Designed to rank the most awarded entities in Sri Lanka, LMD conducted the research, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, involving 204 corporate entities, based on the cumulative tally of awards received from 52 awarding bodies between January 2019 to September 2020.

With a total of five awards, securing the overall rank of 67, Lanka Hospitals came first in the healthcare sector.

Deepthi Lokuarachchi, Group CEO, Lanka Hospitals, said three factors contributed towards Lanka Hospitals’ award winning process; profound commitment to quality, service standard in healthcare and the accreditation of Joint Commission International (JCI).

“Our stringent standards for quality have earned accolades and accreditations from numerous national and international agencies. Lanka Hospitals has been in the forefront of healthcare providers since 2009 and, particularly, between 2019 and 2020, we were able to win seven national and international awards including one for environmental management systems”, he said.

As a result of superior facilities, customer care and quality of service Lanka Hospitals offers, a growth was experienced in terms of medical tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic even though the inbound international population was restricted. JCI, a US-based accreditation agency, rates healthcare services based on several criteria related to medical as well as non medical services”, he noted.

In terms of corporate responsibility, Lanka Hospitals focuses on skills development, medical care and donations. Every year, Lanka Hospitals’ nursing school enrolls batches from outside the Western province and upon the successful completion of the course they are offered employment, he added.

 

 

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Sino Lanka Power Gen to install 2MW solar power at Taprobane Seafood Dankotuwa plant

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Sino Lanka Power Gen announced its partnership with Taprobane Seafood to supply and install a one-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system at their plant in Dankotuwa. This is the first of a two-phased project with the second megawatt to be installed in two years. The collaboration will result in a 19,000 tonne reduction in Taprobane’s carbon footprint over 20 years, a company news release said.

“Combating climate change has become critical and we are delighted to team up with Taprobane Seafood to be a part of their solar expansion strategy,” said Dhiren Kundanmal, Director of Sino Lanka Power Gen. “We are honoured that Taprobane Seafood, being a conscientious brand aiming to reduce its carbon footprint, is looking towards us as a working partner in this area. Our approach is fivefold i.e., improve yields and plant performance, reduce downtime, holistic monitoring, skill transfer, and finally minimising their liability and risk.”

Commenting on the partnership, Taprobane’s Managing Director Timothy O’Reilly said Taprobane Seafood has always been at the forefront of ethical labour practices, sustainable development, and earth friendly practices. “Shifting to solar energy is an important step in our sustainability journey and we believe Sino Lanka is the right partner for us given their expertise in the renewable energy industry,” he said.

Established in 2010, the Taprobane Seafood Group is Sri Lanka’s leading seafood company with over 1,500 direct employees in 11 processing facilities throughout the north-western and northern province. With high quality standards, social responsibility, and sustainability values, Taprobane’s vision is to be the global leader in sustainable and socially responsible seafood.

Sino Lanka Power Gen provides state-of-the-art equipment, capable of withstanding harsh tropical environments, utilising the latest technology from Canadian Solar and SunPower, alongside Tier 1 purpose-built inverters. The company adopts the latest industry trends -namely IoT, big data, and AI- to ensure their systems perform optimally for well over 20 years.

Sino Lanka Power Gen’s vision is to support the government’s initiatives on the “Soorya Bala Sangramaya” policy statement that sets a target of meeting 70% of the country’s total electricity demand from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Sino Lanka Power Gen is a joint venture between the Sino Lanka Group – an Asian enterprise with investments in real estate, hospitality, chemicals, healthcare, financial services, and rooftop solar, among others-, and the Atman Group, an investment holding company with investments in renewable energy, hospitality, real estate, and agriculture.

Sino Lanka Power Gen provides reliable and modern renewable and sustainable sources of energy for businesses, with a dedicated engineering and operations team that counts over 25 years of collective experience in implementing rooftop solar projects across Sri Lanka.

 

 

 

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