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New exchange control regulations on top of import controls

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A new order has been issued by the government under Foreign Exchange Act to preserve the Foreign Exchange Position of Sri Lanka in addition to ongoing import controls.

The Minister of Finance with the recommendation of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers has issued an Order dated 2 July, 2021 with a view to assisting and maintaining the financial system stability by minimising the pressure on the exchange rate and preserving the foreign currency reserve position of the country,

Accordingly following suspensions/restrictions on outward remittances will be effective for six (06) months commencing from 2 July 2021.

i. Suspend the repatriation of funds under the migration allowance out of funds received as monetary gifts by an emigrant from an immediate family member (i.e. parents, grandparents, siblings and spouse of the Emigrant).

ii. Limit the repatriation of funds under the migration allowance through Capital Transactions Rupee Accounts by the emigrants who have already claimed migration allowance under the general permission, up to a maximum of USD 10,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency.

iii. Limit the eligible migration allowance for the emigrants who are claiming the migration allowance for the first time under the general permission, up to a maximum of USD 30,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency.

iv. Limit the repatriation of any current income or accumulated current income (including Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Employees Trust Fund (ETF), gratuity and pensions or any other retirement benefits) by the emigrants through the Capital Transaction Rupee Accounts or Emigrant’s Remittable Income Accounts, under the general permission, up to a maximum of USD 30,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency.

v. Limit the outward remittances or issuance of foreign exchange for any Sri Lankan individual who resides in or outside Sri Lanka and has obtained Temporary Residence Visa of another country which falls into a category of visa that entitles the individual to obtain permanent residency status or citizenship in that country at a future date, up to a maximum of USD 20,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency.

vi. Limit the issuance of foreign exchange for any person resident in Sri Lanka who intends to leave Sri Lanka under the Temporary Residence Visa of another country up to a maximum of USD 10,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency.

Vii. Suspend making payments through Outward Investment Accounts for the purpose of making investments in overseas by persons resident in Sri Lanka under general permission granted in the Schedule of the Regulations No. 1 of 2021 published in the Extraordinary Gazette Notifications No. 2213/34 dated 03 February 2021, excluding (a) investments to be financed out of a foreign currency loan obtained by the investor from a person resident outside Sri Lanka under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Act, or (b) an additional investment to be made to fulfill the regulatory requirements in the investee’s country applicable on the investment already made in compliance with the provisions of the Act or repealed Exchange Control Act, in a company or a branch office in that country, or (c) an additional investment/infusion of funds (as applicable) to be made by eligible resident companies in already established subsidiaries or branch offices in overseas incorporated/established subject to the provisions of the Act or repealed Exchange Control Act, up to a maximum of USD 15,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency, for the purpose of working capital requirements of the investee, or (d) the remittances for the purpose of maintenance of liaison, marketing, agency, project, representative or any other similar offices already established in overseas subject to the provisions of the Act or repealed Exchange Control Act, by eligible resident companies, up to a maximum of USD 30,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency; provided that, the Head of Department of Foreign Exchange is satisfied with the fulfillment of such requirement.

Viii. Limit the outward remittances on capital transactions through Business Foreign Currency Accounts or/and Personal Foreign Currency Accounts held by a person resident in Sri Lanka, up to a maximum of USD 20,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency, during the effective period of this Order;

ix.The Monetary Board shall have the authority to grant permission in terms of the Section 7(10) of the Foreign Exchange Act for the investments on case-by-case basis which exceeds the limits specified in the general permission granted in the Regulation No 1 of 2021 provided that, (a) the proposed investment is to be financed out of a foreign currency loan obtained by the investor from a person resident outside Sri Lanka under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Act, or (b) the proposed investment is to be made to fulfill the regulatory requirement in the investee’s country applicable on the investment already made in a company or branch office in that country in compliance with the provisions of the Act or repealed Exchange Control Act.

 



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Daraz donates Rs. 2 million to ITUKAMA COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund

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Daraz showcased their perseverance in combatting the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through their donation of Rs. 2 Million and the supply of PPE kits to the ITUKAMA COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.

The donation was handed over to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha at the Temple Trees on 19th July 2021, in the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports, and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development, Namal Rajapakse and State Minister of Provincial Council and Local Government, Minister Roshan Ranasinghe. Representing Daraz Sri Lanka were Managing Director, Rakhil Fernando, Chief Operations Officer, Darshika Attanayake and the Head of Administration, and Procurement, Malith Ranadewa.

The ITUKAMA project is a fund raising initiative for the COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund established by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to support the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. Initially established with a donation of Rs 100 million from the President’s Fund, the fund aims at securing the safety of those in the health sector and other essential service providers while facilitating the aid of those made vulnerable by COVID-19. It simultaneously supports the improvement of Sri Lanka’s long term vigilance and preparation for future health emergencies.

Daraz has played an active role in supporting the community through a series of CSR initiatives spearheaded under Daraz Cares, since the onset of the pandemic and will continue to do so by aiding the government of Sri Lanka.

(Daraz)

 

 

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Ceylinco Life opens latest Green branch on company land in Piliyandala

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(Above, from left) Ceylinco Life Chairman R. Renganathan, Managing Director Thushara Ranasinghe and directors Messrs Devaan Cooray, Palitha Jayawardena and Ranga Abeynayake at the opening of the company’s new Piliyandala branch.

 

Ceylinco Life has placed another Green pin on its branch map with the opening of its latest eco-friendly branch in Piliyandala in a purpose-designed building constructed to the environment-friendly specifications adopted for all new branches on company-owned land.

Intended to reduce the Company’s carbon footprint while improving the customer and employee experience, the latest branch is located at No. 192, Horana Road, Piliyandala, on three floors that provide 5,683 square feet of space.

An investment of Rs 54 million, the Piliyandala branch completed in 11 months is designed for optimal use of natural light, is powered entirely by a 20kW solar power system that results in zero consumption of electricity from the national grid, and has its own waste-water recycling system. It is also equipped with the latest energy-efficient artificial lighting and air conditioning systems, has a rainwater harvesting facility and uses minimum amounts of pipe-borne water.

While the construction was designed to require minimum quantities of timber, trees planted in the premises upon completion of the building, further contribute to the Company’s Green agenda.

The building will function as an office for the Ceylinco Life branches in the Piliyandala area. With ample dedicated parking bays for visitors, it is designed to enhance customer convenience. In the same vein, the branch features private discussion rooms to ensure customer privacy within the premises and to deliver specialised customer handling processes by a team of well-trained and experienced employees, the Company said.

A cash deposit machine is deployed at the branch to enable deposits of policy premiums even during non-office hours and on holidays.

Ceylinco Life has been protecting the lives of the residents of Piliyandala and its suburbs via a dedicated branch since 1992. The newest branch is the seventh in the Colombo district to operate in a Ceylinco Life owned building and is the 43rd building owned by the company.

Ceylinco Life is in the process of constructing another Green building for its branch in Ja-Ela. The Company currently owns the buildings housing its offices in Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Kandy, Kalutara, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Galle, Matara, Tissamaharama, Negombo, Ratnapura, Kotahena, Mount Lavinia, and Wellawatte, many of which have already been converted to solar energy. New branch buildings purpose-built to the company’s sustainable energy model are those at Horana, Panadura, Wennappuwa, Bandarawela, Chilaw, Kadawatha, Jaffna, Malabe, Divulapitiya, Negombo, and now Piliyandala.

Ceylinco Life operates the largest network of 272 branches in Sri Lanka’s life insurance industry, giving it a physical presence in 142 cities, towns, and villages in every one of the island’s 25 districts.

Ranked the ‘Most Valuable Life Insurance Brand’ in Sri Lanka by Brand Finance and voted the ‘Peoples Life Insurance Service Provider of the Year’ for a record 15th consecutive year in 2021, Ceylinco Life has been Sri Lanka’s leading life insurer for more than half of the 33 years it has been in existence. In 2020, the Company was certified as a ‘Great Workplace’ in Sri Lanka by Great Place to Work®, was named the ‘Best Life Insurer in Sri Lanka’ for the seventh consecutive year by World Finance, and accorded an ‘Honourable Mention’ as one of the ‘Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka’ by the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK.

Ceylinco Life has close to a million lives covered by active policies and is acknowledged as a benchmark in the local insurance sector for innovation, product research and development, customer service, professional development, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.

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IRD and SLPA payments via Pan Asia internet banking

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Aligned to its strategy to extend the highest convenience and superior customer experience, Pan Asia Bank is the first bank in Sri Lanka to integrate with the LankaPay Online Payment Platform Common Interface, through which its customers can make payments to the Inland Revenue Department and Sri Lanka Ports Authority via Pan Asia Internet Banking.  

Customers wishing to pay taxes will no longer need to go through the hassle of depositing cheques for tax payments by visiting other bank branches. Instead, by simply logging into the Pan Asia Internet banking facility, they can now make their tax payments at a nominal and fixed transactional fee of Rs. 50/- irrespective of the value of the tax payment. The system supports tax payments up to Rs. 10 billion in value via a single transaction. This innovation offers a convenient, cost-effective and efficient option for taxpayers. 

Facilitated via LankaPay Common Electronic Fund Transfer Switch (CEFTS), these payments will be credited real-time 24X7 x 365. The system provides its participants with the required payment confirmation details on a real-time basis.

LankaClear launched LankaPay Online Payment Platform in 2017 under the direction of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, with the objective of digitally empowering government agencies by enabling large value transactions to be accepted via digital means.

Pan Asia Bank has been on digital transformation journey and this digital enhancement further strengthens its position as The Truly Sri Lankan Bank that puts customer convenience at the heart of its operations.

 

(Pan Asia Bank)

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