Connect with us

Business

No double standards please, on govt’s vehicle import ban: CMTA

Published

on

Meanwhile, on June 9, The Island published its front page lead story ‘Covid time bonanza: Luxury SUVs for MPs coming after all- LCs opened before Cabinet rescinded its own decision’.

The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) has expressed its concerns on the decision the government has taken to import 400 vehicles – including 227 luxury SUVs – to a value of Rs. 3.7 billion through the Bank of Ceylon. The Government reversed its earlier decision to cancel the order, citing the fact that the Letters of Credit (LCs) had been already opened and “as the opening of Letters of Credit meant guaranteed payment, Sri Lanka faced the prospect of being blacklisted if a unilateral decision was taken” as per Minister Keheliya Rambukwella’s explanation to the press.

The CMTA notified the government of the same issues and repercussions on international trade as a result of unilaterally dishonouring 216 LCs of its members that had been opened prior to the import ban in March 2020. Totalling Rs. 5.2 billion, these include a considerable number of vehicles ordered by permit holders such as doctors and government officials who are at the forefront fighting the pandemic, some of whom had already sold their existing vehicle, anticipating their new vehicle to arrive shortly. Is it fair to keep these permit holders on hold indefinitely while new luxury SUVs are imported for MPs during the import ban?

Due to these LCs being dishonoured, a total of more than 14,000 vehicles comprising 10,780 Motorcycles, 2640 trishaws and 537 Cars specifically ordered for Sri Lankan market conditions were prohibited from being imported.

The vehicle import ban imposed last year has taken a toll on vehicle buyers by constricting the market at a time when the need for personal transportation is more acute. To make matters worse, the resulting imbalance of demand vs. supply has caused prices of used vehicles skyrocket within a short time span, and has led to unscrupulous activities at the expense of the consumer, such as odometer tampering.

Speaking on behalf of the CMTA, Chairman Yasendra Amerasinghe said, “Considering the rampant increase of COVID-19 cases at this time, with various potent variants of the virus spreading throughout the island, personal mobility represents the safest option for citizens who have no choice but to travel. The CMTA very much agrees with Minister Rambukwella’s statement that cancellation of confirmed LCs will affect the credibility of our banks and country. We strongly urge the government to apply the same standard to LCs for vehicles for government servants including doctors, and the general public as it has applied for luxury SUVs for MPs. We hope that there would be no double standard.”

Furthermore, the CMTA mentioned that it had been reminding the government of a proposal for Quota that It had submitted in March, at the request of the President’s Secretariat, to which no response had been given. This proposal was based on a minimum volume of vehicle imports for the industry to survive until the import ban is lifted.

Concerns were also raised as to how this purchase had been carried out without an open tender, with queries as to whether it complies with government procurement guidelines.

Founded in 1920, the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) is affiliated to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and is widely accepted as the voice of the Sri Lankan Automotive Industry.



Business

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

Published

on

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)

 

 

Continue Reading

Business

Ceylinco Life opens latest Green branch on company land in Piliyandala

Published

on

(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.

Continue Reading

Business

IRD and SLPA payments via Pan Asia internet banking

Published

on

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)

Continue Reading

Trending