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President removes tax imposed on gem and jewellery industry

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Rs. 1 million loan facility at 4% interest rate for jewellery manufacturers

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa decided to remove the 14% income tax imposed on the profit earned by the gem and jewellery manufacturers and the 15% tax on gold imports.

The income tax concession given to the gem and jewellery industry since 1971 was done away with under the income tax policy introduced in 2017. This created a situation where the actual income earned from the export of gem and jewellery could not be disclosed.

In 2018, a 15% tax was imposed on gold imports. This has resulted in jewellery prices going up. President pointed out the necessity of removing relevant taxes immediately and to take steps to uplift the gem and jewellery industry.

President Rajapaksa made these remarks during a meeting to discuss future activities of the State Ministry of Gem and jewellery related Industries held at the Presidential Secretariat today (7). The 14 proposals put forward by State Minister Lohan Ratawatta to resolve the issues pertaining to Sri Lanka’s inability to become the global hub for gems were discussed at length. Minister Ratwatte highlighted the importance of facilitating the importation of high priced gems unique to other countries and are not found in Sri Lanka and maintaining a gem reserve.

President Rajapaksa said that all relevant institutions should be brought into one place to avoid delays in the issuance of gem mining licenses. He further instructed the state-owned banks to provide a loan of Rs. 1 million at a concessionary interest rate of 4%, to jewellery manufacturers and traditional Jewelers to purchase gold.

It was also decided to remove the barriers that had obstructed the release of uncultivated lands with gem deposits belonging to plantation companies and to take over control of these lands for the benefit of the mining industry. President Rajapaksa instructed the officials to expedite the construction works of the proposed Gem Trading Complex and Training Centre at Demuwawatha, Ratnapura.

Unregulated and illicit gem mining is taking place in areas containing rich gem deposits of the Ratnapura District on large scale. President Rajapaksa urged officials to immediately halt the gem mining activities that are carried out in a harmful manner to the environment as well as to remove barriers to the traditional gem mining industry. A number of views presented for the advancement of the industry were discussed in detail at this meeting, including the development of the Gem Laboratory of the National Gem & jewellery Authority on par with international standards.

Minister Wimal Weerawansa, State Minister Lohan Ratwatte, Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, officers of the line ministries and the gem and jewellery industrialists participated in this meeting. (PMD)

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‘A supermarket in your pocket’

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For large corporates, understanding the pulse of one’s stakeholders assures longevity and relevance. From serving a few to serving many, Cargills has undergone numerous changes as a corporate entity throughout its rich history of over 175 years. Reflecting on its journey thus far, Cargills transformed from a primarily wholesale and retail business to a pivotal player across multiple sectors within the food and beverage industry in Sri Lanka.

From introducing the first bona fide supermarket, Cargills Food City which revolutionised modern retailing in the country, to acquiring long-standing food brands and elevating them to new heights, Cargills has never shied away from diving into new ventures.

At its core is a deep intrinsic understanding of its stakeholders, from farmers to customers across all 25 districts. While the looming pandemic in March 2020 sought to disrupt the normal, this same understanding, a pulse if you will, directed a new norm.

Like many other businesses, Cargills was compelled to adapt. While it has a wide network of supermarkets across the island which were in fact operational during this time, there were no customers to be served due to the imposed lockdown. Almost overnight, the Cargills Rewards website was transformed to a new system for customers to order their groceries. It was a simple solution, that leveraged its supply chain to help facilitate hyperlocal delivery for customer’s within a 5km radius of its outlets.

Furthermore, container trucks carrying well displayed groceries were dispatched to neighborhoods, pioneering Asia’s first mobile supermarket, ‘Cargills 2 Home’. This ingenuity was driven by the top brass, who too feel the pulse of their stakeholders and so brought the supermarket experience to the customer’s home.

(Cargills)

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Raddella Holdings launches first biotech insulin manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka

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Raddella Holdings introduce yet another revolutionary first with the launch of Sri Lanka’s first and only biotech insulin manufacturing plant. The recently concluded groundbreaking ceremony was held on September18, at the Koggala Export Processing Zone. The landmark event was attended by a host of dignitaries and guests including the State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply, and Regulation – (Prof.) Channa Jayasumana, Minister of Tourism – Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of Plantation – (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, State Minister of Rural and School Sports Infrastructure Development – Thenuka Vidanagamage and many more.

The operation of the new plant will involve a joint venture between the Premium International Injectable Company (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Raddella Holdings and the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC). All new products manufactured as a result of this venture will be done under the SPMC brand name, with full government supervision.

The biotechnology manufacturing plant is a Rs. 3.5 billion, 100% local investment, which will employ over 200 specialized and highly trained professionals. All technology used in manufacturing will be state-of-the-art and conform to the highest tier of European standardization. This new plant has the capacity to meet 100% of projected local demand for next 15 years. The surplus produced thereafter will be exported and provide a valuable source of foreign revenue.

The new plant will utilize world famous SCADA systems to monitor and control the plant, all equipment, and the entire manufacturing process. This will guarantee the highest level of quality control, where all records of manufacture are completely automated and thus tamper-proof. Other quality control methods include adhering to the European Union Goods Manufacturing Practice (EUGMP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), while also complying with the strict standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The extensive planning for the plant happened over the last two years, in this time all designs, technology transfers, and specialist training have been completed, with all approvals and certification having been obtained. With construction completed soon, the plant will commence operations shortly.

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AIA Insurance Platinum Sponsor of Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies

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AIA Sri Lanka is proud to partner as Platinum Sponsor, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in presenting ‘Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies Awards 2020’.

This is the third year of the prestigious Awards ceremony for which AIA has been the Platinum Sponsor. The awards are intended at recognizing companies that are a cut above the rest in terms of not just their financial performance but also on the value they create in a sustainable and ethical way for their employees, customers, investors and the general community.

Companies that have been in business for over 5 years as at June 30 2020 and are 30% or more of Sri Lankan ownership are eligible to enter this Awards competition which is open to both listed and unlisted companies in Sri Lanka. (AIA)

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