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‘Tile & sanitary ware industry in crisis due to tile import ban’



The temporary ban on tile imports has plunged the tile and sanitary ware industry into a severe crisis. Considering the magnitude of this situation, we look forward to Cabinet approval for a resumption of tile imports, the Board of Management of the Tile & Sanitary Ware Importers Association (TISA)says in a press release.

The release: ‘The industry has been facing severe crises in the past due to the temporary ban on tile imports. Not only the importers but also the traders, the warehouses and all the employees were in crisis.

‘Although we were initially able to take such a decision in the face of the economic crisis in the country, as importers of Sri Lankan tiles and sanitary ware we had doubts as to whether the continued ban was carried out by some invisible political hand.

‘There are over 300 importers in the Tile and Sanitary Importers Association (TSIA) and we are proud to acknowledge that our association has made a significant contribution to the local economy over the past 30 years. During these 30 years, we produced a large number of job opportunities as well as tailoring to customer demand as well as providing tiles and sanitary ware at reasonable prices.

‘Importers of this industry give near 12 billion rupees to the national economy on every year only from import tax.

‘Also, more than 100,000 jobs have been created directly and indirectly associated with this industry at present.

‘It has also created about 2000 small and medium scale entrepreneurs for the rural economy and generated a large number of related jobs. Also, this is an organization which represent all the races in Sri Lanka.

‘Local tiles in the local market can provide only 40% – 45% for the needs. Also, about 50% of the cost from products imported as energy and raw materials. It will be a huge environmental polution if we produce the imported items within our country.

‘Because of the supply doesn’t fulfill the need of domestic consumer, he had to buy tiles and sanitary items for a high price.

‘We have informed the President and the Cabinet from time to time about this crisis. This media conference was held to raise awareness about this. Considering this situation, we expect Cabinet approval for the import of tiles. Let’s believe.

‘As businessmen, we Sri Lankans are committed to supporting the government of Sri Lanka in the face of international obstacles. We would like to thank President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for his support to the government and for the economic well-being of Sri Lanka. We look forward to continuing to sell tiles and sanitary ware at reasonable prices in this industry. We are studying this closely and we hope that this work will be completed soon.’

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Cabinet approves rationalization of VAT exemptions and abolition of SVAT System




The Cabinet of Ministers granted concurrence to the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to remove most of the releases from Value Added Tax (VAT), further retaining releases that ease the pressure on low – income families to secure the fundamental sectors of the economy as well as the releases for sectors such as education, health and agriculture, as well as to revise the provisions applicable for the Value Added Tax (VAT) act so that the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) methodology can be canceled with effect from 01.01.2024 by introducing a more formal methodology for repaying the Value Added Tax (VAT) and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for the purpose.

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Venora Lanka Power Panels to set up assembly plant in Australia



Sagara Gunawardene

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lanka- based, export- oriented manufacturer, Venora Lanka Power Panels (Pvt) Ltd, with a state of the art electric panel factory at the Export Processing Zone, Biyagama, will set up an assembly plant in Australia.

“Once we set up the electric panel assembly plant in Australia, we will export all our panels from Sri Lanka and that plant will do 30 percent value addition to the product to supply that market, the company’s chairman/ Managing Director, engineer Sagara Gunawardena told The Island Financial Review.

Gunawardena said that the company is a value- addition assembly plant and he would be investing AUS $ 2 million for the project to be set up in Melbourne and hire 100 engineers and other professionals. He explained that the venture has enormous potential.

Venora Lanka provides power panels to mega projects in Sri Lanka and exports to Bangladesh, Maldives, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Myanmar. Panel assembling is strictly in compliance with IEC 61439 standards, it was explained.

Gunawardena added: ‘I firmly believe that, being a truly customer focused organization, every employee and every process in the organization has to be aligned behind delighting customers. Therefore, at a time when the country is facing a major dollar crisis, my company would be aiming at bringing dollars into the country, while providing employment for local professionals, especially engineers.

‘At Venora Lanka we do not try to change customers’ mindsets. Instead, we take time to understand what they really want and focus our brand on delivering that. Venora is values- driven first and cost- driven second – creating a unique brand proposition.

‘Since the US dollar rate has come down, it is our concern that importers and suppliers do not change their prices, which is really affecting the manufacturing sector.

Company sources added: ‘The company has several wings of operation, such as local and overseas projects, switch board assembling, telecommunication infrastructure installations, earthing, lighting and surge protection, incorporating world renowned brands.

‘Venora Lanka Power Panels is the first Sri Lankan company to receive the licence, in accordance with the UK Trade Mark Act 1994, to use the trade mark “Best Enterprise”. It won a global award at the event, ‘Golden Awards for Quality and Business Prestige’, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.

‘Within a short span of time, with the perfect blend of progressive thinking and expertise, Venora Group has expanded to consist of, Venora International Projects, Venora Telecom, Venora Industrial Solutions and Venora Lanka Power Panels (BOI approved). Further, Venora has established its overseas presence through Venora Engineering Kenya and Venora Engineering Myanmar.’

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Share market moves into positive territory; indices up



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading got off to a positive note yesterday but during the last session of the day the momentum slowed. However, the market is now moving towards positive territory following the Central Bank announcement of a downward trend in interest rates, market analysts said.

Amid those developments the market witnesses improvements in both indices and in the turnover.

The All- Share Price Index up by 12.8 points and S and P SL 20 rose by 6.97 points. Turnover stood at Rs 710 million with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH which crossed 430,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 140.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 212 million (1.5 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 44.7 million ( three million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 34.5 million (264,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 28.6 million (5.3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 23.8 million (4.7 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 22.9 million (615,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 19.2 million (574,000 shares traded). During the day the 31.4 million shares volumes changed hands in 9000 transactions.

Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 285.16 and the selling rate Rs 298.85.

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