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We become importers or manufacturers depending on govt policy: industrialists

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From left: SLCGC Vice President Aravinda Perera, SLCGC Vice President Mahendra Jayasekera, SLGCC president Anura Warnakulasooriya and SLCGC Member S.H.B. Karunaratne

 

SL Customs ‘text book’ not in line with President’s vision on Production Economy, they say

by Sanath Nanayakkare

A leading local ceramics products manufacturer and member of Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council told the media recently that their members choose to become manufacturers or importers depending on the policy of the government of the day.

“If we find it more profitable to import and sell due to policy decisions, we import. If we see the policy environment in Sri Lanka is conducive to manufacturing locally, we manufacture. We interchange our roles according to policy framework of the government”, he said.

Member of Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council S.H. B. Karunaratne whose company’s product range is exported to about 47 countries made these remarks while speaking at a press conference organised by the Council to voice a ‘major weakness’ in Sri Lanka Customs’ Valuation Book which ‘unfairly’ favours importers of ceramic bathware, glass ware and allied products making things hard for local manufacturers.

“We do believe in free trade which is a two-way street and we can successfully face competition offered by foreign products. But the current valuation for invoicing by Sri Lanka Customs is so skewed and heavily favours importers and doesn’t create a level playing for competent local manufacturers who have invested heavily in the industry. This is not fair and it needs to be rectified,” he said.

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s national policy framework of Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour has created a conducive environment for local production, therefore, we are encouraged to remain as manufacturers”.

“Some social media posts claim that only Rocell makes bathroom sets in Sri Lanka and they produce their goods for individuals of upper-income class and big projects. The truth is not only Rocell but Auto Bathware, RSL Ceramics, Hega, Embilipitiya Ceramics also make complete bathroom sets on a bigger scale and several other companies on a smaller scale. That’s why there was no scarcity of products despite the ban on imports.. Our manufacturers are not producing 100% of the local market requirement. But because of the government’s policy, we have planned to invest Rs.2-3 billion in the near term. With these investments our 60% local production would increase to100% and we will be self-sufficient in ceramic products in two years. And we have our own transparent pricing system to make sure local consumers have access to local products of good quality at affordable prices according to their choice”.

“The main issue that discourages potential manufacturers and existing national manufacturers is that the Customs valuation book value for imported items is at a low and unrealistic rate. To import a complete set of ceramic bathware which weighs 65kgs and includes a commode, tank, basin, pedestal, seat cover and water fitting, the book value for invoicing stands at US$35.00 or Rs.6,350. This is an unrealistic amount as a complete set of ceramic bathware cannot be manufactured at such a low cost, because to purchase the seat cover and water fitting alone it costs Rs. 3,500”.

Suggesting a solution to the issue he said,” This issue can be corrected by amending the Custom’s ‘text book’ value to US$100. Once this is amended local manufacturers will be able to compete with imports and it will also prevent cheap inferior quality items being dumped in our country. And this will also help to stop the huge outflow of foreign exchange.

“Once this book value is amended to $100, the importers and local manufactures will have to compete on a level playing field, and this will in turn benefit the consumer as they can get a competitive price”.

When asked if their members have voiced their concern with the authorities on the ‘unfair’ valuation method by Sri Lanka Customs, Karunaratne said that they would be meeting Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the matter at an upcoming meeting.



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Newly developed Sathosa Motors Service Complex to service all vehicle brands

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Sathosa Motors PLC and its new state-of-the-art vehicle service complex, is now serving not just Isuzu but also any brand of vehicle.

Pioneering automotive specialist, Sathosa Motors is the sole authorized agent for the world-renowned Isuzu brand, but the newly developed service complex will now undertake all kinds of services required for any brand of vehicle.

 The internationally trained specialists are ready to serve you at the Sathosa Motors Service Complex now on weekdays from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm and on Saturday from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm at No 25, Vauxhall Street, Colombo 02.

Sathosa Motors PLC guarantees its customers reliable and convenient service and will undertake vehicle inspections, periodic maintenance, body and under carriage washing, interior cleaning and beautification, engine tuning, error diagnosis, accident repairs, air condition repairs, and many more at a highly affordable rate.

In addition, genuine spare parts, as well as lubricants and industrial services are available at discounted prices at the Service Complex.

Sathosa Motors PLC aims to provide high quality services at all times and all services are carried out strictly under health guidelines due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Sathosa Motors announces that it has decided to keep all branches of the Sathosa Motors service network open to continue to serve its customers.

 

(Sathosa Motors)

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CSE trading bullish despite rupee hitting historic low against dollar

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

CSE trading activities were bullish despite Sri Lanka’s rupee registering a historic slump against the US dollar   at 202/205 to the one month dollar in mid morning trade yesterday, after opening at around 200/203.The stock market moved up, though, anticipating March quarterly results to be exceptional. This is expected to be particularly true of the Hayleys Group and Expolanka. Accordingly, investors seem to be re-entering the market after January, stock market analysts said.

Further, approval of the US $ 500 million Chinese loan and the fact that the Port City Bill has been tabled in parliament have lifted investor sentiment in a significant direction of the stock market, market analysts said. Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards, especially the All Share Price Index went up by 1.22 percent. The All Share Price Index rose by 92.35 points and S and P SL20 went up by 19.21 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 4.72 billion with four crossings. 

Those crossings were reported in JKH, which crossed 922,000 shares to the tune of Rs. 137.8 million, its shares traded at Rs. 149.25, Commercial Bank 950,000 shares crossed for Rs. 82.7 million, its shares traded at Rs. 87, HNB 155,000 shares crossed for Rs. 26.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 132 and Ceylon Cold Stores 33,500 shares crossed for Rs. 20.1 million, its shares fetching Rs. 600.

In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Browns Investments Rs. 793.6 million (123.1 million shares traded), LOLC Rs. 463.4 million (1.32 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs. 442 million (1.2 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 442 million (five million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 372.3 million (6.2 million shares traded). During the day 197.3 million share volumes changed hands in 30480 transactions. 

The market was quite bullish from the beginning and LOLC Group companies led the market. It is said that LOLC contributed 25.5 points to the All Share Price Index. Browns Investments 9.8 points and Vallibel One contributed 8 points to the All Share Price Price Index while Commercial Leasing contributed six points.    

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‘Embark on that long-awaited getaway with Emirates and enjoy special fares’

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Emirates is launching seasonal fares that enable aspiring globetrotters to plan exciting adventures around the world as well as for students preparing to travel overseas. With Emirates’ generous booking policies, customers have the option to lock in these special fares and extend ticket validity for up to three years, enjoying greater flexibility and confidence when planning travel during unprecedented times.

Travellers in Sri Lanka can look forward to flight deals on all routes in Emirates’ global network, with return fares starting at only Rs 68,700 in Economy Class or Rs 257,500 in Business Class. These special seasonal fares are available for bookings made from 13 to 26 April 2021, and are valid for travel between 16 April and 30 September 2021*.

Featured destinations and starting Economy Class fares include: US$ 342 (about Rs 68,700 at current exchange rates) to Dubai, US$ 654 (about Rs 131,300) to Milan, US$ 644 (about Rs 129,300) to Paris, US$ 1,117 (about Rs 224,200) to New York, US$ 1,303 (about Rs 261,500) to Toronto and US$ 966 (about Rs 193,900) to Nairobi.

Special Business Class fares start at US$ 1,283 (approximately Rs 257,500) to Dubai, from US$ 3,127 (about Rs 627,600) to Milan, US$ 2,860 (about Rs 574,000) to Paris, US$ 3,618 (about Rs 726,100) to New York, US$ 3,654 (about Rs 733,300) to Toronto and US$ 2,179 (about Rs 437,300) to Nairobi. All fares in Rupees are subject to the rate of exchange on the day of purchase.

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