Sri Lanka’s control body for organic agriculture - the National Organic Control Unit (NOCU), operating under the aegis of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), has taken a significant step towards promoting and regulating Sri Lanka's organic agriculture sector with the launch of its official website - www.nocu.lk. This website development was done through the project support to Small and Medium Enterprises in the Organic Agriculture Sector in Sri Lanka which was jointly co-financed by the EU and BMZ implemented by GIZ Sri Lanka. The inauguration ceremony was held at the EDB headquarters with the presence of dignitaries.
Honourable dignitaries included the Head of Cooperation at the EU delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dr. Johann Hesse, and representatives from the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), EDB Chairman Dr. Kingsley Bernard, and Acting Director General Ms. Malani Baddegamage. Officials graced the momentous occasion.
The objectives of NOCU are manifold, including safeguarding the credibility of organic agriculture products within the domestic and international markets, the implementation of Sri Lanka Organic Regulations, as well as the promotion of organic agriculture systems. The establishment of an official website was deemed imperative to facilitate communication with stakeholders and provide essential information, thereby fostering a sustainable organic agriculture ecosystem in Sri Lanka.
The website - www.nocu.lk - will serve as the primary interface for NOCU to directly engage with stakeholders. This digital platform will enable NOCU to implement an effective communication strategy, ensuring transparent and efficient interactions with all the relevant parties and the online registration of stakeholder The launch of www.nocu.lk represents a significant milestone in Sri Lanka's organic agriculture journey, solidifying its commitment to ensure the highest standards of organic practices and fostering sustainable organic agricultural systems. With this dedicated online platform, NOCU is poised to connect with stakeholders, disseminate vital information, and fortify Sri Lanka's reputation as a trusted source of organic agricultural products in the local and international marketplace.
Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, in his budget speech for the fiscal year 2022, said the tax on cigarettes is proposed to be increased with immediate effect.
Accordingly, the current retail price of a stick of a cigarette will be moved up by Rs. 5.00.
The government expects a revenue of Rs. 8 billion through this initiative, he noted.
In addition, the excise tax is proposed to be increased with immediate effect. An additional revenue of Rs. 25 billion is expected through this tax increase.
Brand new SENARO GN 125 motorcycles were donated to the President’s Office this morning (15). The assembly of these bikes followed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that was introduced by the Ministry of Industry for manufacturing, assembling, and producing vehicle components in Sri Lanka.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe was officially given the keys and accompanying documents by Senaro Motor Corporation Managing Director Mr. Roshana Waduge.
The newly built assembly factory in the Yakkala area has been producing the SENARO GN 125 motorcycle with 35% value addition through locally produced spare parts, thanks to Senaro Motor Company Pvt. Ltd. The company has invested Rs. 1.5 billion in this venture, with the full financial support of the Bank of Ceylon. The goal is to increase the value addition to 50% in the near future and create more than 160 direct job opportunities.
Introduced to the Sri Lankan market, the SENARO GN 125 motorcycle is now a force in reviving the local economy and adding new energy to local enterprise.
Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, Ronald C. Perera (PC), General Manager Russell Fonseka, Deputy General Manager Rohana Kumara, Director, Senaro Motor Company Mohan Somachandra and other officials were present on this occasion.
The CCPI, measured on an annual average basis, increased marginally to 4.2 per cent in July 2021 from 4.1 per cent in June 2021.
Monthly change of CCPI recorded at 0.50 per cent in July 2021 due to price increases observed in items of the Non-food category.
The core inflation (Y-o-Y), which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, increased to 3.7 per cent in July 2021 from 3.2 per cent in June 2021.
The selling price of the US dollar which was at Rs. 380 in commercial banks yesterday (12) morning has come down to Rs. 365 today (13).
With the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Prime Minister, the optimistic situation regarding political and economic stability seems to have contributed to the strengthening of the rupee.
The rating decision is driven by assessment that the island nation's increasingly fragile external liquidity position raises the risk of default. It also reflects governance weaknesses in the ability of the country's institutions to decisively mitigate significant and urgent risks to the balance of payments.
Although the government has secured some financing, mainly from bilateral sources, its financing options remain narrow with borrowing costs in international markets still prohibitive, Moody's said in a statement.
Moody's expects Sri Lanka's foreign exchange reserves to continue declining from already low levels. This will further erode its ability to meet sizeable and recurring external debt servicing needs, and increasing balance of payment risks.
It has extremely weak debt affordability with interest payments absorbing a very large share of the government's very narrow revenue base. This compounds the debt repayment challenge.
The review will focus on whether the sovereign is able to use time provided by current foreign exchange reserves and bilateral arrangements to implement measures that widen and increase its financing sources for the medium term. And avoid default for the foreseeable future, it added.
Sri Lanka's foreign currency country ceiling has been lowered to Caa1 from B3, while the local currency country ceiling remains unchanged at B1. The three-notch gap between the local currency ceiling and the sovereign rating balances relatively predictable institutions and government actions against the low and declining foreign exchange reserves adequacy.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) has decided to direct the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to temporarily close the stock market for a period of five business days commencing from 18th April 2022.
The Board of Directors of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) by way of a communication dated 15th April 2022 has called upon the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) to temporarily close the stock market citing the present situation in the country. Many other stakeholders of the securities market including the Colombo Stock Brokers Association have also sought the temporary closure of the market on the same grounds.
The SEC has carefully considered the grounds that have been adduced by them and has evaluated the impact the present situation in the country could have on the stock market, in particular the ability to conduct an orderly and fair market for trading in securities.
The SEC is of the view that it would be in the best interests of investors as well as other market participants if they are afforded an opportunity to have more clarity and understanding of the economic conditions presently prevalent, in order for them to make informed investment decisions. Therefore, acting in terms of the provisions contained in Section 30 of the Securities and Exchange Commission Act No. 19 of 2021, the SEC has decided to direct the CSE to temporarily close the stock market for a period of five business days commencing from 18th April 2022.
Sri Lanka's central bank on Sunday further tightened controls on the outflow of foreign currency to combat a growing cash crunch triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign exchange reserves have almost halved since late 2019 to $4 billion after the rupee sank to a record low in 2020.
The economy has been badly hit by the spread of the virus and lockdowns in its worst downturn since independence from Britain in 1948.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said overseas investments by local firms would be suspended for six months.
The amount of capital that companies and citizens can take out of the island nation would also be restricted, it added. Sri Lanka has already banned imports of luxury goods and cars since 2020 to combat the foreign currency outflows.
The government is planning to extend the import ban to mobile phones, computers and electronic consumer goods, local media reported recently.
The central bank said in a statement that the restrictions were to "assist and maintain the financial system's stability."
International rating agencies have expressed concern over Sri Lanka's ability to service its huge foreign debt.
But central bank governor W.D. Lakshman has said the country will meet its debt obligations, which amount to $3.6 billion in the next six months.
The country's debt has ballooned over the past two decades after the financing of several infrastructure projects that critics say have become white elephants. (AFP)
Closing at 8,244.55 points today (04), Colombo Stock Exchange’s All Share Price Index (ASPI) lost 226.88 basis points during the day's trading.
The S&P SL20 Index ended the day 146.11 basis points lower at 2,684.82.
The turnover for the day was Rs. 1.96 billion.
Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100), increased to 5.2 per cent in June 2021 from 4.5 per cent in May 2021.
The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has temporarily halted regular trading due to the S&P SL20 Index dropping over 5 percent from the previous close, as set out in the CSE Directive dated April 30, 2020.
Trading has been halted for 30 minutes while the halt will be lifted at 2.14 p.m.
The Central Bank Monday (28) printed the highest amount of money recorded in a single day to bridge a budget hole, amid shrinking tax income, largely due to virus-related lockdowns and increased expenditure to contain the virus.
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