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Last updateTue, 17 Dec 2019 9am

Business News

Special commodity levy on potatoes increased

The Government has decided to increase the Import Levy on potatoes with the prime purpose of protecting the local cultivator. The special trade levy of 'one rupee' imposed on a kilogramme of imported potatoes has been increased up to '30 rupees', with effect from midnight yesterday.

The local potato harvest is now reaching the market. As such the import levy on potatoes has been increased with the aim of granting relief to the local farmer. The Ministry of Finance said this tax revision will be effective until the 31st of next month.

The levy imposed on imported potatoes has been increased.

The Ministry of Finance says the special commodity levy imposed on imported potatoes will be increased by 29 rupees per kilogram from midnight today. The current levy of 1 rupee per kilogram has been increased up to 30 rupees


Sathosa emphasizes that there is no necessity to place orders for new imports of rice.

Sathosa and the Association of Traders Importing Essentials states that sufficient stocks of rice are available to meet the domestic demand. Rice stocks of the Maha season are being received. Thereby, there is no necessity to place orders for new imports of rice.


The Government had obtained ADB Financial assistance of 100 million US dollars in 2016 to finance the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises


The Government of Sri Lanka had obtained ADB Financial assistance of 100 million US dollaer in 2016 to finance the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit Project. The objective of the project was to strengthen the SME sector by facilitating access to finance and expanding the employment opportunities in the sector. The project is being successfully implemented and given its importance, the Government of Sri Lanka decided to obtain additional financing through a loan of USD 75 million with the intention to scale up the ongoing SME Line of Credit Project. Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media Dr. R H S Samaratunga, on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Country Director ADB – Sri Lanka Resident Mission Ms. Sri Widowati, on behalf of the ADB, signed the loan agreement at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media last week.

State entities to be relocated at the Administration Centre in Battaramulla.

Minister of Mega Polis and Western Development Patalie Champika Ranawaka says, except state entities involved in government finances, all others will be transferred to the Administration Centre in Battaramulla. 113 entities have been relocated in the new premises so far. The minister expressed these views participating at a ceremony to unveil the Battaramulla development plan. He added that phase two and three of construction work  at Sethsiri Paaya will commence this year. State entities will be relocated once construction work is completed. Even the President's House, The Presidential secretariat, The Prime Minister's Official residence and the Prime Minister's Office will be relocated in Battaramulla.  The Administration Centre For The Capital will be situated in the Kaduwela municipality. The areas of  Malabe, Athurugiriya and Kotte will be developed under its purview. The task will begin soon funded by Japanese aid. A Multi Faced Transportation Hub will be established and contribution from the private sector in this endeavour is expected.

Sri Lankan tea factories that adulterate black tea to be shut down.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, Rohan Pethiyagoda says, Sri Lankan tea factories that adulterate black tea to get higher prices will be shut down from next month. The latest abuse uncovered is factory managers adulterating their tea with sugar, a practice that everyone in the industry is concerned about, as it could damage the image of Ceylon Tea.
Detecting tea adulterated with sugar is difficult, given the several hundred chemical compounds involved. However, experienced tea tasters are able to spot it. The Tea Board has been trying to weed out factories engaged in the practice, but since tea adulterated with sugar fetches high prices, it acts as an incentive for unscrupulous factories.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation bans the wholesale distribution of the “Lanka Kerosene Oil.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation today banned the distribution of the “Lanka Kerosene Oil” to vehicles, factories, barrels and other wholesale distributions.

CEYPETCO said that out of the two types of Kerosene namely “Industrial Kerosene” and “Lanka Kerosene”, the latter is used by the fishing community and those with low income households.

Accordingly, the CEYPETCO has directed all dealers to stop distributing Lanka Kerosene to factories and other wholesale outlets, after discovering that many dealers have been distributing Lanka Kerosene instead of Industrial Kerosene in a bid to maximize profits.

The circular directed all distributors to ensure that the subsidized kerosene was solely given to low income families and the fishing community.

Lanka Kerosene is red in color whilst industrial kerosene is colorless.

The Kankasanthurai Harbour to be upgraded as a ‘Commercial Port’.

The Government of India has come forward to rehabilitate and upgrade the Kankesanthurai Harbour, into a ‘Commercial Port’, at a cost of 45.27 million US dollars. The Ministry of Finance says, this will help to further strengthen the country’s effort to become a regional maritime hub, in the near future.

During the last few years Indian foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka has expanded exceptionally. Presently Indian development assistance mainly focuses on the improvement of economic infrastructural facilities, livelihood development, education, healthcare, capacity building and the economic renewal of Sri Lanka.

The Ministry of Ports and Shipping has observed that the rehabilitation of the Kankesanthurai Harbour would contribute to promote traditional commercial linkages and give an incentive to economic activities, by encouraging trade in northern Sri Lanka.

Kankesanthurai will be the nearest port for all eastern ports in India, as well as for Myanmar and Bangladesh.

China Merchant Port Holdings makes a second payment of 97.365 million US dollars to Sri Lanka Ports Authority


China Merchant Port Holdings has made a payment of 97.365 million US dollars to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority as the second tranche of its investment in the Public-Private Partnership on Hambantota port development. Commercial activities of the port were handed over to the Chinese company in December 2017. A first tranche of 292 million US dollars was paid previously. With the second payment, China Merchant Port Holdings has paid 389.462 million US dollars to date. The final payment is scheduled to be paid within the next five months. Ports Authority Chairman Parakrama Dissanayake said CMPort’s investment could be described as a credible vote of confidence in its potential as well as in the economy of Sri Lanka.

Joy Motor Boat Services celebrates 50 years of service

The boat service provider of the Kandy Bogambara lake, Joy Motor Boat Services, celebrates 50 years of service, today. A ceremony was held to mark the golden jubilee today, with the general public enjoying free rides.
Joy Motor Boat Services was founded in 1968. It now functions with 12 staff members and 8 boats.

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