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Tuesday November 29th, 2022

Boat service for public, launched; First month free

The boat service for transporting passengers operating along the Beira Lake from Union Place to Colombo Fort was launched under the auspices of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (22 August)

Speaking at the launch, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that Colombo City has been developed more over the past four years than it ever has in the previous six decades.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe declaring the Public Boat Service open

Speaking to RepublicNext, Project Manager of the Boat Service Ranushi Siripala said that the passengers could use the service free-of-charge for one month which started yesterday and there on, tickets would be priced at 50 Rupees for a one-way route on the transportation service.

Further, Siripala also confirmed that more ticketing schemes will be introduced such as monthly passes and more to make the service convenient for regular users.

Premier Wickremesinghe, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Rathnayaka and Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka on the first boat ride of the service.

The Navy operated boat service will carry 50 commuters from a jetty near Union Place to the Beira waterfront jetty in Fort in a 10-minute ride.

She further noted that the service would help reduce much of the traffic in the Colombo area during peak hours.

Minister of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Rathnayaka, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga and Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka also attended the launch of the transport service.

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Sri Lanka rubber farmers to get boost from France, Michellin

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will start a project supported by France and Michellin group to support 6,000 rubber farmers, cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said.

Rubber farmers in Badalgama and Medagama in the Moneragala district will be supported improve their capacity and supply chains at a cost of 726,700 Euros.

Financial support will be provided by France’s Michellin group which has a subsidiary in Sri Lanka and the government of France.

The project will be implemented by France’s Ksapa group under the guidance of Ministry of Industries.

The cabinet of ministers had cleared a proposal by the Plantations Industries Minister to enter into an agreement to implement the project. (Colombo/Nov29/2022)

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A new Sri Lanka monetary law may have prevented 2019 tax cuts?

ECONOMYNEXT – A new monetary law planned in 2019, if it had been enacted may have prevented the steep tax cuts made in that year which was followed by unprecedented money printing, ex-Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said.

The bill for the central bank law was ready in 2019 but the then administration ran out of parliamentary time to enact it, he said.

Economists backing the new administration slashed taxes in December 2019 and placed price controls on Treasuries auctions bought new and maturing securities, claiming that there was a ‘persistent output gap’.

Coomaraswamy said he keeps wondering whether “someone sitting in the Treasury would have implemented those tax cuts” if the law had been enacted.

“We would never know,” he told an investor forum organized by CT CLSA Securities, a Colombo-based brokerage.

The new law however will sill allow open market operations under a highly discretionary ‘flexible’ inflation targeting regime.

A reserve collecting central bank which injects money to push down interest rates as domestic credit recovers triggers forex shortages.

The currency is then depreciated to cover the policy error through what is known as a ‘flexible exchange rate’ which is neither a clean float nor a hard peg.

From 2015 to 2019 two currency crises were triggered mainly through open market operations amid public opposition to direct purchases of Treasury bills, analysts have shown.

Sri Lanka’s central bank generally triggers currency crises in the second or third year of the credit cycle by purchasing maturing bills from existing holders (monetizing the gross financing requirement) as private loan demand pick up and not necessarily to monetize current year deficits, critics have pointed out.

Past deficits can be monetized as long as open market operations are permitted through outright purchases of bill in the hands of banks and other holders.

In Latin America central banks trigger currency crises mainly by their failure to roll-over sterilization securities. (Colombo/Nov29/2022)

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Sri Lanka cabinet clears CEB re-structure proposal: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet has cleared proposals by a committee to re-structure state-run Ceylon Electricity Board, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijeskera said.

“Cabinet approval was granted today to the recommendations proposed by the committee on Restructuring CEB,” he said in a twitter.com message.

“The Electricity Reforms Bill will be drafted within a month to begin the unbundling process of CEB & work on a rapid timeline to get the approval of the Parliament needed.”

Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board finances had been hit by failure to operate cost reflective tariffs and there are capacity shortfalls due to failure to implement planned generators in time. (Colombo/Nov28/2022)

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