An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday June 18th, 2024

Presidential candidates charged premiums for advertising

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s radio, television and newspapers are charging premium rates of 150 to 300 per cent of standard prices from candidates in upcoming Presidential polls, a survey has found.

The Divaina newspaper was charging 2.14 times the standard rate, Daily Mirror 1.27, TV Derana and ITN 1.5 times, Hiru Gold Radion around 3.0 times, the survey by EthicsEye, a unit of Verité Research, a Colombo-based think tank that runs Manthri.lk has found.

“You may think that in a democracy where it is important for a candidate to communicate to people their positions, policies and their ideas, that we should have a media environment in which the cost of doing so are is low as possible,” Nishan De Mel, Executive Director, Verité Research told a forum in Colombo.

“This is something we have not yet seen discussed in the country. The State media have a law to give some promotions free of charge, but private media organisations are not bound by that law. We must think that candidates are participating in the election not to make a profit out of it,” De Mel said.

Unlike state media, however, private media do not get government support to run and have to make a profit to pay workers and meet other expenses.

Rates charged by media stations depend on their audience and reach built up by that organisation with their own funds and programs.

At elections times readership and audience go up increasing the value of advertising space and airtime.

In the case of newspapers, circulation may go up by 20 or even 30 per cent or more, but costs rise due to the bigger print run. Each newspaper is sold at a loss.

In the case of television stations, airtime is severely limited as most of their revenue comes from the commercial spots available during a 3 to four 4 hour night peak.

In this election, a record 35 candidates are participating with the main fight between the ruling United National Party and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.

The two main candidates were the biggest spenders, a monitoring organisation has found.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka telecommunications bill some clauses ruled unconstitutional by SC: Speaker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has found a number of clauses in a proposed amendment to the Telecom Telecommunications Amendment bill unconstitutional, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said.

“Clause No 8, proposed section 9A 2 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution, however this inconsistency shall cease if word ‘may’ will be replaced with word ‘shall’ as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

“Clause No 9 is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and only can be passed with special majority required under paragraph 2 of the Article 84. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.

Clause No 12, proposed section 17 10 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and can only be passed with special parliament majority required under Article 84 paragraph 2. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

Sections of clauses 13, 18, 20, 33 and 35 were also in violation of the constitution, and could only be passed by a special majority of parliament. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka to exempt one house from imputed rent wealth tax: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will exempt one house from a proposed wealth tax outlined in an International Monetary Fund program, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

About 90 percent of the people’s houses are likely to be exempt from the proposed tax, he said.

“[O]ne house will be exempt from this,” President Wickremesinghe told parliament Monday.

“It is going to have a very high threshold and I do not think the vast majority of the people in this country should even be worried about their house

“Don’t worry your house will be safe.”

The IMF program document however did not mention an exempt on one house, but did mention a threshold.

Taxing houses and thrift in general could have detrimental effects on people’s well-being housing stock and their willingness to remain in the country without migrating, critics say.

Related Sri Lanka to tax imaginary rents on houses under IMF deal

The mechanism of imputed rents was used because rates on houses was assigned to provincial councils and courts could strike it down.

Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva said the Samagi Jana Balwegaya welcomed President Wickremesinghe’s statement. (Colombo/June18/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka rupee opens weaker at 304.30/55 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee opened at 304.30/55 to the US dollar on Tuesday, while bond yields were broadly stable, and stocks opened 0.02 percent up, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 304.00/15 to the greenback on Friday, before the long weekend.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share Price Index opened 2.06 points higher at 12,312 while the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks opened down 0.07 percent or 2.63 points to 3,642.

The market turnover was 3.3 million rupees.

In the secondary market, yields were broadly stable, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 was quoted at 10.10/30, up from 10.05/30 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 was quoted at 11.05/30 percent, up from 11.05/20 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 was quoted stable at 11.80/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 was quoted at 11.95/12.10 percent, down from 12.00/10 percent.
(Colombo/Jun18/2024)

Continue Reading