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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka campaign finance bill to limit election spending, bare all: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka to bring in new laws to limit the election campaign spending of local government and parliament candidates, Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapakshe said.

The election commission will have the power to terminate the seat of a candidate that exceeds the limit.

The cabinet of ministers has given the approval to present the draft of new Campaign Finance bill to the parliament for approval to limit the campaign cost of all types of elections, Rajapakshe said.

He said, it was discussed in 2015 when bringing in the 19th amendment to the constitution and was drafted in the 20th amendment, however the governments changed in 2019 before the implementation.

“We know in politics, due to many reasons the general public has lost the opportunity to select a suitable candidate in election,” Rajapakshe told reporters at the Cabinet briefing on Wednesday.

“Especially for the people who spent more money have an advantage in this election system.You might have seen politicians who are spending millions in these campaigns even on media.”

“Because of this the general public gets misdirected and the mass media also takes part in this because it is bringing income.”

Under the new law, a maximum limit will be decided by the election commissioner before an election after discussing with all the parties and individual candidates, and will ask the candidates to declare the costs for the campaign three weeks after the election.

“If these candidates exceed that maximum amount the commission will have the power to even terminate the seat that was won,” Rajapakshe said.

“Also the candidates will be prohibited to use government assets and services for election activities. And also it is prohibited to take money from Non- government organizations and even foreign aid for election purposes.

“Also within three weeks from the election, these candidates whether they win or not have to give details about how much they spent, how did they get the funds, from whom did they get the funds from and other related details in form of affidavit.

“If false information were given, then a fine can be charged and also legal actions can be taken for giving false information under an affidavit.” (Colombo/ Nov 22/2022)

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Sri Lanka shares edge up at close

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s shares edged up on Wednesday pushed as investors bought in to beaten down shares following the previous session’s drop, market analyst said.“

At this price level what we are seeing is a lot of confidence from the investors to collect when the prices drop. So, the market is not falling sharply,” a market analyst said.

Market had also seen buying in Expolanka shares on speculation that the parent company of SG Holdings was buying back into the shares.

All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged up by 0.96 percent or 84.96 points to 8,950.01.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 gained 1.27 percent or 35.02 points to 2,799.53.

Banking and Insurance counters had seen interest on the back of positive sentiments from the IMF.

The central bank has said it could cut interest rates in future when the the country sees fall in inflation, which has already started decelerating.

The market saw a turnover of 1.5 billion rupees today,lower than the month’s daily average of 1.8 billion rupees and nearly half of 2022 average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a flow of net foreign inflow of 45 million rupees extending the net offshore buying to 1.9 billion so far this year.

Top gainers of the day were Commercial Bank, Expolanka, and Ceylinco Insurance. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)






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Sri Lanka bond yields down at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were down at close following a bond auction on Wednesday, dealers said while a guidance peg for interbank transactions remained unchanged.

“The rates were steady at the auction,” a dealer said.

“This can be a signal to the market saying the rates will go down in the future.”

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed at 32.40/60 percent, down from yesterday’s 32.60/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2027 closed at 29.10/35 marginally down from yesterday’s 29.20/75 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions remained unchanged at 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 371.38 rupees on Friday, data showed. (Colombo/Feb 01/2022)

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Sri Lanka bill auction hits pothole after 2025 bond spike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sold only 45 billion rupees in Treasury bills at Wednesday’s auction after offering 120 billion rupees, data from the state debt office showed, amid market confusion over a spike in a two year bond at an earlier action.

30.1 billion rupees of 3-month bills were sold at 29.91 percent, unchanged from a week earlier after offering 60 billion rupees for auction.

5.1 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold at 28.72 percent, flat after offering 30 billion.

10.3 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold at 27.72 percent after offering 30 billion.

Phase II subscriptions have been opened.

The market was foxed after the 2025 bonds were accepted at sharply higher yield than market on January 30, dealer said.

There was further confusion as the there was an outright purchase of 2025 at around 29 percent earlier in January.

Some investors speculated that the authorities were trying to drive more buyers towards short end bonds as bill volumes were getting larger. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)

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