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Thursday December 1st, 2022

Sri Lanka govt electronic procurement to save billions

ECONOMYNEXT – An ‘Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) System’ commissioned Wednesday will improve transparency and efficiency and save Sri Lanka’s Treasury nearly 30 billion rupees, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

“We, as a country, annually spend around a quarter of our government expenditure on public procurement, which amounts to nearly 15 percent of the GDP,” he said.

“Considering the magnitude of that total annual expenditure, it needs closer attention and scrutiny from all the stakeholders in the public management systems. Also procurement plays a strategic function.”

Samaraweera said the e-GP system was an important benchmark in realizing more transparency and efficiency in public services.

“I am convinced that this new e-GP system will save nearly 30 billion rupees to the Treasury, while improving the public financial management to a greater extent,” he said.

Transforming traditional manual procurement processes into a modern system places Sri Lanka on par with very advanced nations that include Singapore, European Union and Canada.

Samaraweera said corruption, misappropriation and mismanagement of public assets must be tackled with a policy of zero tolerance, which remains difficult because of systemic weaknesses.

The electronic government procurement system was launched to address the existing shortcomings and to fast track procurement decisions.

In Sri Lanka, many important projects are lagging behind because of the manual system that links to decades’ old complicated governance mechanisms, Samaraweera said.
(COLOMBO 29 May 2019)

Sri
ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s Treasury Bill yields fell for the fifth straight week, with the rate

for the 12-month maturity down 02 basis points to 8.88 percent at Wednesday’s auction, data from

the state debt office showed.

The debt office, part of the central bank, rejected bids for 03-month bills for the second week.

The 06-month bill yield fell 08 basis points to 8.63 percent.
 
The state debt office sold 20 billion rupees of bills, the exact amount offered, after getting offers

of up to 49 billion rupees.
 
It sold 14 billion rupees in 12-month bills, the same amount offered, which drew bids worth

double the amount.

The debt office sold 06 billion rupees in 06-month bills, after offering 04 billion rupees and

getting bids of 15.8 billion rupees.
(COLOMBO 29 May 2019)

 

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Sri Lanka China-backed port to welcome second cruise ship

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s China-backed Hambantota Port said it was getting ready to welcome MV Azamara Quest, a cruise ship, as another passenger vessel departed.

Mein Schiff 5, operated by TUI had departed Hambantota International Port for Pulau Penang Island, Malaysia on November.

“As well as being her maiden call at the port, Mein Schiff 5 is the first passenger cruise ship to call at the port since the pandemic began,” said Johnson Liu, CEO of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) said in a statement.

“It was undoubtedly a great boost for the tourist economy in the south when the vessel called at the Hambantota International Port.”

Mein Schiff 5’s passengers had also visited the Bundala National Park, Hambantota Botanical Gardens, Galle and Kataragama.

Passengers had explored Hambantota by tuk-tuk, while others had enjoyed the beaches in the Shangri La Hotel, the port said.

MV Azamara Quest will arrive in Hambanota on on December 05. (Colombo/Dec01/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s shares gain in mid market trade

EXONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s shares gained in mid market trade on Thursday (1), pushed up by strong positive sentiments on interest rates easing in line with inflation and speculation on government to hold talks with multilateral creditors ADB and World Bank for a possible loan facility.

Market has continued to gain for the past four sessions.

“Shares were moving on positive strong sentiments flowing in from yesterday (30), we are seeing a rally in the hotels, while the retail favorites such as LIOC and Expolanka,” analysts said.

Positive investor sentiments have been established, from positive comments from the Governor of the Central Bank over market rates eventually seeing an ease despite the fears of a domestic debt restructuring as inflation falls, increased liquidity in dollar markets, and the inter-bank liquidity improves.

Analysts further stated that, Treasury related stocks are also activated due to downward movements in yield.

All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained by 1.4 percent or 123.41 points to 8,774.64, while the most liquid share gained by 1.31% or 35.68 points to 2,765.

The market generated a turnover of 1.6 billion rupees at 1130 hours. (Colombo/Dec1/2022)

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Sri Lanka electricity losses from overpriced fuel, no tariff hike considered: regulator

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board’s high operating costs are partly due to excessive prices paid for fuel and no tariff hike is being considered, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, Janaka Ratnayake said.

The CEB itself does not buy fuel but depends on state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka Coal, another state firm to buy fuel. Both firms are periodically caught in procurement scandals.

“They are paying about 385 plus rupees per litre for furnace oil,” Ratnayaka told EconomyNext.

“That is too much. From the global market we can buy it to much lower price. It can be imported below 200 rupees,”

“I ask the government to take the necessary steps to create a system to import furnace oil, like they did for fuel, to be imported at the lower price levels. If that happens, we can go without going for a price hike.”

Sri Lanka’s CEB generally gets furnace oil and residual oil from the domestic refinery and usually do not import furnace oil.

The refinery however is not regularly operating due to inability to get crude amidst the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s intermediate regime central bank.

Ratnayake had earlier brought to light import costs of the CPC.

Pushing for operations efficiency of the CEB is a role of the regulator. Regulating costs based on global benchmark prices to push for procurement efficiencies is a standard practice. However the PUCSL is not the official regulator of the petroleum sector.

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Sri Lanka power tariff revisions sought in Jan and July: Minister

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told parliament that cabinet approval was sought to twice yearly tariff hikes in January and July of each year.

No Electricity tariff hikes are being considered yet, Ratnayake said.

Wijesekera blamed the regulator as well as successive administrations for not regularly revising power prices and pushing the sector into crisis.

In Sri Lanka activists had also blocked cheap coal power. (Colombo/Dec01/2022)

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