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Tuesday June 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka looks to relax Coronavirus curfews in late April, open schools in May

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is looking to relax Coronavirus controls after April 19 for low risk areas and re-open schools in the second week of May, officials said if the growth of new Covid-19 patients could be arrested.

A spokesperson for Sri Lanka’s President’s office said May 11 was being considered as a date to re-open schools.

The head of Sri Lanka’s Health Service Anil Jasinghe said a relaxation for low-risk areas would be possible after April 19, if community transmission is arrested.

“I think around that time – not for the entire island but at least for areas where there are no problems, substantial relaxations would be made,” Jasinghe told Sri Lanka’s privately owned Derana TV.”

“We expect during this time the number of new patients to go down. But it all depends on how many people have the disease already.”

Sri Lanka’s Coronavirus patients went up to 199 on Saturday, according to health ministry data, with 5 new contacts of a person in Suduwella who was confirmed earlier.

Meanwhile a minor worker of Sri Lanka’s Ragama hospital is also suspected to have contracted the disease. All contacts in the hospital have been quarantined.

Jasinghe said there has been no widespread community transmission so far.

However the person from Suduwella is not directly linked to any existing contacts and could be evidence of other patients running loose.

Sri Lanka has banned inter-district travel except for essential service such as trucks carrying food and other material.

Sri Lanka has widened testing but delivery persons or drivers and workers of trucks doing inter-district transport are yet to be tested.

Sri Lanka’s Information Minister Bandula Gunewardene said that factories outside high-risk zones could re-open after discussing with divisional secretaries, if health regulations are followed.

Sri Lanka’s exporters are also asking for factories to be re-opened.

Related

Sri Lanka exports revival, using new opportunities vital to beat Coronavirus: EDB chief

Sri Lanka apparel industry appeals for re-opening

Sri Lanka to allow factories in low Coronavirus-risk areas to open

Vietnam which is also making strong progress in contact tracing nad has announced plans to test workers of large companies.

Overnight Sri Lanka’s President’s office said curfews outside of Colombo, Gampaha, Puttalam, Kandy, Jaffna, which are high-risk areas, would not be lifted on April 14 from 0600h to 1400h but would continue till April 16.

Sri Lanka is celebrating a traditional new year celebrated by the Tamil and Sinhala community under curfew on April 13 and 14.

It is the usual practice to visit relatives during this time. However, now health authorities are advising people to stay at home and carry out any traditional rites only with immediate family members. (SB-Colombo/Apr12/2020)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber links up with Gujarat Chamber

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has signed an agreement with the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) to increase trade cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

The MOU was signed by CCC CEO Buwanekabahu Perera, SGCCI President Ramesh Vaghasia, in the presence of Dr Valsan Vethody, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India.

“With the signing of the MoU, … the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and SGCCI aim to facilitate trade between the two countries via initiatives such as trade fairs and delegations, business networking events, training programmes,” the Ceylon Chamber said in a statement.

“This partnership will open doors for Sri Lankan businesses to explore opportunities in Surat’s dynamic market and enable the sharing of expertise and resources between the two regions.”

Established in 1940, SGCCI engages with over 12,000 members and indirect ties with more than 2,00,000 members via 150 associations. It promotes trade, commerce, and industry in South Gujarat.

The region’s commercial and economic centre Surat has risen to prominence as the global epicenter for diamond cutting and as India’s textile hub, and is ranked the world’s 4th fastest growing city with a GDP growth rate of 11.5%

Surat’s economic landscape is vibrant and diverse. As India’s 8th largest and Gujarat’s 2nd largest city, it boasts the highest average annual household income in the country.

The nearby Hazira Industrial Area hosts major corporations like Reliance, ESSAR, SHELL, and L&T. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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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)

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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)

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