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Tuesday June 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa seeks expert opinion on fighting Covid-19

DESERTED: Sri Lanka’s Kelaniya Temple during a nation-wide curfew imposed to stop the spread of Covid-19.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has sought expert opinion on fighting Coronavirus, while the country is under curfew to stop its spread and progress is been made in contact tracing.

“The specialists pointed out the importance of conducting investigations on groups that were in close contact with infected persons and who have had contacts in two stages further,” the President’s office said.

Doctors said that further strengthening of the existing quarantine process is the most effective approach to prevent the spread of the virus,” the President’s office said.

“The experts stressed the importance of protecting areas where the virus has not spread into. They were of the view that spread of the virus to those areas as a result of travelling by the people from the affected areas should be stopped.”

Doctors have said to use face masks when travelling outside (Health authorities in other countries have advocated maintaining 6 feet distance, especially if two people are talking), wash hands regularly and avoid touching the face mask.

Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundara, Chief Adviser of the President, LalithWeeratunga, Secretary Defence Major Gen (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, Chief of Defense staff and Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Acting Inspector General of Police , C.D. Wickramaratne were at the meeting.

Former Governor Seetha Arambepola, Director General of Health Services Anil Jasinghe, Specialist doctors VajiraSenaratne, Ananda Wijewickrama, M C Weerasinghe, Prasad Katulanda, Kumuduni Ranathunga, Amitha Fernando, Indika Lanerolle, Jude Samantha, Professors Sarath Jayasinghe, Arjuna de Silva, Neelika Malavige, Vajira Dissanayake, Ranjani Gamage had also participated. (Colombo/Apr10/2020)

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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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