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Tuesday September 26th, 2023

Sri Lanka projects rice surplus in 2023

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is projecting a rice surplus in 2023 with the current Yala season expected to produce 1.74 million metric tonnes of paddy (rough rice), up from 1.46 million metric tonnes last year.

Sri Lanka has already had a successful main (Maha season) with 2.63 million metric tonnes of paddy, which will work out to about 1.65 million metric tonnes of milled rice after deducing seed paddy and wastage.

The Yala minor season is expected to produce 1.06 million metric tonnes of milled rice after deducing 0.08 million for seed paddy and 0.10 for wastage, Sri Lanka’s Department of Agriculture said in forecast.

The total production from the two seasons for 2023 was estimated 2.7 million metric tonnes.

Imports were 0.02 million metric tonnes.

Monthly rice consumption was estimated at 112.3 kilograms per year per person, working out to 211,930 metric tonnes per month or 2.54 million metric tonnes a year.

The rice surplus for 2023, would be 160,840 metric tonnes or about 3 weeks.

Unlike other crops where a surplus leads to a fall of the price to global levels triggering exports, rice is under import protection, with a politically powerful farmer and collector lobby.

Agriculture protection is continued in Sri Lanka, including maize which affects the price of protein, despite stunting and malnutrition of children.

Sri Lanka’s agriculture is recovering from a fertilizer and agro chemical ban by ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa based on claims made by macro-economists and doctors.

The Government Medical Officers Association said ancient Sri Lankans lived for 142 years before agro chemicals based on the writings of Roman author Pliny the Elder and life expectancy had now halved.


Sri Lanka state docs take step back as Pliny sows fertilizer crisis down millennia

Government macro economists also printed money and cut taxes and target an output gap, after the International Monetary Fund taught the country to calculate a ‘potential output’, triggering forex shortages.

In April 2021 government said Sri Lanka had spent 221 million dollars on importing agro-chemicals in 2019 and it could rise to 300 to 400 million dollars without a ban.


Sri Lanka to ban import, use of fertilizer, agro-chemicals to save foreign exchange

Output gap targeting, which was included in a new International Monetary Fund backed monetary law is based on a belief propagated by so-called Western Cambridge-Saltwater economic ideology that a country’s growth can be promoted by money printing rather than hard work (Keynesian stimulus). (Colombo/July27/2023)

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Sri Lanka cabinet okays appropriation bill for 2024 budget

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had approved a draft Appropriation Act for 2024, the state information office said.

The Finance Minister’s proposal to gazette the bill and table it in parliament was approved by the cabinet.

Presenting the appropriation bill is the first stage of presenting a budget for 2024,

The appropriation bills set outs the expenditure plans for each ministry.

The budget proposals, made in November is called the second reading of the Appropriation Act. (Colombo/Sept24/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s MEPA to get 28.5 mn rupees from Singaporean AEPW, for beach clean up

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) is to receive 5.7 million rupees a year, for five years, from Singapore-based marine waste solutions provider, Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), to maintain 8 beach cleaner machines.

The donation is meant to support MEPA clean coastal areas across Sri Lanka, using BeachTech Hydro Sweepy beach cleaner machines, previously donated by the organisation.

The oil industry-founded non-governmental organisation donated the 8 beach cleaners worth about US$180,000 to MEPA in the wake of the 2021 MV X-press Pearl ship disaster.

The machines manufactured by Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, a German company, are effective at cleaning up plastic nurdles and other types of potentially harmful non-biodegradable waste, minimising human contact with hazardous materials.

As a significant amount of money is spent for the deployment of these machines for beach cleaning activities, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has agreed to provide the funds for the upkeep of the machines for a period of five years.

With this financial donation, the Maritime Environment Protection Authority will be able to continue using these machines without interruption to clean identified beaches in the future. (Colombo/Sep26/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s SEC makes four new appointments

ECONOMYNEXT – The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) made four new additions from diverse backgrounds to its leadership.

These appointments are expected to increase the effectiveness of the SEC secretariat in the respective operating areas, the SEC said.

Manuri Weerasinghe, with over 20 years of experience in accounting, financial management, financial reporting and auditing, was appointed Director, Corporate Affairs.

She is a Fellow Member of CA Sri Lanka, member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a member of the Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia.

Her academic credentials include a Master of Business Administration and a BSc (Hons) in Accountancy and Financial Management (Special).

Prior to joining the SEC, she served in several financial management positions in Bermuda and Sweden.

Madura P R Wanigasekara was appointed Chief Digital Officer. He has over 20 years delivering and managing IT solutions, and has held several senior management positions in the public and private sectors.

His academic qualifications include a Master of Science in Information Technology from the University of Colombo and a Bachelor of Information Technology from the Curtin University of Technology.

He is also a member of the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Sharmila Panditaratne was appointed Assistant Director, Legal and Enforcement.

She is an Attorney-at-Law with over 21 years of experience as a securities market regulator.

She holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Houston, Texas and has worked at two law firms in the USA prior to joining the SEC.

Riyaz Bary, Deputy Solicitor General at the Attorney General’s Department was appointed a Director on secondment basis. (Colombo/Sep26/2023)

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