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Friday July 12th, 2024

Sri Lanka public transport to get e-ticketing by end-2024: Official

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s public transport fares will move to an e-ticket system by the end of this year, a senior transport official has said.

“An electronic ticketing system for public transport services, including trains, will be introduced before the end of the year,” Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Highways, RG Rubasinghe told reporters on Monday.

Sri Lanka has been talking of moving to an e-ticketing for state buses to stop revenue theft by bus conductors.

“Some conductors take a portion of the money home,” Minister of Transport Bandula Gunawardana told reporters earlier this year.

“The take home amount is 10 million rupees daily, or 100 lakhs, which together becomes 3 billion a year.

Gunawardana said there was opposition from transportation workers with some of them taking the matter to court.

A recent reduction in bus fares saw the minimum fare reduced from 30 rupees to 28. But since most passengers don’t carry coins, the exact fare cannot be paid. Conductors are not forthcoming with change money, so passengers forfeit
money.

“Every day, our buses serve around 1.2 million passengers through 5,500 trips,” Chairman of Ceylon Transport Board, Lalith de Alwis said. “With a strategic focus on digitization, we aim to completely eliminate revenue losses.”

“Our upcoming initiatives include the introduction of electric buses to enhance innovation in public transport, leveraging modern technology to streamline fleet operations and improve passenger information services.”

“Passengers already benefit from online seat reservations and access to long-distance service timetables via the internet. We are planning to roll out further digital services in the near future.”

After Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, many global institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have strongly recommended the Sri Lankan government to fully digitalise its transactions to reduce human interventions and eventually corruption. (Colombo/Jul8/2023)

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Sri Lanka appoints new Attorney General

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed K A Parinda Ranasinghe PC as Attorney General.

He was appointed in terms of Article 61E (b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the president’s media division said.

The new AG received the appointment from President Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday.

He fills the post after the retirement of former Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 301.70/302.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger at 301.70/302.00 to the US dollar on Friday, from 302.80/303.00 to the US dollar on Thursday, dealers said, while bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.90/11.00 percent, up from 10.85/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.75/80 percent, up from 11.80/88 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.10/30 percent, up from 12.15/25 percent. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, muted activity

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.35 percent, or 41.71 points, at 11,843; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.56 percent, or 19.20 points, at 3,454.

Turnover was low at 653 million.

“The market picked up a bit from yesterday but it’s still below the psychological 12,000 mark,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“Local retail participation drove the market predominantly.”

John Keells Holdings Plc brought in Rs109mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 194.50.

Melstacorp Plc contributed in Rs104mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 85.00.

Sentiment around the banking counters was mostly negative. Sampath Bank Plc closed down at 77.00, closed flat at 101.25, and Hatton National Bank Plc closed flat at 195.25.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (up at 103.50), Bukit Darah Plc (up at 397.00), and Hayleys Plc (up at 101.00).

Foreign participation remained low as well. There was a higher net foreign outflow of 101 million.

“Foreign selling was seen on John Keells Holdings, and banking counters; Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 195.00), Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc (down at 20.70), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

There was selective foreing interest on the diversified financials sector, particularly in companies that had vehicle leasing portfolios. “We think this might be due to the news of the vehicle import ban possibly ending.”

LOLC Holdings Plc closed up at 440.50, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc closed up at 12.20.

Softlogic Holdings Plc which announced the date of its rights issue, closed up at 8.50. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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