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Tuesday April 16th, 2024

Sri Lanka state bus system looks to e-ticketing to combat revenue leaks

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is promoting e-ticketing for state buses to stop revenue theft by bus conductors, Minister of Transport Bandula Gunawardana said.

“Some conductors take a portion of the money home,” Gunawardana told reporters Wednesday.

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

“So therefore, I have struggled to implement e-ticketing from the moment I took this responsibility.”

However, Minister Gunawardana said that there has been opposition from transportation workers with some of them setting up committees and taking the matter to court as citizens.

Many workers are honest, but there are some who are not, in the same way most passengers buy tickets but some travel without, he said.

“If they make an e-reservation, some guards don’t like it,” Gunawardana said. “They take a 5,000-rupee ticket and sell it to the tourists for 30,000 rupees. They don’t let us do it online.”

“About 35 bus conductors are interdicted each day for siphoning off passenger revenues,” he said.

It was happening especially on long distance buses.

“The private bus owners have solved this problem in this way,” he said. “They give the bus to the driver and conductor and tell them to run it as they wish.

“They say at the end of the day give us this amount of money.” (Colombo/Apr03/2024)

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IMF urged Sri Lanka to preserve “hard earned gains” after economic crisis: State FinMin

ECONOMYNEXT – The International Monetary Fund has urged Sri Lanka to preserve the hard earned gains after an unprecedented economic crisis under the global lender’s programme, State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe said.

The Sri Lankan delegation led by Shehan Semasinghe met Kenji Okamura, the Deputy Managjng Director of the IMF on the first day of the IMF and  World Bank Spring meeting.

“Mr. Okamura commended the Sri Lankan authorities on strong programme implementation and excellent reform progress. He emphasised the need to preserve the hard earned gains Sri Lanka has experienced since the beginning of the IMF programme and continue strong ownership,” the State Minister said in his X (Twitter) platform.

He said the Sri Lankan delegation including Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe and Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana explained the recent socio-economic developments to Okamura.

He also affirmed the IMF top official on the authorities’ commitment to ensuring continuity and consistency of macroeconomic policies and reforms undertaken under the programme. (Colombo/April 16/2024)

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Sri Lanka State FinMin meets BCIU in US; discusses post-crisis investment prospects 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe met Business Council for International Understanding( BCIU) in Washington on the sideline of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings late on Monday and discussed investment prospects in the island nation which is gradually recovering from an unprecedented economic crisis.
“Our discussion centered on the potential that Sri Lanka offers for international investors. Explored various sectors, including education, tourism, renewable energy, agriculture and technology, where strategic investments can drive sustainable economic growth and development,” Semasinghe said in his X (Twitter) platform. 
“We reviewed the current macro-economic landscape of Sri Lanka, including recent reforms that have transformed to results. Glad to concluded the forum by marking constructive dialogue and a shared commitment to support the economic development of Sri Lanka.” 
“We thank participants, stakeholders holders and global partners for the significant interest shown in unlocking the full potential of the Sri Lankan economy and fostering greater international understanding and cooperation.” (Colombo/April 16/2024) 
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India allows Sri Lanka to import 10,000MT of onions

ECONOMYNEXT – India has relaxed an export ban allowing 10,000 metric tonnes of onions to be shipped to Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

“The exemption for Sri Lanka reiterated India’s Neighbourhood First policy, adding to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festivities here,” the statement said.

Onion prices went up in Sri Lanka after India and Pakistan banned exports.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has issued a notice allowing National Co-operative Exports Limited to ship 10,000 MT of onions.

The UAE has also been allowed to import 10,000MT of onions on top of 24,400MT already permitted.

A large Indian and South Asian expat community lives in the UAE. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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