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Thursday June 20th, 2024

Sri Lanka tea farms to get billion rupees a year for re-planting: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will give one billion rupees a year to tea farms from a levy charged on exports, to fund help fund old tea bushes with new ones, Plantations Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said.

"We assume that in upcoming years we will be able to provide at least one billion rupees for the replanting process" Minister Dissanayaka said in Colombo July 24 at a ceremony to give award for higher performers in the industry.

Sri Lanka charges cess tax on exports to which goes to a fund to be used for replanting and marketing.

Yields of old tea bushes fall over time.

"As we all know the required replanting which is 2.0 percent is not happening in Sri Lanka due to lack of funds.

"Because of that I present a paper to the cabinet about two weeks ago, saying that the Rs. 3 that we get from the tea levy should be distributed equally for marketing and replanting.

"This will help us to increase the tea production per hectare in the future."

Dissanayake said he had fought with then finance minister Ravi Karunanayake who tried to take the cess funds to fund the budget.

Wijeratne Devagedera, Chairman Sri Lanka Tea Smallholdings Authority said average yield in Sri Lanka has increased to 1,850 kilogram per hectare a year in 2018 from 1,600 kilograms in 2015.

Sri Lanka’s smallholders grow 132,000 hectares of tea or 59.7 percent of the total, produce about 74 percent of the 340,000 metric tonnes of tea produced a year.

Therefore, we have a great responsibility to increase the production capacity, to protect the quality and prices of the tea

We have increased it to 1850kg per hectare from 1600kg per hectare. We have to look at these things in a positive way.

Yields of small holder farms are higher than the national average.

Sri Lanka’s tea board has said that it costs about 1.5 million rupees to replant a hectare of tea. (Colombo/July25/2019)

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Sri Lanka shares debt management experience at global forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has shared its experiences at a forum on debt management to “provide lessons for others”, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe has said.

Semasinghe spoke on “The Role of Debt Management in Navigating Crises” at the 14th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders’ Forum, in Livingstone, Zambia.

“I shared the experiences of Sri Lanka which can provide valuable lessons for others and explored the critical elements of capacity building and sound institutional practices in managing debt, particularly in the context of economic challenges,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“Sri Lanka’s experience demonstrates that effective debt management is not just about managing numbers but also about building robust institutions and capacities.”

The journey underscores the importance of transparent, accountable governance and the need for international support and cooperation in times of crisis, he said.

“Sri Lanka prioritized addressing gaps in public debt management by drafting a consolidated Public Debt Management Act, ensuring clarity and legal robustness and establishing a centralized Public Debt Management Office with operational autonomy.

“The role of debt management in navigating crises is multifaceted and critical. Further, by investing in capacity building, adhering to sound institutional practices, and strategically managing debt restructuring and liability operations, countries can better withstand economic shocks and pave the way for sustainable recovery.”

Developing countries face severe debt distress as they are more vulnerable to external shocks, Semasinghe said, and “managing global debt requires coordinated international efforts on debt restructuring where necessary, timely fiscal policy adaptation and help sustainable economic growth.”

The state minister also pointed out the financial impact of climate change was an emerging challenge, as countries need investment to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, “especially through non-debt creating inflows, which would require private capital mobilization.” (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 305.10/30 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger ahead of the long weekend at 305.10/30 to the US dollar on Thursday, up from 305.40/55 to the US dollar Wednesday, dealers said, while some bond yields edged up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.45/80 percent, up from 10.35/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.00/15 percent, up from 11.95/12.35 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.05/25 percent.

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, JKH trade pushes turnover

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

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.19 percent, or 23.11 points, at 12,249; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.15 percent, or 5.33 points, at 3,610.

Turnover was 2 billion. Nearly half of this (Rs980mn) came from a crossing on John Keells Holdings Plc. The share closed down at 202.00.

“There were several crossings today which pushed turnover,” market participants said.

“Institutions and high net-worth activity drove the market, while the retail investors we feel are still about uncertain and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

Melstacorp Plc was among the companies that saw active volumes (Rs194mn) in the day. The share closed up at 87.10.

Top contributors to the index included TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 41.70), Sampath Bank Plc (up at 79.50), Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 201.00). Hayleys Plc (up at 105.00) and its subsidiary Hayleys Fabric Plc (up at 46.60) were also positive contributors. (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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