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Wednesday December 6th, 2023

Sri Lanka to raise bus fares by 22 percent from midnight June 30

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will increase bus fares by 22 percent from June 30 midnight onwards, National Transportation Commission (NTC) officials said.

NTC Director General Nilan Miranda said the price revision is according to a policy decision to revices prices on July 01 every year under the national policy.

With the Central Bank of Sri Lanka letting the rupee float in mid-March, all services and goods increased in prices overnight to make up the loss with rapid rupee depreciation that was observed.

Public transport fares also rose  four times.

“However in those times, only the price changes in fuel was considered in increasing the prices,” Miranda told reporters at a media briefing held on Thursday June 30.

“In the annual price revision, 12 factors including the fuel prices will be taken into consideration.”

Miranda said, according to other public transportation associations’ suggestions and calculations, a total of 32.04 percent increase in price should have happened.

“But in April, when the last price revision happened, it should have only increased by 24.76 percent. But with the rupee depreciation, and price increase of spareparts and other factors, the then transport minister gave the authority to increase it by 35 percent,” he said.

It was decided after discussions with transport unions and associations, said Miranda, to deduct the additional 10.24 percent received during the last price revision from the annual price revision of 35 percent.

After the deductions, he said, it was decided to increase all bus fares by 21.85 percent, or by rounding it off to 22 percent.

He said the current minimum bus fare of 32 rupees will be increased to 39.04 rupees after the revision.

“To make it practical it will be rounded off to 40 rupees, and other prices will be increased by 22 percent,” said Miranda.

The official said price revision will be in effect from midnight June 30 onwards and will be applicable for normal, semi luxury and luxury buses in both private and state sectors.

The bus fare price revision was done a day after the cabinet of ministers had given their approval to hike railway fares to meet the rising costs of the department. (Colombo/Jun30/2022)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 327.40/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 327.40/90 to the US dollar on Tuesday, from 328.10/30 the previous day, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.60/70 percent from 13.70/14.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.00 percent from 13.90/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/15 percent from 14.00/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.10/20 percent from 14.20/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.20/35 percent, from 14.25/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.10/35 percent, from 14.05/40 percent. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down as investor sentiment dips

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Tuesday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was down 0.40 percent, or 43.50 points, at 10,700.09.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.43 percent, or 13.32 points, at 3,054.41.

Turnover was at 711 million. The capital goods sector contributed 172 million, the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 140 million, and banks 113 million of this.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were John Keells Holdings Plc (up at 193.00), Richard Pieris And Company Plc (up at 19.80), and Nation Lanka Finance Plc, (up at 0.40).

Negative contributors were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (down at 89.70), Sampath Bank Plc (down at 71.00), and Central Finance Company Plc, (down at 106.00). (Colombo/Dec5/2023).

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Sri Lanka plans to reduce number of school grades from 13 to 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ministry of Education proposes to reduce the number of school grades from 13 to 12, according to a government information department statement.

“Every child will be given the opportunity to finish school in 17 years through the proposed new education reforms,” education officials were quoted as saying after a discussion on budget allocations.

Under the proposed system, pre-school education will be at the age of 4 years, the primary section between grades 1-5, junior section between grades 6-8, and senior section between grades 9-12.

The General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Exam (GCE O/L) is proposed to be conducted in grade 10, and the Advanced Level Examination in grade 12.

It has also been decided to reduce the number of mandatory subjects at the GCE O/L Exam from 9 to 7.

Three new subjects, information and communication technology (ICT), technical and professional skills, and religion and values will be made mandatory and included in those 7 subjects. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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