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Tuesday June 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s CEB revenue Rs35.6bn in Nov, costs to rise in New Year: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board has generated a revenue of 35.6 billion rupees in November and 33.6 in October under the new tariff system, Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.

On that basis annual revenues would be around 420 billion rupees.

To run the power stations in January 2023, CEB needs 35 billion rupees only for Naptha, Diesel and high sulfur fuel oil (HFO), he said in a message.

Payments for coal in January was 38.45 billion rupees. In January Sri Lanka expects about 6 to 7 ships of 60,000 metric tonnes each, officials have said.

Each ship is enough to run the coal plants for about 10 days indicating around 18 billion rupees of coal would be needed for the month.

The first quarter which gets the least rain in the year also has the highest usage of fuel for electricity.

Minister Wijesekera has said that the country will need to hike electricity tariff by 60-65 percent once again in January 2023 as the one imposed in August (after 7-years) is not sufficient to manage the costs.

In the first eight months of 2022, the CEB has incurred a loss of 108.6 billion rupees, the minister told parliament in October. The rupee collapsed in March 2022 doubling the cost of fuel.

Minister Wijesekera has said in last four months of the year, CEB could incur a losss of 152 billion rupees while it expected earn an additional 15 billion income from the August tariff hike.

Sri Lanka’s state-run CEB anticipates 152bn loss over next four months: energy minister

He blamed delays implementing a cost-effective pricing system as the main reason for CEB to make losses and failure to implement low cost power plants as key reasons for losses.

Sri Lanka environmental and renewable energy activists have blocked cheaper coal plants sometimes misleading political leaders according to some critics. (Colombo/Dec29/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber links up with Gujarat Chamber

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has signed an agreement with the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) to increase trade cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

The MOU was signed by CCC CEO Buwanekabahu Perera, SGCCI President Ramesh Vaghasia, in the presence of Dr Valsan Vethody, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India.

“With the signing of the MoU, … the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and SGCCI aim to facilitate trade between the two countries via initiatives such as trade fairs and delegations, business networking events, training programmes,” the Ceylon Chamber said in a statement.

“This partnership will open doors for Sri Lankan businesses to explore opportunities in Surat’s dynamic market and enable the sharing of expertise and resources between the two regions.”

Established in 1940, SGCCI engages with over 12,000 members and indirect ties with more than 2,00,000 members via 150 associations. It promotes trade, commerce, and industry in South Gujarat.

The region’s commercial and economic centre Surat has risen to prominence as the global epicenter for diamond cutting and as India’s textile hub, and is ranked the world’s 4th fastest growing city with a GDP growth rate of 11.5%

Surat’s economic landscape is vibrant and diverse. As India’s 8th largest and Gujarat’s 2nd largest city, it boasts the highest average annual household income in the country.

The nearby Hazira Industrial Area hosts major corporations like Reliance, ESSAR, SHELL, and L&T. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka telecommunications bill some clauses ruled unconstitutional by SC: Speaker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has found a number of clauses in a proposed amendment to the Telecom Telecommunications Amendment bill unconstitutional, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said.

“Clause No 8, proposed section 9A 2 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution, however this inconsistency shall cease if word ‘may’ will be replaced with word ‘shall’ as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

“Clause No 9 is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and only can be passed with special majority required under paragraph 2 of the Article 84. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.

Clause No 12, proposed section 17 10 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and can only be passed with special parliament majority required under Article 84 paragraph 2. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

Sections of clauses 13, 18, 20, 33 and 35 were also in violation of the constitution, and could only be passed by a special majority of parliament. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka to exempt one house from imputed rent wealth tax: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will exempt one house from a proposed wealth tax outlined in an International Monetary Fund program, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

About 90 percent of the people’s houses are likely to be exempt from the proposed tax, he said.

“[O]ne house will be exempt from this,” President Wickremesinghe told parliament Monday.

“It is going to have a very high threshold and I do not think the vast majority of the people in this country should even be worried about their house

“Don’t worry your house will be safe.”

The IMF program document however did not mention an exempt on one house, but did mention a threshold.

Taxing houses and thrift in general could have detrimental effects on people’s well-being housing stock and their willingness to remain in the country without migrating, critics say.

Related Sri Lanka to tax imaginary rents on houses under IMF deal

The mechanism of imputed rents was used because rates on houses was assigned to provincial councils and courts could strike it down.

Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva said the Samagi Jana Balwegaya welcomed President Wickremesinghe’s statement. (Colombo/June18/2024)

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