agencies adopt 'wait and see' policy
Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
agencies, namely the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian
Development Bank (ADB), have raised concern over the United People's
Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government's failure to present its economic
policy for the country a month after being voted into power on April
funding of projects by these institutions too is on hold as a result
of the 'wait and see' policy adopted by them.
Representative, IMF in Sri Lanka, Jeremy Carter said the IMF would
first have to review with the government its overall economic plan as
so far they have only come across material published in newspapers.
"These are just statements in newspapers and nothing has
officially reached us," he said.
of the implementation of the immediate relief measures mentioned in
the UPFA's 'Rata Perata' manifesto, which include the increasing of
the fertiliser subsidy and the most recent being the employment drive
to lessen the number of unemployed in the country, he said that one
would have to look at the whole picture.
fertiliser subsidy is something modest and we would have to see
whether it would affect the budget. However, the budget is much bigger
than Rs. 1 billion and spending money on subsidies would not affect
the bigger economic picture if it is well balanced," Carter said.
however admitted that the newly formed UPFA government has not yet met
with IMF officials except for a delegation led by the Central Bank
the new government wants to discuss matters with the IMF, they could
do so by presenting their economic policies," he said.
the IMF official reiterated that the disbursement of US$ 80 million
would be on hold till the funds disbursed under the first disbursement
- another US$ 80 - is properly reviewed. "Until a review of the
first disbursement is done and until the terms for the second
disbursement are discussed the money would be held back," Carter
first disbursement done under the previous UNF regime was based on its
economic policies and terms agreed upon by the government and the IMF.
Carter noted that such a disbursement could only happen when the new
government has gone through the terms and presents its economic
policies, which have not been done so far.
is another tranche that is held back as the ADB too reported that its
US$ 30 million loan tranche for the energy sector is in the balance if
power sector reforms are shelved, with a clear policy on the direction
of reform still in limbo.
continuance of power sector reforms would be the only way that would
clear the path for the country to receive the US$ 30 million tranche.
of the remainder of US$ 3.5 billion donor funds of the US$ 4.5 aid
pledged at the Tokyo donor conference, Carter explained that the money
would come into the country through the IMF, ADB, World Bank and the
Japanese aid agency.
of the money some are earmarked for the north east region. However,
the flowing of the fund would depend heavily on the continuity of the
peace process, the introduction of effective reforms and the
continuity of the infrastructure programme. According to Carter, the
IMF however, has not disbursed any funds to the country since last
asked about the donor review meeting scheduled to be held in June this
year, Carter said that it would be held with the participation of the
representatives of the European Union (EU), USA, Norway, Japan and the
government of Sri Lanka if they so wish. However, he noted that the
IMF would not take part in the meeting.
Head, ADB, John Cooney while admitting that the government has not yet
officially met with ADB officials, said that they have a number of
projects scheduled for this year.
areas that the ADB plans to look into include education, revenue
management, private sector programmes, project support and north east
rehabilitation. Cooney noted that projects involving education, north
east rehabilitation and road development programmes would continue.
the ADB would be reviewing its strategy this month when Cooney expects
the government would hold discussions with the ADB on its new strategy
for the country.
of the implementation of the immediate relief measures to the masses
as pledged by the government, Cooney said that these would not
directly affect the ADB's funding for the country.
explained that it is important to look at the broad macro-economic
prospects and see whether it would create a budget deficit. He went on
to say that although the ADB has no idea of the government's economic
policies, it is important for the government to maintain a balance as
an increase in the expenditure in one sector would mean less money
spent on another sector.
don't know what the government has in mind, but it is important to
maintain a balance so as to not create a large budget deficit,"
Cooney noted that the government's plan to engage in a large-scale
recruitment drive would not be a wise move as a matter of principle.
Explaining further, he said that the country already has a far too
large civil workforce and increasing the number would have adverse
effects in the future.
have to look at the overall picture. To spend money you have to
increase revenue or cut down expenses in some sectors," Cooney
for an introduction of a new tax regime, Cooney said that reviving and
revamping the tax regime would be beneficial for any economy.
noted for the government to continue with the fiscal deficits as
agreed with the IMF is to continue, the government should pay extra
attention in maintaining a balance between income and expenditure.
of the donor review meeting, Cooney said that although there won't be
any monetary pledges made, the participants would discuss the
country's situation and how best to support the peace process.
asked about the ADB's report released recently, which states that the
country's economy is expected to grow by 5% in 2004 and 5.5% in 2005,
Cooney said that they are estimations based on the continuity of the
peace process, introduction of reforms and maintaining a balance in
IMF too in its macro-economic framework from 2001-2008 highlights that
if everything runs smoothly, Sri Lanka could achieve a 6% growth in
real GDP for 2004 and 6.3% in 2005. However, all these figures are
projected to reach these levels if the country's growth momentum
World Bank was not available for comment as the Country Head, Peter
Harrold was out of the country.
growth of 5.9% in 2003 - CB
Lanka's economy recorded a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of
5.9%, for the year 2003, higher than the projected growth of 5.5% the
Central Bank announced on Friday. The comparable rate of growth for
2002 was 4%. The growth for 2003 indicated the progress made by the
country to improve economic growth and macroeconomic stability.
was achieved through a continuation of the ceasefire agreement, sound
macro economic management, deepening structural reforms and
strengthening international support.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) released its annual report
for 2003 on Friday.
Economic Research Department, CSBL, Dr. A.G. Karunasena pointed out
that the two significant factors were the continuation of the economic
growth over all four quarters in 2003 and the more broad based
economic recovery, with growth in all three sectors, namely,
agriculture, industry and services.
The services sector has contributed the highest at 70%.
On the production side, economic growth was continuous, 5% in
all four quarters.
the fiscal front, in 2003, the budget deficit declined to 8% of GDP
from 8.9% in 2002. The reduction in 2003 was entirely due to measures
adopted to contain expenditure. The reduced deficit and increased
foreign financing decreased the government's net domestic borrowing
significantly, by about Rs. 47 billion, enabling the government to
reduce its overall debt to the banking sector by Rs. 17 billion.
improvement in the external sector was further strengthened in 2003
with a recovery in exports and a continuation of the growth in
tourism, port services, worker remittances, and financial and capital
supply grew by 15.3% in line with the monetary programme aimed at
containing inflationary pressures, while supporting the economic
recovery, with demand coming in particularly from the north and east.
lower public sector credit utilisation enabled the accommodation of
the expanding private sector credit demand without creating additional
annual report of the CBSL states that Sri Lanka's future is marked by
favourable economic prospects but points out that downside risks
shadow its future, while the issues to be resolved pose new
states that the main challenge faced by the country is to attain
permanent peace and lay the foundation for sustainable high quality
economic growth. The success for these endeavours will depend mainly
on the progress in the ongoing peace process, strengthening macro
economic management, the speed and effectiveness of implementing
structural reforms, development of infrastructure facilities,
particularly power and transport, effective utilisation of foreign
donor assistance, a conducive external environment and favourable
early and lasting peace is essential to ensure the country's future
economic prosperity. Any delay on that front will deny the nation the
immense potential benefits of peace. A reversal of the ongoing peace
process will exert even greater economic, political and social costs,
which the country cannot afford to bear, the Central Bank notes.
its report CBSL recommends the outward looking, market oriented
economic policy framework introduced in 1977, which has served the
country relatively better than the inward looking, public sector
centered, economic policy regime that had been adopted earlier.
CBSL projects a GDP growth rate of 5.5% for the current year.
According to Dr. Karunasena, a lower rate was projected because of the
drought, which would result in a 20% reduction in agricultural yield
and the higher costs involved with power generation, where thermal
power generation will have to be increased by 70%.
CBSL, A.S. Jayawardena, assured that the fiscal consolidation and
growth policies will remain intact. "The new government is
currently working on the economic policies which will be released
during the month of May," said Jayawardena.
"The finance minister is making every effort to work
within the budgetary framework and an increase in the budget deficit
would be prevented," he added.
to Jayawardena, the emphasis of the new government will be on more
equitable distribution of income and the reduction of wastage.
"According to what we heard when we met with the finance minister
on April 30, there will be more efficient use of resources and they
will make a determined effort to increase the government
revenue," he said.
can it deliver?
the last five years Sri Lanka has had three general elections and
three brand new governments. Looking back on the face of it there
wasn't much of a difference between the UNP and the PA when it came to
economic policies, governance and appointing of ministers.
time the newly formed UPFA government is promoting the mixed socialist
economic model, a deviation from the 1994-2000 pro PA private sector
change is attributed to the JVP's influence over the alliance. On the
other hand the UPFA also says they will loosen spending controls
resulting in a wider budget deficit and possibly increased borrowing.
by the government on populist economic programmes may also destabilise
the economic recovery that was underway, fuel inflation, increase
price levels and push interest rates up.
the UPFA must realise the country cannot run high budget deficits and
populist policies for too long because it could result in
destabilising the economy.
regard to the resolution of the ethnic conflict, the JVP has gone back
on what the PA preached while in office while Chandrika says they will
get back to the negotiating table and has requested the Norway
government to get the peace process restarted. So it seems with the
JVP-PA we are all in for a new economic and social order.
the alliance attempts to re-negotiate the MoU purely to satisfy the
electorate, the peace process may end in chaos. It is only peace that
can change the lives of our people in the years to come.
PA and JVP both carried out a vigorous campaign against the UNP's MoU.
In fact the allegation that the UNP was giving into the LTTE was the
primary reason given by the President to take over three key
is very clear that the alliance in an effort to woo Sinhala Buddhist
nationalists will continue to oppose a power sharing solution with the
LTTE. However, the entry of the venerable monks to parliament has also
changed the entire political climate within and outside parliament.
an alliance government will do is still very unclear; their strategy
has now done a 180-degree change in their public posturing. This new
willingness for a solution could be just a media gimmick, given the
hardline attitude of the JVP.
most Sri Lankans believe without durable peace, there is no economic
prosperity. The possibility that under a UPFA government, we could
once again go back to war is also a very frightening prospect for most
the UPFA fails to address this issue effectively in the next three
months we will once again destabilise the economic recovery.
from the peace settlement, the PAs capacity and competence to manage
the economy will be the other key factor that will decide our economic
fortune. In 2001, on the face of a collapsing economy, rampant
corruption and an unprecedented power crisis Sri Lankans threw out the
PA from office in disgust.
in per capita
disastrous handling of the north east war coupled with the
mismanagement of the economy, resulted in the per capita declining
from U$ 881 in 2000 to U$ 826 in 2001.
bungling of the economy destroyed all that was achieved during the
early PA days and President Premadasa's era. In fact in 1988 our per
capita income was around US$ 865, by 2001 it had come down to US$ 826.
that were behind us in 1988 such as India, China and even Bangladesh
made vast strides, while our economy got into a reverse gear for the
first time since independence.
UNF, which over the years had built a solid reputation of good
economic management, did very little to live up to this reputation in
the last two years, even though on the fiscal front great progress was
UNP was given a mandate to rescue the nation from an entangled mess.
This mandate was given despite many Sri Lankans believing that the UNP
had a secret agenda with the LTTE. When Ranil Wickremesinghe took over
the country, he took over an economy that was second only to what J.R.
inherited in 1977. GDP growth was minus 1.5%; inflation was running at
14.2%. By the year 2000 international community had given up, refusing
to give any aid.
poor military strategies had resulted in the state losing vital camps
such as Elephant Pass, Pooneryn and Mullaitivu. The military
expenditure, which was around Rs. 60 billion, continued to escalate
despite allegations of inferior equipment being purchased.
fact Ranil Wickreme-singhe commented that even if we do not fire a
single bullet, the Sri Lankan government would continue to pay for the
equipment already purchased for the next eight years.
the latter stage, economic mismanagement was a hallmark of the PA
administration, even though the PA inherited this war from the UNP.
The country was on its knees in 2001. The UNP administration managed
to get the economic ship floating again and turned around an economy
which was in shambles within a single year.
ensured that government expenditure was effectively controlled,
however at the expense of some sections of the community, which
resulted in the UNF being voted out of office.
the other hand, even though we are still far away from a permanent
solution, it's clear that the LTTE is still looking to work out a
solution to the crisis.
lesson for the UNF therefore is that development and peace must travel
together and therefore Sarath Amunugama was very correct when he said
that his ministry should do away with what he called its obsession
with lowering the budget deficit and adopt a more development oriented
2003, the future looked so hopeful, business confidence was gradually
rising, and the private sector started to be positive about expansion.
In the tourist industry, which went through a disastrous era, for the
first time since 1983, there was talk of upgrading and expanding of
arrivals broke the all time record as it reached the 500,000 plus mark
in December. The industry boldly expanded.
the industry is at the crossroads due to the political uncertainty and
the UPFA should do whatever is required to sustain business confidence
by saying the right things and by delicate economic balancing.
challenge for the UPFA will therefore be to convince the international
and local business community that they have the competence to manage
and unite Sri Lanka while ensuring that its spending brings about a
more immediate impact on the lives of the ordinary people.
it's upto us to ensure that the government fulfils its election
nations demand more power in IMF, World Bank
several thousand people protested outside the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) last last week, a coalition of
developing countries also complained loudly about the democracy
deficit at the two institutions.
are greatly disappointed by the lack of visible progress in respect of
voice and participation and voting power of developing countries in
the two Bretton Woods institutions," Sudanese Finance Minister,
al-Zubeir Ahmed al-Hassan told reporters as he read a statement on
behalf of African countries.
said they were alarmed at how the two organisations responded to
developing countries' calls for democracy in the IMF and World Bank.
is also the issue of principle," Governor, Central Bank of
Trinidad and Tobago, Ewart Williams told reporters.
are either universal institutions or we are not. You cannot on the one
hand say this is a participatory institution, that democracy should be
the order of the day, that transparency and accountability should be
the order of the day, and then on the other hand say that there should
be sacred cows."
was reading from a statement by finance and economy ministers from the
Group of 24 (G24), which operates as an association of minority
shareholders in the IMF and World Bank. It said, "the
under-representation of developing countries in the decision-making
processes of these institutions should be seriously and promptly
ministers called for a more equitable form of representation and said
the executive boards of the IMF and the World Bank should appoint an
expert group to work on the issue and produce a report within six
in the two financial bodies is far removed from the principle of one
46 sub-Saharan African countries, for example, have only two executive
directors representing them at the World Bank and IMF, while eight
northern nations have a single executive director each.
from countries of the Group of Seven (G7) most industrialised nations
now control more than 60 percent of votes at the bank and fund, while
the US administration has veto power over any extraordinary vote.
World Bank and IMF each have 184 board members from developed and
developing countries and 24 members who represent countries or groups
system has deprived more populous nations like India and China, which
combined represent more than 2.3 billion people of the world's six
billion people, of an influential say while givinga countries like the
United Kingdom, France and the United States greater clout.
officials from the two bodies and from the G7 have argued that the
poverty reduction strategy papers - policy documents that borrowing
countries must prepare before they can qualify for loans - already
give borrowers "a voice in bank-fund assistance programmes in
calls for reform come as the World Bank and IMF hold their bi-annual
spring meetings, which coincide this year with their 60th anniversary.
The Washington-based organisations were founded in July 1944 at
Bretton Woods in the US state of New Hampshire.
critics were meeting here all week, distributing 'unhappy' birthday
cards and holding demonstrations. Protesters banged on pots and pans
outside the IMF and bank buildings in downtown Washington, imitating
past protests in Argentina.
demand also come amid renewed accusations that the selection process
for the top jobs within the financial bodies is opaque and
IMF is set to decide on a new candidate to replace Horst Koehler, who
resigned on March 3 after being nominated for the German presidency.
countries and civil society groups have argued the selection process
gives rich nations a monopoly on nominating and selecting the leaders
of the two institutions.
a European has led the IMF while the World Bank presidency is given to
are particularly concerned that the selection process for the managing
director of the IMF continues to fall far short of the standards of
good governance, transparency and inclusiveness widely advocated by
the IMF and the World Bank in their relations with member
countries," said the G24 statement.
is inimical to the legitimacy, accountability and credibility of the
strongly worded statement demanded an open and transparent selection
process to "attract the best candidates regardless of
added the group, would simply follow recommendations made in April
2001 by a World Bank-IMF joint working group on how to choose the
although the two organisations' executive boards adopted the
recommendations as guidance for the future, they were never
European Union has already settled on a candidate, former Spanish
Finance minister Rodrigo Rato, to head the IMF. Rato, who served as a
minister in the conservative government of former Spanish Prime
Minister Jose Maria Aznar, was scheduled to arrive in Washington on
must be officially named to the post by the IMF executive committee.
The nomination debate is likely be repeated next year, when World Bank
President James Wolfensohn is due to end his second term in office.
key changes have been effected in the board of Colombo Dockyard
Limited (CDL), on conclusion of its 21st Annual General Meeting (AGM),
on April 22.
Koichi Yamanaka retired from service in the company and was replaced
by Shinichi Tatebe.
who had an illustrious service at Mitsui Ship building &
Engineering Co., Ltd. of Japan (MITSUI), is an expert on shipbuilding
and particularly on sales and business development. For over 15 years,
he has been involved in ship building sales and marketing and has had
over eight years experience in power plant sales and marketing at
held the post of general manager of the Diesel Power Plant Department
at the time of his retirement from MITSUI.
association with Colombo has been long standing and he was
instrumental in setting up Colombo Power (Pvt) Limited, a subsidiary
company of Mitsui, which operates the only barge mounted power plant
in Sri Lanka and was its chairman, until his retirement.
was also appointed as a director of Dockyard General Engineering
Services (Pte) Limited, Sri Lanka and Ceylon Shipping Agencies (Pte)
Limited, Singapore, in addition to his chairmanship of CDL.
General Manager of the company, Mangala P.B. Yapa, was nominated to
the board of directors as a nominee director of Onomichi Dockyard Co.,
Ltd.; the majority shareholder and was appointed as the managing
director and chief executive officer.
who holds a Masters Degree in Marine Engineering started his career at
Galle Slipway & Engineering Services (Pte) Limited, as a trainee
engineer; a subsidiary of Colombo Dockyard (Pvt) Limited, in 1984,
upon return to Sri Lanka and has continued to be in the employment of
CDL since then.
CDL, Yapa having been involved in production, business development and
marketing, quality assurance, engineering and project management, is
experienced in all sectors of the business of CDL, and was promoted to
the post of general manager, on unplanned retirement of the former
managing director/CEO in October 2001.
in the service of CDL, Yapa has completed his Masters in Business
Administration from the Post Graduate Institute of Management, Sri
addition, he is also a chartered engineer and a member of the
Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka (IESL) and The Institute of Marine
Engineering, Science and Technology (IMAREST), UK.
addition to the appointment of the MD/CEO of CDL, he was also
appointed as a director and chairman of Dockyard General Engineering
Services (Pvt) Limited and a director of Ceylon Shipping Agency (Pte)
Limited of Singapore.
the acquisition of over 21% of the stake of the company by Hayleys
Limited and Maritime Holdings Limited in latter part of 2003,
Chairman/CEO, Hayleys Group of Companies, Sunil Mendis and Managing
Director, Maritime Holdings Ltd. and a Director of Hayleys Limited,
Mohan Pandithage became directors of the CDL.
the above changes, the new Board of CDL now constitutes the following
directors: Chairman Shinichi Tatebe, Vice Chairman Sarath de Costa,
Managing Director Mangala P.B. Yapa, Director Y. Hamane, Director S.
Ohashi, Director Sunil Mendis, Director A.M. Pandithage, Director
Lalith Ganlath, Director H.A.R.K. Wickramathilake, Alternate Directors
for Y. Hamane, Y. Imai and T. Nakashima and Alternate Director for
Sunil Mendis and A.M. Pandithage, S.R. Sadanandan.
certification a must for investment advisers
though not in a professionally qualified capacity to do so, many
individuals are found to have the designation of investment adviser,
providing recommendations on investment decisions to investors.
such investor is Nizardeen, who has been trading in the Colombo Stock
Exchange (CSE) for the past 20 years or so, mostly on behalf of his
brother. The sad thing is that these so called 'investment advisers'
are employed by some of the more reputed stock brokering firms.
has been dealing with a brokering firm for the past six years or so
and his investment slips were signed by an investment adviser of this
Nizardeen had queried from the firm on the professional qualifications
of this person to sign as investment adviser (and in some instances
for investment adviser), with regard to which the company has not made
any clarifications to date.
had called for clarification from the CSE and the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) with regard to this issue. These were made
around April 2003.
Sunday Leader made specific inquiries from the SEC and the
Director-Legal and Enforcement, SEC, Marina Fernando. Excerpts of the
Does the SEC make it mandatory that those who advise clients on
investments should follow the certification course conducted by the
The term 'those who advice clients' in your question is referable
to many categories identified specifically by the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) Act. For instance, an investment manager is
defined in the SEC Act as a person who for a fee or commission engages
in the business of managing a portfolio of listed securities on behalf
of an investor or engages in the business of advising any person on
the merits of investing, purchasing or selling listed securities, but
does not include a licensed managing company of a unit trust. However,
investment managers do not have to follow the said certification
course. Where the course is not a requirement there is alternate
criteria re. qualification which have to be fulfilled.
requirement vis-…-vis stock brokers and stock dealers is that all
executive directors and emplo- yees˙dealing with clients on behalf of
the stock broker/stock dealer company, have to be trained and
certified as such by the licensed stock exchange (Colombo Stock
If so, if a client has doubts on the qualification/certification of
his/her adviser, can he/she refer to any records in the SEC or CSE
with regard to such?
If a client has a doubt on the qualification/certification of
his/her investment advisor he/she may refer same to the SEC/ Colombo
Stock Exchange (CSE).
In the event that there are such unqualified persons dealing with
clients, can the client make a complaint to the SEC and what is the
procedure with regard to such?
In the event that there are personnel who appear to be dealing with
clients without the requisite qualifications, the client may make a
complaint to the SEC/CSE. Additionally, it is likely that such
deficiencies would be identified by SEC's continuous monitoring of
compliance with SEC requirements.
Following the complaint, what kind of action will be taken against
them by the SEC?
Where the complaint merits it, SEC shall conduct an inquiry into the
matter with a view to making a determination thereon. The CSE has its
own laid down procedure, which is followed.
What kind of protection is given to client/investor to prevent such
Rules and regulations of both the CSE and the SEC are available to the
public in order that they may be informed in that respect and assert
compliance. The licensing / registration of such personnel is carried
out subject to SEC being satisfied that these requirements are met. As
continued compliance is mandated in terms of the law, SEC monitors
Sri Lanka's coconut industry
the plantation crops in Sri Lanka, coconut is one of the most
economically important tree crops due to it is versatility of uses.
Coconut is a major component in the Sri Lankan daily diet, providing
20% of the caloric intake of the population. The total area under
coconut is about 440,000 hectares and is only second to rice.
is predominantly a smallholder crop with 75% of the area consisting
units less than 8 ha. Approximately 700,000 are smallholdings covering
an area of 309,900 ha. During the last decade, annual coconut
production fluctuated within 2300-3080 million nuts. Since the early
90s, coconut production, on average, increased by 1-2%. In the past
seven years nearly 10% increase in coconut production was reported
except in 2002.
decline in production in 2002 resulted due to the lagged effect of the
severe drought that prevailed in the previous year.
production increase experienced in the past seven years is possibly
due to the improved varieties introduced since 1960 onwards,
marginally improved input use and technology adoption, in addition to
the well distributed rainfall experienced in some years.
Lanka maintained its position as a main producer of coconut-based
products such as desiccated coconut, copra, shell and activated
carbon, coir and coir based value added products. In 2002 total
contribution from the exports of kernel based products was Rs. 3,957
million and from non-kernel products was Rs. 4,052 million.˙
Percentage contribution from coconut to the Gross Domestic Products
(GDP) was 2%.
to the recent coconut statistic, domestic household demand remains
within an average of 1700-1800 mn nuts.˙When the coconut production
decreased below 2500 nuts, it constrained heavily on the supply of
nuts for the processing industries.
maintain coconut as a viable industry, it is important to ensure
stable production which meets average national household demand of
1800 million nuts and another 1200 million or more for various coconut
it is very important to increase the coconut production to a level of
three billion nuts within next few years following possible short and
medium-term strategies and to reach four billion mark by 2010 and
sustain the production thereafter.
keeping with government policy in 'Regaining Sri Lanka' a task force
was appointed by the government comprising the following members to
look into potential, critical issues and strategies to meet the future
challenges of the industry.
task force consists of Convener, Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, Convener,
Dr P G Punchihewa, President, Sandalankawa Coconutive Corporative
Unions, Asoka Subasinghe, Chairman, Coir Council International,
Indrajith Piyasena, President, Sri Lanka DC Millers Association, Sunil
Watawala, President, Coconut Product Trader's Association, Murtaza
Lukmanjee, Member, DC Millers Association, Jeyam Wijeratnum,
President, Coconut Grower's Association, J.V.R. Dias, Coordinator,
Policy Planning Ministry, R.M.R. Ratnayake, Chairman, CDA and observer
member, H.A. Tilakarathne, Chairman, CCB and observer member, Lincoln
Fernando, Chairman, CRI and observer member, Dr. S.S.B.D.G.
Jayawardena, Director (Planning), Plantation Industries Ministry, A.B.
Leelasena and Director (Rubber and Coconut), Plantation Industries
Ministry, K Samaraweera.
Sri Lanka to be a major grower of coconut and producer of quality
coconut products in the global market
optimum coconut production to maintain equilibrium in the raw material
availability for fresh coconut consumption, domestic and export based
achieve and maintain production at three billion nuts per year by˙2005,
to reach four billion nuts per year by 2010 by maintaining annual
growth rate of 20% and sustain at this level beyond that year and to
improve productivity from its current level of 2500 nuts/ac/annum to
4000 by 2010
Action Plan˙Report prepared and submitted by the Coconut Task Force
contributes Rs. 450 mn.
more to govt. in first quarter
Tobacco Company recorded a Rs. 450 million (7%) increase in government
revenue during the first quarter ended March 31, 2004, mainly
attributed to the declining volumes of illegal and counterfeit
products in the local market. The group recorded an operating profit
of Rs. 330 million, recording a marginal growth against the same
period last year.
company stated that government revenue has grown from Rs. 6.3 billion
during the three months ended March 31, 2003 to Rs. 6.7 billion during
the same period 2004.
contribution to government revenue constitutes of high incidences of
excise and sales related taxes paid to the government, representing
80% of the consumer sales price.
growth of 7% in government revenue comes in the wake of CTC law
enforcement authority's efforts in adopting effective strategies to
minimise the impact of counterfeit and illegal trade of cigarettes.
The estimated volumes of these illegal products mainly 'Gold Seal'
have seen a decline during the period under review.
company will work closely with the authorities, to ensure the
elimination of illegal products and will continue to pursue strategies
in this direction which poses a significant threat to government
revenue and the legal tobacco industry.
marginal growth in operating profit was a result of the increase in
the group's net revenue, primarily due to increased sales volumes of
CTC's mid prices and value for money brands.
Tobacco Company declared an interim dividend of 10% on April 2 which
will be paid on April 29.
courses for business professionals
Society of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA Sri
Lanka) has partnered the world's leading management accountancy body,
the Society of Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada)
and VUBIZ Canada to provide powerful e-learning courses on strategic
management, IT and business
online courses deliver what today's professionals need for skill and
career development providing high impact low-cost learning for
business success. The flexibility of studies and registering at any
time are some of the other distinct advantages for busy executives and
Sri Lanka has negotiated very concessionary pricing with its partners
CMA Canada and VUBIZ Canada for all the courses providing a distinct
financial benefit for both members and non-members.
CMA Canada strategic management courses include six courses comprising
balanced scorecard, strategic cost management, customer profitability
analysis, target costing, redesigning the finance function and
environmental costing offered to members and non members at a very
those interested could log into the web site www.cma-srilanka.org
and click on 'e-Learning Courses' and go into the VUBIZ web
site and select the applicable category either the member site or non
member site. Members could log in by entering their registration
number and non- members could go in direct to their site.
selection of the courses payment could be made online by credit card
or those who wish to pay by TT could contact the CMA Sri Lanka office.
Those registering for the courses will be subject to online testing
and on the completion of each of the courses they will be eligible for
a certificate which will entitle them to earn continuing professional
development (CPD) credit hours.
members would be eligible to utilise these CPD credit hours to apply
for their fellowship provided the requisite training requirements are
Airlines closes books on "good numbers"
Airlines System Bhd (MAS) closed its books for the year ended March
31, 2004, on what its new Managing Director, Dato' Ahmad Fuaad Mohd
Dahlan described as "good numbers." MAS is ready to fly into
active competition once more, some of its most turbulent years behind
momentum from the third quarter looks good. We hope to do well,"
he told the Malaysian Business Times on his first day as Managing
Director of the national carrier. MAS posted a net profit of RM 339.09
million for its year ended March 31, 2003, compared with a net loss of
RM 835.56 million the year before. For the third quarter, the airline
posted a net profit of RM 230.08 million.
Fuaad said expansion plans have taken over rehabilitation work led by
his predecessor, Datuk Md Nor Yusof. On top of the list is the search
for a global airline link or a mega alliance with other carriers to
extend its reach, something the airline has not been able to do during
its restructuring period.
has engaged a foreign consultant to assess the viability of joining
alliances and it expects to make a decision in the next two months.
There are only three alliances around - SkyTeam, One World and Star
Alliance. Thai International and Singapore Airlines are already in
would not want to join where your friendly competitors are and they
will also not want it because there's no advantage for the alliance to
ask MAS to participate," he said.
it already has a code-share agreement with Dutch carrier KLM, there is
the likelihood of MAS participating in the SkyTeam alliances since KLM
is already a member. Ahmad Fuaad could not confirm this.
is also looking at increasing flight frequencies to several of its
destinations including China and India, the last two considered growth
passenger and cargo areas within the region. It is also looking into
the needs to intensify relationship with Indonesian carrier Garuda,
possibly by forming a regional alliance.
network expansion plans, Ahmad Fuaad said the airline wants to improve
its service quality and also focus on product development.
managers will look into improving passenger comfort and upgrading its
reward programmes. Safety is also at the very top of Ahmad Fuaad's
plans. "We need to upgrade safety and security measures and
ensure that the aspects of health and cleanliness are well taken care
of," he said. The national carrier's seat factor has improved to
75% from 65% during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
outbreak last year.
Fuaad said he will continue implementing the company's existing
have a five-year plan which started in 2001 (During Datuk Md Nor's
time). We will review this every year and discuss strategic issues and
adapt it to the changing time and environment," he said. Malaysia
Airlines is represented in Sri Lanka by their general sales agent,
Hemas Air Services (Pte) Ltd.
boom time for Colombo's restaurants
Colombo's Duplication Road - Dickman's Road junction to Colpetty
junction - the distance is approximately three kilometers. On this
stretch today there are around 90 food outlets. So, the end result
works out to around three restaurants every 100 yards! One could even
call Colpetty the restaurant capital of Sri Lanka, second probably to
such conditions one would have thought that the restaurant industry in
Sri Lanka must have reached a saturation point by now, but not so.
continuous complaints of the ever-rising cost of living, one would
think that people lived on bare essentials. While regarding a good
part of the population the picture may actually be so, restaurants
continue to thrive in business. Even when looking at the new
restaurants that have sprung up, there is no shortage of those who
to The Sunday Leader, Assistant Manager, German Restaurant, Nicholas
Fernando, stated, "You find that eating outlets are springing up
all over Colombo and the suburbs, just like mushrooms," but added
that if they do not maintain cleanliness and the quality and quantity
demands they are likely to disappear in a short while.
only goes to show that people are increasingly getting used to the
idea of 'dining out.' Ironic as it might seem, with the low interest
on savings more people are tempted to spend their money. People are no
longer hung up on 'saving for a rainy day' as it were, and are instead
more open to enjoying life. Hence, people seldom think twice when
opting to dine out.
aspect is the convenience factor. Following the hassle of preparation
of food people are more receptive to the idea of ready made food.
to The Sunday Leader, Marketing Manager, McDonalds Sri Lanka, Fahim
Hsarook said, "What we see in Colombo is that most people are
really pressed for time. It is easier and more economical to eat out.
This is why we see an increase in the number of people who opt to eat
out and the level of consumer spending. A few years ago, we had what
we called an extended family concept. In such an environment, there
inevitably will be someone to cook and clean for you. But in today's
context people move out right after marriage or even before. Given the
fact that both partners are employed there is a heavy constraint on
husband and wife are employed and added to the risk of employing a
servant nowadays, they find it easier to buy food from out," said
have grown to appreciate the ambience, service etc provided at a
restaurant as opposed to dining at home, and find the premium worth
paying for. The awareness level of the consumer is also increasing.
are more influenced by TV and the press, and we have a consumer that
is more aware. This was more than evident during the fear of 'bird
flu.' Consumers are also becoming more adventurous and are willing to
try out new things," said Hsarook.
from those who dine out on a regular basis, there are also those who
like to enjoy different types of food and live a more enriched life.
They make a conscious choice on the place they wish to dine at,"
thing's for sure, as long as man continues to live there will be no
cessation in the want for food. With the increasing population, demand
for food is ever on the increase. So technically, the restaurant
industry has a certainty of bringing in business. So although there
may be so many in the business, entering it and making profits should
pose no major challenge.
major beneficiary of private sector value addition
60% of the value added by the private sector is distributed to the
government in the form of taxation and to employees as emoluments. In
sharp contrast, shareholders collect a mere 4% of the value added by
the private sector in the form of dividends.
are the findings of a recent study carried out by the Ceylon Chamber
of Commerce (CCC) on the listed companies in Sri Lanka. Of the 239
companies listed with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) as at March 31,
2003 they have analysed the annual accounts of 207 companies for the
year ended March 31, 2003 (or for year ended December 31, 2002,
representative sample was made up of all sectors covered by the CSE
such as financial services, food and beverage, plantations, IT,
manufacturing, etc. These findings put to rest the commonly held view
that the country's much-maligned private sector is only concerned
about its 'bottom line.'
study - the brainchild of CCC Chairman, Tilak de Zoysa - was carried
out to counter the often repeated allegations leveled by politicians
that the private sector was motivated solely by profit. However, as
these findings prove, the contribution made by the private sector to
the development of the country and to improve the standard of living
of its citizens is substantial.
value added by the 207 companies alone amounts to over 9% of the
country's GDP for 2002 (at current market prices).
the 207 companies, 158 companies had employment data, providing direct
employment to 370,000 people. It is pertinent to note that this study
does not cover all registered limited liability companies in the
country. For instance the apparel sector and other BOI companies based
in the Katunayake and Biyagama Free Trade Zones (FTZs) - most of which
have high levels of employment - are not captured in the study.
to the fourth quarter 2002 labour force survey of the Census and
Statistics Department, over three million people are employed by the
private sector, constituting 45% of the total employed population of
the country. Thus it can be said that eight million of the Sri Lankan
population is dependent on the private sector.
of value added by 207 listed companies
the value added of the 207 companies included in the study, 34% had
been remitted to the government as taxes thus contributing to the
development of education, health, transport, infrastructure, etc., in
the country. Indeed, this represents 22% of the total tax revenue of
the government in 2002. 27% of the value added was paid to employees
as remuneration and retirement benefits. The third largest slice of
13% was paid to financial institutions as interest. 12% was accounted
for by depreciation leaving a balance of 14% at the discretion of
70% of this balance - or 10% of the total value added - was
re-invested in the organizations for purposes of research and
development, modernisation, expansion, etc., thus creating a platform
for sustaining economic growth. Thus, the annul cash return to
shareholders in the form of dividends was a mere 4% of value added or
less than 2% of turnover of the companies in the study.
is also pertinent to mention that shareholders receive their dividends
usually once or in some instances twice annually. On the other hand
both the government and employees receive their share of an
organisation's value added on a monthly and / or quarterly basis.
study has not attempted to quantify other contributions made by the
private sector towards the development of the country and the
community. For instance private sector led foreign exchange earnings,
sponsorships of sports and the arts, donations and other forms of
assistance to charitable causes, etc., have not been considered for
CEO/Secretary General, CCC, Prema Cooray states that the Sri Lanka
office of PriceWaterhouseCoopers has performed agreed-upon procedures
on the above statement in accordance with Sri Lanka Auditing Practice
Statement (SLAPS) No. 4 and has issued to the CCC their detailed
report on factual findings.