back to business but strike continues
to the continuing dispute between the trade unions and the
management of the Bata Shoe Company, Bata's parent company in
Singapore has shown serious concern over Bata's business
operations in Sri Lanka despite the resumption of limited
Director, Bata Shoe Company, Kym Bradley who left for
Singapore to discuss the management's current dispute with the
parent company told The Sunday Leader on his return, that he
had updated the executives of the parent company about the
current dispute and informed them local operations were now
coming back on track since the police had removed the strikers
from the premises of the Ratmalana factory.
the strike continues, it is now outside the factory premises
and many of our non-striking workers have been able to gain
access to the stocks inside the factory," Bradley said.
parent company had shown serious concern due to rumours that
had escalated in Singapore stating the Ratmalana factory had
been burnt instead of the Katubedda warehouse, resulting in
thousands of stocks being completely destroyed.
were under the impression that the company would have to close
its local operations due to all the stocks inside the factory
being destroyed," Bradley said.
Singapore Company had also expressed concern about the safety
of the management after a bus carrying many non-striking
workers was damaged by the trade unions a few weeks ago.
to the strikers now protesting outside the factory, Bata has
been able to provide supplies to all its retail outlets in the
country and has also been able to dispatch 70,000 shoes to all
to him, the company has also been able to increase local
online suppliers, resulting in the company becoming stronger.
we have been able to supply to all our outlets, we are yet to
reach a compromise with leaders of the trade unions. The trade
unions have to understand we have to terminate the services of
146 workers as the company is overstaffed. We pay our workers
a salary ranging from Rs.18,000 to Rs. 20,000, which is a very
big amount compared to what other companies pay. It is costly
to pay so many workers," Bradley said.
strike, according to Bradley, was initiated due to the
management of Bata reaching a decision to terminate the
services of these employees and offer them attractive
compensation packages instead.
priority is to save as many jobs as possible but it is sad
that the trade union leaders do not understand this and are
not accepting our formulas," Bradley said.
market wakes up to reality
Colombo stock market was on a downward spiral last week with
both indices depreciating considerably and market
capitalisation dropping by a whopping Rs. 15.5 billion.
All Share Price Index (ASPI), which opened last Monday at
1,441.9 declined by 63.6 points and closed at the end of the
week at 1,378.3 points.
Milanka Price Index (MPI), which opened last week at 2,150.3
recorded a decline of 82.5 points and closed at 2,067.8
downward trend was mainly attributed to the deteriorating
political situation in the country, profit taking by domestic
retail investors and the Nawaloka IPO.
average daily turnover of Rs. 204.2 million was recorded for
the five trading days and a total of 39 trades in the
beneficial interest of government securities amounting to Rs.
37.2 million took place during the week.
investors accounted for 84.8% of total turnover and foreign
investors were nett buyers with purchases of Rs. 251.1 million
and sales of Rs. 57.6 million.
to The Sunday Leader, Research Manager, HNB Stockbrokers, H.
Premaratne said the market has come down week on week and
selling has taken place due to some form of uncertainty in the
to Premaratne, the rupee depreciation and upward pressure on
the interest rates has had a negative impact as well, with the
market being up marginally only on Tuesday during the entire
doubtful situation in Trincomalee and the questionable
backdrop also caused panic selling. All these factors have an
impact on the macro economy. The indices have been volatile
but the overall trend has been on the negative side," he
a source from a leading stock broking company attributed the
drop in the stock market to the rise in oil prices and the
stalled peace process.
issues are at hand and the two main issues are the increase in
oil prices, which affects company profitability, and the peace
process being under strain. Oil prices are moving up globally
and further pressure will be brought on the government to
revise prices and by the looks of it, the government does not
seem to have the peace process under control either. As a
result, I don't think the stock market is likely to rise in
the near future," the source said.
introduces 0% interest scheme
last week announced a 0% interest monthly instalment purchase
scheme for HSBC credit cardholders. HSBC was the first to
introduce this innovative scheme to Sri Lanka.
the launch of the 0% scheme, credit cardholders who purchase
goods and services such as jewellery, household goods and
travel packages from selected outlets could pay in easy
monthly instalments at 0% interest.
this scheme we are revolutionising the concept of the credit
card while providing customers with better purchasing options
in a world where costs are constantly soaring," said
Manager (Card Centre), HSBC, Sarit Wijeyekoon.
the scheme and how it works, Wijeyekoon said the scheme was
open to all HSBC credit card customers, allowing them to pay
the total cost of an item in equal monthly instalments at zero
per cent interest.
have all heard of easy payment schemes, but usually you have
to pay the instalment as well as interest on each instalment.
But now, our customers can use the HSBC credit card and choose
to pay the showroom price in monthly instalments at zero per
cent interest. Customers
can choose between paying for goods and services in either
three, six or 12 equal monthly instalments, absolutely
credit cardholders would keep earning rewards points for these
Singer Mega, Vogue and Jetwing Holidays are some of the
merchant outlets from which HSBC's credit cardholders can make
use of the 0% interest monthly instalment scheme, while more
merchants would soon be joining this programme shortly.
Association of Professional Bankers (APB) will conduct its
convention on August 27
28 at the HNB auditorium, HNB Towers.
Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama will deliver the inaugural
address at the convention while Governor, Central Bank of
Pakistan, Dr. Ishart Hussain will deliver the keynote address.
Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Sunil Mendis will also
attend the convention
theme for this year's convention is 'Challenges And
Opportunities In A Globalised Financial Market.'
determined to proceed with transfer tax
Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
the reservations expressed by the business community over the
reintroduction of the 100% transfer tax, the government is
determined to go ahead with the legislation.
Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama on Wednesday presented to
parliament the bill to amend Section 4 of the Finance Act of
1963 to reintroduce the 100% transfer tax on lands with regard
tax, which was in place since 1963, was amended in 2002 when
non-citizens were exempted from the land transfer tax.
reintroduction of the 100% transfer tax has been met with much
criticism by the business community who state that it could
seriously hamper the growth momentum of the country, as it
might send negative signals to foreign investors.
tax is also applied to companies where non-citizens possess
more than 25% of the shares. This is expected to affect about
60 blue chip companies with non-citizen stakeholders.
Amunugama pointed out that after reviewing the issue, the
government has decided on the reintroduction of the law to
impose the tax on land. Explaining further, Dr. Amunugama
stated that the reintroduction was not an attempt to prohibit
or ban investors from coming in to the country.
Amunugama reiterated that there should not be any problem in
the implementation of the law as it is only a case of
"going back to the old law which was in existence."
He went on to say however, that the law will provide for
regulations to be introduced.
Dr. Amunugama observed that there will be instances when some
would be exempted from the law on special projects, which
would be determined by the finance minister.
Amunugama pointed out that in Sri Lanka, non-citizens used to
get land for residential purposes more than business, adding
that it has resulted in valuable coastal lands being bought
over by them.
he noted that the government is not against foreign settlers,
bringing in the example when N. M. Perera gave exemptions to
Dr. Arthur C. Clarke.
reason for the reintroduction of the law according to Dr.
Amunugama was the fact that a distinction between citizens and
non-citizens needed to be made.
is not a penal amendment. It is to give a chance to Sri
Lankans who want the ability to acquire land at reasonable
prices," he said, adding that this would provide everyone
with an equal chance.
Amunugama also said that if the law is reintroduced, locals
would also be encouraged to own more shares in companies.
"It would be an incentive to give more shares to
locals," he said.
Dr. Amunugama reiterated that the government hopes to attract
foreign investors, but be very selective, adding that there
will be instances when special exemptions would be granted.
disapproval, opposition parliamentarians said that the
reintroduction of the 100% transfer tax on lands would drive
away investors from the country, adding that the 60 odd
companies listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange with 25%
stakeholders being foreign investors would be adversely
to Dr. Amunugama, the law would pave way for regulations to be
introduced to look into bona fides situations of companies
engaged in fraudulent activities.
week, a delegation of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) met
with Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera to voice their
concern over the issue.
Jayasundera had then requested the CCC to put forward their
proposals, which would be considered before reaching a final
Chamber of Construction Industry in Sri Lanka has said that
"If the government wants to impose a 100% tax on the sale
of land to foreigners, it is a political decision. However, if
this condition is to be applied for the sale of condominium
apartments, it is a huge mistake. There should be no
restriction on foreigners purchasing condominium units,
whether it be in Colombo or in other parts of the country.
present the real estate market is buoyant due to foreigners
having no restrictions to purchase condominiums."
to Dr. Amunugama condominiums could get exemptions as they are
considered economic projects.
went on to say that through regulations, genuine companies
could get exemptions, adding that the law will pose to be
disadvantageous to those not involved in proper economic
rating for Telecom
Ratings Lanka Ltd (FRL) assigned AAA (sri) (Triple A) national
rating to Sri Lanka Telecom Limited (SLT).
At the same time, FRL upgraded SLT's 2000/2005
Unsecured Redeemable Debenture to AAA (sri) from AA+ (sri).
The Rating Outlook is Stable.
(sri) credit ratings denote the lowest expectation of credit
risk. This rating is assigned only in case of exceptionally
strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.
This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by
foreseeable events. The rating takes into account SLT's
position as the only fully integrated telecommunications
service provider in the country, its dominant market share in
the Direct Exchange Line (DEL) market, capacity to offer data
and other network services and the promising growth prospects
in the wireless telecommunications sector, particularly mobile
credit profile has improved in the last few years. This was
partially due to repayment of debt and low additional
borrowings owing to reduced discretionary capital expenditure.
The group maintained healthy EBITDA margins and a sound
financial profile despite facing a deregulated operating
environment. Total Debt/ EBITDA at March 2004 was 1.4x, down
from 3x three years ago, while EBITDA/ Interest improved to
metrics are likely to be pressured over the medium term.
Additional borrowings to finance Mobitel's expansion, together
with debt repayments would result in the group's free cash
flow being negative over the next couple of years. While
favourably considering Mobitel's expansion plans and
prospects, FRL also recognises the intensifying competition in
the wireless telecommunications market.
In addition the evolving regulatory framework of the
country and future regulatory determinations may affect SLT.
Other concerns include the fragile political climate, which
may hamper the long-term growth prospects of the industry.
opens showroom in India
Lanka Porcelain in collaboration with Inter Asia of India,
announced the opening of its first showroom 'The Legend' at
the Defense Colony opposite Kotla in Delhi. Noritake is
regarded as one of the leading manufacturers in the tableware
industry around the globe for both its quality, style and
the year 1876, a young former diplomat named Baron Ichizaemon
Morimura established Morimura Brothers, Japan's first fine
china trading company with a head office in Tokyo and retail
and wholesale office in New York city. In doing so, he began
to realise his personal vision of bringing to the North
American continent the unique beauty and elegance of Japan's
distinctive fine china, gifts and decorative products so
widely adrnired and avidly collected by discerning Europeans
since the time of Marco Polo.
1904, Morimura established his own manufacturing company named
Nippon Toki Goumei Kaisha (now Noritake Co., Limited).
Determined to ensure the quality and integrity of his
distinctive products, he dedicated six years of his life to
refining the manufacturing process in the factory he located
in a little village named Noritake.
100 years later, Noritake sets the table for millions of loyal
customers providing fine china manufactured in Noritake
factories and exported to more than 100 countries. Today the
company concentrates its efforts on five areas: tableware,
industrial products, electronics, ceramic materials and
environmental engineering. Noritake Europe, Oceania and other
countries in Asia. With considerable R&D capability
supported by a number of factories and network of distribution
centers around the world. Noritake has laid a strong
foundation for continued growth.
Lanka Porcelain (Pvt) Ltd., was incorporated under the
companies act in 1972, as a joint venture with Ceylon Ceramic
Corporation of Sri Lanka and Noritake Co., Limited of Japan.
The availability of high quality raw materials such as
feldspar, quartz, dolomite and various other materials found
in abundance made Noritake Japan, to open its first factory in
Asia and shores of Sri Lanka.
its incorporation the company launched several expansion
programmes. As a result of the high demand for its products in
the international market, Noritake Lanka Porcelain produces an
average 5,000 metric tons of porcelain tableware and
approximately one million pieces of tableware per month. These
items comprise standard airline tableware, hotel tableware and
Pieris chooses hSenid for its HRIS needs
Pieris & Co. Ltd., one of Sri Lanka's leading diversified
companies, with 28 subsidiaries and associate companies, has
selected hSenid Software International (Pvt) Ltd, the premier
human resource information system solution provider in Sri
Lanka to automate and centralise certain HR related functions
of the company.
agreement between Richard Pieris and hSenid was signed in July
this year. Once the implementation and training process is
completed, the entire Richard Pieris Group will be able to
fully utilise the system. This should significantly
streamline, HR related processes and further increase
efficiency and productivity of the Group.
HRIS solution provided by hSenid will enable us to manage our
employee time and attendance from a centralised location in a
more efficient manner," said Chief Operating Officer,
Richard Pieris & Co Ltd., Pravir Samarasinghe.
time and attendance solution provided by hSenid includes
several unique features such as allowing users to schedule
shifts and rosters easily, handle complex calculations,
accommodate multiple attendance patterns and other related
allows accurate monitoring of staff movement, including
over-time management and other attendance based calculations.
The hSenid solution has the capability of gathering
information from any electronic attendance device including
magnetic readers, proximity scanners, bar codes, finger / palm
/ hand scanners, etc.
system has the capacity to store all relevant information
about employees and to perform a large variety of HR
functions. All modules are closely interlinked, thus providing
management with a powerful tool to streamline any HR related
example, the leave module addresses all leave management and
administration needs. Processing of leave applications and
approvals, checking leave entitlements for different
categories of employees, ascertaining leave balances,
maintaining employee history records and many other functions
are handled with ease and in the most efficient manner.
strongly believe that our HRIS solution will bring significant
benefits to Richard Pieris Group and its employees in carrying
out day to day HR functions" says CEO, hSenid Software
International, Dinesh Saparamadu.
Software International is the premier HRIS solution provider
in Sri Lanka, specializing in HRM solutions, mobile
applications, eCommerce and Communications solutions. The
company has offices in the United States, Singapore and its
R&D centre located in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
service a large customer base in Sri Lanka and overseas and
have provided customised solutions to its clients, addressing
their wide, varied and specific requirements.
to the multiple interests of their clientele and to serve them
better, the company has diversified to provide various
products and services to address different customer
requirements, including HTA (Human Technology Alliance,
specialised unit for HR / payroll / time attendance and
analytical tools), BeyondM (specialised unit for mobile
applications), Webitpro (specialised unit for e-business
applications) and SI (Systems Integration, handling all
security, communications and network solutions).
achieves 32% growth in revenue
its projected targets Asian Alliance Insurance Company (AAIC)
achieved a 32% growth in revenue, a 260% growth in
profitability and 45% growth in investments in the first half
of 2004. During this period the company generated revenue of
Rs. 355 million and paid out Rs. 120 million as benefits,
losses and expenses to report an operating income of Rs. 130
the area of life insurance the company achieved a growth of
62% over the pervious period, recording revenue of Rs. 190
million. This was made possible with the existing branch
network, by increasing the annualised new business, a growth
of 27% and improving the retention level to 70%. The company
average policy value during this period was Rs. 28,500 which
ranked the highest in the market. Due to operating
efficiencies in the life insurance, the company managed to
increase its surplus to Rs. 31 million for the first half
year, 10 times more than what was achieved last year during
this same period. The company was also successful in
maintaining the fifth position in the market among the 13
players, for production of new business.
insurance recorded a revenue of Rs. 165 million, despite the
stiff competition in the market. The focus on new market
segments and improved client relationship delivered this
unprecedented results. The fire portfolio recorded a 67%
growth. As a result of the selective underwriting and
effective claim management method adopted, the operating
income in non-life insurance was Rs. 33 million for this
period. Further, the higher reinsurance commission received
plus the improved claim ration contributed to the above
company managed to increase its total investment portfolio to
Rs. 248 million and this was handed over to a fund management
company within the group at the beginning of this year. The
portfolio is mainly invested in government securities and the
growth in investment income and other income was 30% despite
most of the securities being long dated at yields that are
lower than market rates during the period.
to the quality of business offered, management effectiveness
and cost control mechanisms introduced, AAIC has secured a
profitability of Rs. 6.2 million in the first half of the year
even after providing for the economic service charge. The
above facts demonstrate the financial strength and stability
of the company and its potential to further enhance its
School of Commerce relaunched
School of Commerce, a household name since the 1950s and one
of the very few training institutions of that era was
relaunched recently. The school has produced over 50,000
qualified secretaries who are now with leading corporate
companies in Sri Lanka. Lekha, a family owned training
business that started operations at the same facility in 1956,
now stands taller with two additional floors to cater to a
greater number of students who will benefit from the new
methodologies the company plans to introduce.
has taken further steps to offer modernised techniques in the
secretarial studies combined with IT and management courses in
its refurbished modern building complex in the heart of
its affiliation to Spectrum Institute of Science and
Technology the task of delivering cutting edge technologies
from IT to management becomes available and the best of all
courses will be made available to the students of the
immediate suburbs. A variety of courses on offer target school
leavers to professionals.
Lekha, Nisitha Samarasekera said, "We are indeed proud to
relaunch the company with all modern facilities and courses
and are looking forward to serving the community for another
50 successful years. With years of teaching and management
experience combined with a professionally qualified and
trained staff, we are sure that the academy will be able to
produce competent and confident young persons who can handle
the demands of today's corporate world. Our affiliation to
Spectrum compliments this goal and would make it easy to
deliver the best to the students of the area."
Institute of Science & Technology, a BOI approved training
venture, is a leading training company that introduced many
modern technology courses in Sri Lanka and have produced a
large number of students with internationally recognised
one of the most successful training companies in the field of
Microsoft Systems Engineering, Cisco Certified Network
Engineers, also has a large number of students in their
biotechnolgy degree programmes offered in Sri Lanka through
the Chandrashekar Azad University of Agriculture &
Technology of Kanpur, India.
competitiveness on the decline, warns CNCI Chief
biggest problem Sri Lanka is facing right now is decreasing
competitiveness, according to Chairman, Ceylon National
Chamber of Industries (CNCI), Ranjith Hettiarachchy.
Lanka is in a situation where competitiveness is eroding. The
main reason for this was the war. The ceasefire showed what a
difference the stopping of war creates in industry. That alone
shows the importance of peace," he said.
doubtful situation with regard to peace is a dangerous
situation, warns Hettiarachchy.
to him, no business can survive without taking long-term
decisions, however, businesses cannot take long-term decisions
or make plans when there is a doubtful situation and the most
important thing to improve competitiveness is to create a
about power generation and the problems the country has faced
in this aspect, he said none of the successive governments
have taken clear decisions and while the decisions may be
unpopular, they have to be made.
are certain things the private sector cannot do and the
government must act as a facilitator. Up to date, successive
governments have failed to do this, while other countries are
moving fast in this aspect. We are not moving forward, but
going backward because the higher power costs also decrease
competitiveness," he charged.
have to go for the most economical option such as Liquid
Natural Gas (LNG) or coal power. It is up to the government to
decide on what to do after consulting experts but that
decision too has to be taken."
order to overcome the impact of increasing energy costs, Sri
Lanka has other alternatives without depending on diesel so
much, he said, adding that Sri Lanka has the alternative of
developing mini hydro power plants and using dendro power
method of saving energy would be a dual tariff system for
domestic use, which is being practised in other countries and
can be introduced to Sri Lanka, he said.
has happened now says Hettiarachchy, is no decision has been
taken about peace, no decision has been taken about power
costs and no decision has been taken about improving
further said the government must take a decision about
adjusting holidays and the CNCI has given a proposal to the
government to follow the other developing countries in the
Asian region and have a long vacation or two.
countries such as China, Malaysia and Thailand for example
they take their entitled holidays in about two long holidays a
year when all the companies and factories are closed and no
economic activity takes place, which is economical. That
decision too has not been made by the government," he
also highlighted the importance of improving the highways in
order to improve productivity - "People take three to
four times longer to travel to work here than other countries
in the Asian region and as a result they are not productive
when they get to work. While the southern highway is being
developed, we are not aware as to whether the work is going on
as per the target."
the country is in a situation where important decisions are
not taken, when fuel prices go up or something negative
happens like a thunderbolt, it creates a difficult situation
he said, adding, "all the other areas are negative and on
top of it all, the increasing of fuel prices worsens the
situation. Topping that, the rupee has depreciated and we are
affected by imported inflation, which erodes into the buying
power of the population."
said imported inflation has a dual effect: it affects the cost
of raw material since Sri Lanka imports most of the industrial
raw material and also affects the buying power of customers
and buying is limited to essential items. As a result,
business activities are affected.
says while the answer to this problem may be to export, Sri
Lanka is affected due to the cost of power and output. The
cost of labour may be cheaper here but the other negative
factors erode competitiveness.
the other negative factors did not exist, the increasing
energy costs would not have had such an effect and industries
where more energy is consumed could be affected very badly by
the increasing energy costs, he said.
Lanka as a small nation cannot have a very big impact or get a
favourable price on fuel but if we can turn around our other
negative factors, we can create a competitive situation. These
negative factors should be adjusted as fast as possible,
order to do this, he says, the government should develop an
attitude among leaders of putting the country first. If this
attitude change is not brought about, we will not be able to
and Malaysia have achieved a lot by changing attitudes. For
that, the leaders are mainly responsible and instrumental in
changing attitudes. That is what is lacking in Sri Lanka. Sri
Lanka has been identified as a country where millennium
funding will be done. Therefore we have to immediately
identify priorities for this funding. As a developing country,
we could ask for economic support from OPEC due to the cost of
fuel going up. The government has to immediately give priority
to seeking help to overcome this problem," he added.
and World Bank: Is reform underway?
created to provide stability in a global post-war economy
where exchange rates were fixed, though adjustable, the IMF
and the World Bank (WB) were born with outstanding survival
instincts that have kept them going after exchange rates were
floated in the early 1970s.
morphed from technocrats to firefighters, they have often been
praised for their ability to prevent or at least deal with
economic crisis in the world's poorest countries, then move on
to lend money that helps them modernise and instigate reforms.
But the reason why their names so readily slip off the tip of
the tongue of lay people is a widely-held belief that they are
arrogant, incompetent and ineffective, and that at times they
actually make matters worse.
have been several instances where following the institutions'
involvement, output and growth rates have fallen, unemployment
has risen and the differences between rich and poor have
IMF and the WB acknowledge that their projects sometimes fail
to achieve the desired results or have unintended negative
consequences, but insist that this is often because
governments ignore their prescriptions. Indeed, at times
countries might say they will carry out reforms, but soon
after they get the money they back away from their promises.
every case presented by their critics as proof that their
methods are mad, the IMF and the WB are able to come up with a
case that shows the opposite, that illustrates that their
efforts often bear fruit. Rightly or wrongly, when lending
money to troubled economies, the IMF and the WB attach
conditions. After all, it is their job to make sure the money
injected by their shareholders is not squandered by corrupt or
as the IMF and the WB turn 60, the institutions' shareholders,
namely rich nations that pay for their operations, have begun
talking about reform. "So
many things have changed in the world economy over the last 60
years and more changes will take place in the near
future," said Director (International Financial
Relations), Treasury Department, Italy, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi.
ideas are penetrating the IMF headquarters in Washington DC.
"The key question is whether the Bretton Woods
institutions have been able to adapt so as to continue to
pursue efficiently their primary objectives, which are the
stability of the international financial system and the fight
against poverty." A strategic review of institutions'
roles began in 2002 as part of the search for a "new
international financial architecture". Some changes are
UK has proposed that all debts owed by poor countries should
be written off, and although the leaders of the G8 rich
countries have not agreed, they decided in June to extend a
debt relief scheme. Demands for the IMF and the World Bank to
both lend and meddle less are also being heard. Are the
Bretton Woods institutions able to fight poverty?
is serious consideration by shareholders of proposals to give
grants instead of loans to very poor countries and to limit
conditions to macro-economic targets.
Moreover, both institutions have been working for
several years to become more transparent, more accountable and
more participatory. Formerly secret information about their
decision making, their financial disclosure rules and their
staff codes of conduct is now public.
is also growing acceptance among shareholders that national
governments should be the judges of their social and political
priorities, though the institutions continue to push for
stronger laws and institutions, that is legal and financial
reform, to ensure that borrowing governments are in control of
their own countries. Of course, there are those who insist
that focusing on macro-economics would ignore real - but
difficult to measure - problems that are the true reasons why
development is held back, such as corruption, political
instability or culture clashes between ethnic groups.
critics insist that the institutions' obsession with measuring
progress in terms of inflation rates or exchange rates is
merely a neat way of controlling the aid recipients, indeed a
method that actually distorts the way their national economies
are run. Then there are those who say the institutions simply cannot
be trusted, not least because they sometimes continue to
insist that the economic steps they called for were the right
ones - even after things have gone sour.
such attacks, a more probing one is often made by free market
thinkers: To their shareholders, the IMF and the WB have
become political tools which they often use to further their
own ends. And as long as there is confusion about the
institutions' true purpose, any changes in their behaviour or
structures, however sensible or well-meaning, will continue to
be viewed with suspicion.
- BBC News
Catering signs agreement with
Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya
Catering Services signed a three year collective bargaining
agreement with its main employee union, the Jathika Sevaka
Sangamaya last week.
is an extremely progressive agreement as the company has
looked after the needs of our employees for
the next three years in a manner that satisfies the
aspirations of all our staff," said CEO, SriLankan
Catering Services, Dilip Nijhawan.
agreement covers many areas including increments over a
three-year period and adjustments in minimum and maximum
points of salary scales of various grades of staff. A variety
of allowances and benefits such as personal accident
insurance, funeral expenses have also been increased.
Catering Services is the catering arm of the SriLankan
Airlines Group, and provides catering services for flights of
all airlines that use the Bandaranaike International Airport.
Jathika Sevaka Sanagamaya counts amongst its members 306 of
the company's 389 permanent employees. The company also
offered the terms of the agreement, which will be effective
from April 1 to March 31, 2007, to all employees who are not
members of the JSS, and all of them have signed up to share
its facilities and benefits.
launches Office Works
has established a specialised division to support and cater to
the office supplies needs of its large customer base. Office
Works was evolved as a concept primarily to meet the fast
paced activity in the business environment and save valuable
time and other resources.
Works is best described as the 'one stop shop' for office
requisites since it stocks the complete range of toner
cartridges for copiers and laser printers, BJ printer
cartridges, ribbons for the range of dot-matrix printers,
electronic typewriters, cash registers and general stationery
items, and floppy disks to an array of IT related items. The
division is perhaps the single largest paper vendor in terms
of 'paper related' items that include perforated computer
forms, specialty paper and boards, paper rolls for machines
with printing devices and brilliant white plain paper for
photocopying, printing, faxing and other office applications
Works provide a unique level of service to customers by
assessing the 'total office supplies' requirement of the
customer account and provides a single solution. The best news
is that you have one contact point, quality products from a
single source, just in time deliveries, and the expert staff
of Office Works providing a professional service. The constant
assessing and monitoring of your stationery needs and delivery
on time by the experts has benefited the customer in finding
additional time to enhance core business.
customers who may still want a shopping experience, Office
Works has 16 outlets around the island, which include the main
CWE outlets as well, which are a great source of convenience
to the professionals and the entrepreneur who operates from
Manager, Office Works, Ainsley de Silva stated that several
leading corporates have standardised on the 'package offers'
and regular monthly deliveries are made, thus the customer has
virtually entrusted his company to manage their office
supplies' needs. He said in the 'just in time' delivery
concept an outsourced warehouse is used to stock customer
requirements thereby freeing valuable office space of the
customer. Deliveries are planned on regular intervals and the
cost of storage is not borne by the customer. "Their
trust and confidence in our ability to keep their office
working smoothly is the result of our experience and knowledge
in this field," added de Silva.