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Govt. introduced financial management Ravi
Friday, 18 November 2016 - 9:47 PM SL Time

Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake concluding the debate on the second reading of the 2017 Budget said the government has a surplus of 5 billion rupees during the 2015 financial year. Minister Ravi Karunanayake stressed the government has introduced financial management.

The Minister said loans were obtained following the appointment of the new government in order to repay loans obtained during the United People s Freedom Alliance led government in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Minister said 2015 loan amounts increased to repay UPFA loans.
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Honourable Rathana Imports Brand New Toyota Land Cruiser, Despite Being Vocal On Anti-Austerity And Poverty
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 - 9:18 AM SL Time

Parliamentarian Athuraliye Rathana Thero who is very vocal on anti-austerity and poverty has imported a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser from Japan under the tax concessionary terms evading total tax revenue of rupees tens of millions.

The customs declaration form which is in possession of the Colombo Telegraph shows, the total tax waived off for Rathana Thero s brand new Toyota Land Cruiser is approximately Rs. 33.5 million on the vehicle.
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PM promises to sack cops if found guilty of attacking disabled war heroes
Saturday, 12 November 2016 - 11:51 AM SL Time

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that if any policemen were found guilty of attacking disabled servicemen near the Presidential Secretariat last week they would be sacked from the service.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said so responding to a query raised by MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena, who accused the government of setting police anti-riot squads on disabled military and police personnel demanding their pension rights.
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Prices of several essential items reduced
Thursday, 10 November 2016 - 8:36 PM SL Time

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, in his Budget speech announced that the prices of several essential items would be reduced. He said the price of a kilo of green gram would be reduced by Rs.15, a kilo of dhal by Rs.10, a kilo of potatoes by Rs.5, a kilo of sprats by Rs.5, a kilo of white sugar by Rs.2, LP Gas by Rs. 25 per 12.5 Kg and a litre of kerosene by Rs.5. Meanwhile, the minister said the price of a 400gm packet of locally-manufactured milk powder would continue to remain at Rs.295 and a 425 gm tin of locally-manufactured canned fish will remain at Rs.125.
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Sri Lanka considers new bond tender system to stabilise long term rates
Wednesday, 9 November 2016 - 12:09 AM SL Time

Nov 8 Sri Lanka`s central bank is working with the IMF and the World Bank to introduce a new system for selling bonds to bring down sharply higher interest rates in long-term government securities, Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe told Reuters on Tuesday.

The move comes after yields in long term bonds have significantly outpaced the rise in policy rates since the central bank switched to purely auction-based sales of debt in February last year, from the previous system that combined direct placement and an auction.
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President concerned probe on Dubai account has ceased, Thajudeen case has gone under
Sunday, 6 November 2016 - 2:10 PM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena who chaired last Tuesday s weekly ministerial meeting at the Presidential Secretariat heard some bitter criticism from his ministers over the painfully slow pace of the Government s drive against bribery and corruption.

For nearly an hour, the issue came to the fore in the aftermath of the parliamentary oversight Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) findings on the February 27, 2015 bond issue by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). Its report, now public, reveals there was reasonable doubt that former CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran made an intervention or used pressure in the issue of the bonds. The report also said that Perpetual Treasuries Limited, once linked to Mahendran s son-in-law Arjun Aloysius obtained large financial profits in the sale of bonds.
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Sri Lanka to firmly pursue One China policy: officials
Saturday, 5 November 2016 - 5:06 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka will continue its support for One China policy and push forward greater development of relations with China, a parliament leader and government officials have said.

Sri Lanka appreciates the great achievements Tibet has made in various fields, Thilanga Sumathipala, Deputy Speaker of Sri Lanka`s parliament, said as he met with visiting delegation of Tibetan Deputies of the National People`s Congress (NPC) of China on Wednesday.

He also said Sri Lanka would further deepen exchanges in economy, trade, culture and other fields with China.
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Sri Lanka VAT hike credit positive: Moody`s
Monday, 31 October 2016 - 7:24 PM SL Time

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka`s imposition of a value-added tax will be credit positive, and keep a programme with the International Monetary Fund on track, Moody`s Investor Service, rating agency, said.

`This is credit positive because a higher VAT rate will facilitate fiscal consolidation by strengthening Sri Lanka s low revenue-to-GDP ratio, which is a key credit constraint,` the rating agency said.

Sri Lanka`s attempt to impose the tax through a minister`s prerogative (see Royal Prerogative), a type of illegal executive order, was challenged by activists in court.
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Norochcholai 3rd unit to be added to the grid
Saturday, 29 October 2016 - 3:45 AM SL Time

The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy says the third generator of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai will be added to the national grid on Tuesday.

Speaking during a media briefing held in Colombo this afternoon, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said at present only two generators are in operation following the transmission fault reported on the 15th of October.

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Though having a population of around 20 million, Sri Lanka has only 694,000 Income Tax payers
Friday, 28 October 2016 - 2:18 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka has a population of over 20 million with about 13 million in the employable age-group. However, less than a million of its residents pay income tax.

According to Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, there are tax files on only 694,000 in the Inland Revenue Department.

He told parliament on Wednesday, that the government hopes to increase the number of direct tax payers to about 1.4 million.

He was speaking on the Bill to increase VAT from 11 percent to 15 percent, a measure which had drawn heavy flak from the opposition as well as a section of the government s allies.
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Fireworks at COPE
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 - 4:16 PM SL Time

Fireworks ensued at the meeting of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday, with Chairman of the oversight body stepping aside in protest against UNP members allegedly exerting undue influence on a draft report on the Central Bank Treasury Bond issue and delaying the report s presentation to Parliament, which was initially expected today.
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Multi intelligence unit to stem illicit drug trade
Sunday, 23 October 2016 - 3:57 AM SL Time

The Inter-agency Intelligence and Information Unit on Narcotics established by the Defence Ministry, Tri-Forces, Police and CSD has been set up to combat the illicit drug trade, Law and Order and Prison Reforms Ministry Secretary Jagath P.Wijeweera said.

The Secretary addressing a media briefing in Colombo yesterday said this unit meets regularly and coordinates with all agencies based on information gathered to conduct operations to nab drug dealers.

In the future too, more raids will be conducted to nab drug traffickers. Therefore, drug dealers and traffickers won t have it easy in the coming months, he said.
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SLC`s dirty sex secret
Friday, 21 October 2016 - 6:08 PM SL Time

Sexual demands, groping, touching, lude comments and verbal abuse of helpless and silent female employees are common occurrences inside the glamourous offices of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) according to the official testimony of a former female Executive officer of the country s most internationally recognized corporate body.

In a startling revelation made during a formal disciplinary hearing, SLC s former Confidential Secretary in the Marketing Division, Gayathri Wickramasinghe has exposed the dirty underbelly of the creature that in Sri Lanka governs what is supposedly the gentlemen s game .
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Transparency on the corruption probes uncertain - Rajitha.
Thursday, 20 October 2016 - 4:37 AM SL Time

Owing to several reasons, transparency on the corruption probes into the activities of the former government is uncertain, Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne says.

He expressed this view while speaking at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (19).

Senaratne also went on to say the investigation to locate money that was secretly transferred to accounts in Dubai by figures close to the administration of the former President has come to an end.
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SC to be moved against several state institutions
Monday, 17 October 2016 - 3:22 PM SL Time

Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kotituwakku yesterday told The Island that the Supreme Court would soon be moved against the Commissioner General of Motor Traffic for illegal transfer of duty free vehicle permits issued to members of parliament to new owners who had absolutely no right to benefit from tax exemption. Kodituwakku said that the SC would also be moved against the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and the Finance Ministry.
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Alleged suicide note: Rtd. Army officer claims he killed Lasantha
Saturday, 15 October 2016 - 12:22 AM SL Time

A 52-year-old retired sergeant major attached to the Intelligence Unit of the Army had allegedly committed suicide after writing a letter claiming that he had assassinated Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Sgt. Major Ilandarage Jayamanne, was a resident of Dehipitiya Road at Karandupana in Kegalle.

The letter had been titled To whom it may concern , according to the Kegalle Police.

The letter claimed he was responsible for the murder and his friend Malinda Udalagama was innocent and therefore had requested the authorities to release him.
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Sri Lanka President signals end to honeymoon
Thursday, 13 October 2016 - 4:20 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s President Wednesday signalled that his honeymoon with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe`s administration was wearing thin and he would not hesitate to take `stern action.`

In his most hard-hitting remarks since coming to power, Sirisena lambasted the three main anti-graft organisations, including the independent bribery commission, for what he called politically motivated prosecutions.
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Reforms to reduce budget deficit in 2017 - Minister
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 - 10:48 PM SL Time

The Sri Lankan economy grew moderately by 3.9 per cent during the first half of 2016 supported by improved manufacturing and services activities. The relatively slow growth was mainly a result of disruptions caused by adverse weather conditions in particular to agricultural activities,

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund in New York.

He said the strong commitment of the government to increase government revenue through further expanding the tax base and improvement in tax administration, as well as rationalisation of expenditure, will help to achieve the targeted budget deficit of 5.4 per cent in 2016 and further reduction of it to 4.7 per cent in 2017.
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Customs ordered to suspend probe into 800 undervalued super luxury vehicles
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 - 2:29 PM SL Time

Senior Customs officers say they are in an embarassing position because they have been ordered to suspend investigations into the release of over 800 luxury vehicles which were undervalued.

General Secretary of Sri Lanka Nidahas Vurthiya Samaithiya W. R. P. Wijekoon told The Island that the government coffers would lose around Rs. 40 million by way of taxes due to this action.

All customs officers have been informed the above directive from the Director General by Director Customs P. R. Athukorale on September 21.
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Lankan PM Wickremesinghe urges Modi to resolve Tamil fishermen issue
Friday, 7 October 2016 - 8:39 AM SL Time

NEW DELHI: Emphasising the need to resolve the Tamil fishermen issue, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said unless a solution is found there will be a `lot of problems` for the country`s fishermen who are being deprived of their catch.
Wickremesinghe, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, said he has taken up the matter with his Indian counterpart and plans to arrange a meeting of ministers concerned in this regard.
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