Sunday, September 24, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 26/09

  1. President and Finance Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to chair the ADB for 2 years: leaves for Manila, Philippines to attend ADB meeting: will also attend former Japanese PM Shinzu Abe’s funeral in Tokyo.
  2. Power and Energy Ministry says Central Bank has agreed to release just USD 6mn out of USD 100mn needed by Lanka Coal Company for the immediate purchase of coal for the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant: power plant able to operate up to 26th October due to Central Bank releasing over USD 300mn, prior to 31st March 22.
  3. Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Sabry says challenges faced by Sri Lanka provides opportunity to implement political, social and economic reforms leading to prosperity: Sri Lanka’s debt default was announced while Sabry served as Finance Minister: Sri Lanka now categorised as a “bankrupt” country.
  4. Chinese Embassy in Colombo says China and Sri Lanka will accelerate negotiation process to conclude a Free Trade Agreement early: also says FTA will boost confidence and foster economic and trade cooperation.
  5. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the 2nd phase of the Hambantota Ridiyagama Safari Park will open on 4th October.
  6. Sri Lankan companies set up units and branches abroad to mitigate risks of operating in Sri Lanka: risks cited include restrictions in imports, power cuts, debt default issues, food & other shortages, bank & forex delays, and soaring prices: substantial flight of capital suspected to be taking place.
  7. Fruit prices sky-rocket to levels beyond the reach of people: apples – 300 each, grapes – 300 per 100 grams, oranges – 500 each, pineapples – 800 to 1000 each, Alphonso mangoes – 2000 per kg, pomegranate – 900 each: very high transport costs and restrictions in imports cited as reasons.
  8. Beauticians’ Association Secretary Jeyalukshmi Purushothman warns the
    beauty industry of Sri Lanka will soon collapse: says business has shrunk by 50% and customers are losing interest in visiting salons.
  9. Government gathers Rs.120bn from new one-time Surcharge Tax: incurs additional Rs.398bn as interest costs in just 5 months.
  10. Ministry of Public Administration to issue a new circular on public servants’ attire taking the present economic crisis into account: many relaxations expected: pant trousers likely to be allowed for women.

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