Monday, December 4, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 16/11

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe says he has still not made a decision as to whether he would re-contest the Presidency: declines to confirm or deny his plans of a possible re-contest.
  2. BOI Chairman Dinesh Weerakkoddy laments that over USD 4bn worth of BOI approved projects are on hold due to red tape: says many agreements were signed for investors to start new business ventures, but that he is ashamed, sad, & angry to admit that over 90% of new projects could not get off ground as they were unable to get the necessary approvals.
  3. State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe defends the costly salary hike for state sector workers: says the Govt is pursuing the correct course of action & that decisions are made with foresight.
  4. JJB MP Vijitha Herath says both State Ministers of Finance – Ranjith Siyambalapitiya & Shehan Semasinghe had been present at the finalisation of the budget proposals with President Ranil Wickremasinghe: insists that, as a result, SLPP can’t complain now about the Budget 2024.
  5. SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam says the President keeps appointing Committees, but such Committees don’t deliver any positive outcome to the people & economy: also says those appear to be aimed at deceiving the people.
  6. Fitch Ratings Agency says there are significant risks to the Govt’s Revenue goal for 2024: also says Revenue collection fell by 29% of the target in the first 9 months of 2023: analysts note that the Budget Deficit targeted by the Govt for 2024 is a huge 9.1% of GDP, even after the massive increases in tax rates & utility prices.
  7. SJB MP Champika Ranawaka says the Inland Revenue Dept has not collected nearly Rs.1 trillion in taxes: also says only 50% of the tax revenue has been collected.
  8. Police say a 6-year old student has been killed when the wall of the Wellampitiya-Weragoda school had collapsed: five other students admitted to hospital: the Principal of the school who had been assaulted by the locals in the area, also hospitalised.
  9. SL premier blue chip John Keells Holdings’ Deputy Chairman Gihan Cooray says the Company plans to pass on the cost of the upcoming tax changes to consumers: expect the new taxes on cell phones & sugar to have large cost of sale implications on certain companies within the group: also says the Group hopes to maintain margins as part of the pricing strategy of the Group.
  10. Public Health Inspectors’ Union Executive Member Roshan Kumara says his Union has decided to stay away from dengue control activities to protest the failure of the authorities to respond to their grievances: also says one of their key concerns is the Govt’s failure to increase the mileage rent & transport allowance provided for field duties.

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