Sunday, December 3, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 18/11

  1. Finance Ministry says a policy decision has been taken to include 87 of the 137 items that are presently exempted from VAT, into the VAT net, in order to increase revenue generation from VAT and increase the efficiency of VAT: this new imposition of tax based on the agreement with the IMF to be effective from 1st Dec’23.
  2. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he will always stand for the people: also says there will be a time in the future to make explanations with regard to the recent Supreme Court decision.
  3. Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera meets officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency: says the Govt intends to include the use of nuclear energy as a part of the long-term generation plans: affirms the Govt will call for EOIs for establishing nuclear power plants: previously, Wijesekera had said the Govt was assessing nuclear power plant offers from Russia, US, India & some European countries.
  4. CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe says the Govt has shared the terms of a USD 4.2bn China debt deal, with other creditors: hopes official Creditors Committee led by Japan, India & Paris Club nations will now propose an agreement to restructure SL’s debt: expects which will allow the IMF to approve the next tranche of USD 330mn.
  5. President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasizes the importance of expanding language knowledge beyond Sinhala & Tamil: announces the implementation of the “English for All” programme in all schools and universities across the country by 2030.
  6. Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana says it is not possible to provide tax relief as SL continues to be behind the revenue targets set by the IMF, although the Govt is able to increase the salaries of State employees in the upcoming year: also says the Govt has decided to allocate Rs.450bn to recapitalise the State banks in order to secure stability & provide security as the Govt is in the process of restructuring local debt.
  7. Education Minister Susil Premajayantha warns 74 school buildings across the country have been identified as unsafe, posing potential threats to the safety of students: also says all Principals have been informed to evacuate school children out of buildings in the event any building is found unsafe.
  8. Chairman of the Garment Industries Assn Dhammika Fernando says the income of the garment industry has fallen by about a quarter (25%) due to the decrease in orders received by SL & increase in costs.
  9. Court of Appeal orders the CID not to arrest Pastor Jerome Fernando upon his arrival at the BIA: also orders the self-styled ‘prophet’ should record a statement with the CID’s Cyber Crime Investigation Division within 48 hours of his arrival.
  10. Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera says President Ranil Wickremesinghe has discussed the disappointing state of Cricketing affairs in SL with the Asian Cricket Council President Jay Shah: responds to the claim by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa who said that Jay Shah’s father is the right-hand man of Indian PM Narendra Modi.

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