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Chamber of Mineral Exporters launched



The Chamber of Mineral Exporters (CME Chamber) was officially launched as a collaborative initiative comprising prominent companies in Sri Lanka who mine, process, add value, and export minerals and mineral-based products.

The Executive Committee of the CME comprises Mr. Amila Jayasinghe – Chairman / Director Bogola Graphite Lanka PLC, Mr. A F M Farook – Vice Chairman / Director  CeyQuartz  MBI (Pvt) Ltd ,  Dr. Sandun Dalpatadu – Secretary / Director  Damsila Resources (Pvt) Ltd., Mr. Yaasir Nizam – Treasurer / Director Mirama Quartz Industries (Pvt) Ltd , Mr. Fahim Naufal – Director Alchemy Heavy Metals (Pvt) Ltd. and  Ms. Udesha Bopitiya – Director Lanmic Exports (Pvt) Ltd.

Speaking at the inauguration of the CME, Amila Jayasinghe said they are dedicated to:

·         Enhancing and advancing the mineral resource industry in the country.

·         Collectively addressing and enhancing the value addition for local minerals.

·         Collectively addressing the challenges faced by the industry.

“The Chamber aims to utilize Sri Lanka’s mineral resources for economic growth, employment, and sustainable development. It marks a milestone by uniting key exporters towards a vibrant mineral resource industry. The minerals available in Sri Lanka present an opportunity to increase the country’s international market presence to expand its global footprint. The Chamber aims to drive growth, innovation, and sustainable development in the mineral resource industry by leveraging resources effectively. ” said Chairman Amila Jayasinghe.

Vice Chairman A F M Farook , said that the goals and objectives of the Chamber are to :

·         Position the mineral industry as a major export revenue generator for Sri Lanka

·         Establish partnerships and encourage investments to boost foreign exchange earnings and overall economic growth.

·         Propel the mineral industry to new heights, creating employment and enhancing competitiveness in the global market.

·         Work with the public sector to develop long-term policies for sustainable development and responsible mining practices.

·         Partner with state and non-state organizations for eco-friendly practices, sustainable mining, and preserving natural resources for future generations.

Jayasinghe went on to explain the manner in which the benefits of their industry could be channeled back to the country, due to the collaborative efforts of their association. He also said that due to the many hurdles and impediments in their way, the progress of the industry was greatly hampered , some of these being : 

·         Rapid policy changes, inconsistent regulations, and tax laws affecting investment decisions and long-term planning.

·         Political instability which leads to delays in decision-making and infrastructure projects.

·         Heightened sovereign risk impacting investor confidence, borrowing costs, and currency fluctuations.

·         Lengthy and complex regulatory processes which slow down projects and increase costs.

·         Unfounded/baseless environmental and social concerns causing project delays due to opposition.

·         Volatile global commodity prices and demands which affect  revenue and profitability.

·         Geopolitical developments which add complexity, including changes in trade policies, tariffs, and international relations.

The newly formed CME called on the government to assist the industry, thereby boosting the country’s economy by implementing the following: 

·         Establishing transparent and consistent policies and regulations for mining and exports.

·         Have independent oversight bodies that implement a strong regulatory framework with clear guidelines and regular audits to monitor compliance and identify corrupt practices.

·         Simplifying and streamlining the permitting and licensing process for mineral exports using online platforms utilizing digital technologies (e.g., blockchain technology) and having one-stop service facilities.

·         Encouraging public-private partnerships in state-owned mineral enterprises for transparency and accountability.

The CME together with it’s members will work towards not only enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s mineral resource industry but will also contribute to the creation of high-value job opportunities and knowledge transfer, while maximizing the value addition locally to the minerals to ensure maximum retention of value for Sri Lanka


CBSL further reduces Policy Interest Rates




The Monetary Policy Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, at its meeting held yesterday (July 23), decided to reduce the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank by 25 basis points (bps) to 8.25 per cent and 9.25 per cent, respectively.

The Board arrived at this decision following a careful assessment of the current and expected macroeconomic developments and possible risks and uncertainties on the domestic and global fronts with a view to maintaining inflation at the targeted level of 5 per cent over the medium term, while enabling the economy to reach its full capacity.

In arriving at this decision, the Board considered the need to signal the continuation of the eased monetary policy stance, thereby inducing a further reduction in market lending rates to support economic activity, amidst a benign inflation outlook.

The Board noted that, based on the available information, inflation is likely to remain below the inflation target of 5 per cent by a sizeable margin for the next several months before aligning with the targeted level over the medium term.

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Relief for those who pawned gold jewellery in banks




Cabinet approval has been granted to provide relief facilities to those who pawned gold jewellery in banks, Cabinet Spokesman and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana said.

He was speaking at the weekly Cabinet media briefing held yesterday at the Government Information Department.

The immense economic crisis experienced within the country during the past affected every sector in the economy negatively both directly and indirectly and as a result of the crisis, pawning gold jewellery accelerated.

The arrears of pawn advances of Rs.210 billion in 2019 increased up to Rs.571 billion by the March 2024 making it a growth of 172 percent. Considering the said circumstances, licensed banks have recognised the necessity of granting relief to low income generating community who obtained pawn advances from them.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution by President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Finance, Economic Rehabilitation and National Policies Minister to implement an appropriate programme to grant an interest relief by the General Treasury subject to a maximum of an annual 10 percent for pawn advance that do not exceed Rs.100,000 that has been obtained from the licensed banks on or before June 30, 2024 on an individual basis.

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Vehicle import ban extended until next year




The government has postponed the lifting of the ban on private vehicle imports until the beginning of next year.

A decision has been made to put off lifting the ban because the country’s economy has not stabilised enough and foreign reserves are not at a sufficient level to facilitate such imports, a senior Treasury official told the Sunday Times. He said the import of private vehicles will result in an annual foreign exchange outflow of about USD 1 billion.

However, the import of commercial vehicles such as lorries, buses and trucks, as well as vans used in the tourism sector, can start next month, the official added. Vehicles used for government ministries and other agencies too will only be imported from the beginning of next year when the ban is lifted on private vehicle imports.

The government had earlier planned to allow the import of electric vehicles and private cars by the end of this year. This has also now been postponed until next year.

Motorbikes and three-wheelers make up the largest number of private vehicle imports. The import of these vehicles will have to be postponed until at least May or June next year due to the economy still not having recovered enough, the official revealed.

Small cars with engine capacities ranging from 600 cc to 800 cc are usually imported in bulk. Therefore, the government will allow only a certain quota of such vehicles to be imported. Only authorised local agents of the parent companies will be allowed to import such vehicles initially.

When allowing the import of vehicles from the start of next year, the government will also give priority to companies that locally assemble the vehicles from imported parts, the Treasury source said.

Meanwhile, about 10,000 vehicle permits issued to doctors and senior government officers are still pending. The official said they would only be able to consider allowing these vehicle imports next year, but that their vehicles too would not be allowed to be imported in bulk. The decision on these imports will depend on the state of the economy.

Traders will not be able to import vehicles in bulk and will only be allowed to import a limited number of vehicles. Only reconditioned vehicles that are two years old or less will be imported. Their engine capacities, too, will depend on what the government considers can be imported without harming the still fragile economy.

If the vehicle imports prove too much of a burden on the country’s economy and lead to serious strain on the US dollar and the country’s foreign reserves, the Treasury will not hesitate to re-impose restrictions, the official added.


(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by has not been edited by SLM staff)

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