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Colombo inflation back to single digit levels after 19 months

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Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2021=100)1 decreased to a single digit of 6.3 per cent in July 2023 from 12 per cent in June 2023.

The decline in the headline inflation is broadly in line with the disinflation path envisaged by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) in July 2023, the banking regulator said on Monday.

The Food category, after nearly four years, recorded a deflation (Y-o-Y) of 1.4 per cent in July 2023 compared to the inflation of 4.1 per cent observed in June 2023. Meanwhile, the Non-Food inflation (Y-o-Y) decreased further to 10.5 per cent in July 2023 from 16.2 per cent in June 2023.

The monthly change of the CCPI recorded at -1.12 per cent in July 2023 due to the combined effect of price decreases of -1.13 per cent observed in the items of Non-Food category and the marginal price increases of 0.01 per cent recorded in the items of Food category. The core inflation (Y-o-Y), which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, decreased to 6.1 per cent in July 2023 from 9.8 per cent in June 2023

“Looking ahead, based on the available information, inflation is expected to moderate further and stabilise around the targeted level over the medium term. This disinflation process is supported by the lagged impact of tight monetary and fiscal policies, improvements on the supply side, the softening of energy and food inflation, and the favourable base effect,” it was stated.

(sundaytimes.lk)

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SDB CEO announces resignation

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Sanasa Development Bank CEO Priyantha Talwatte has announced his resignation with effect from Feb. 20.

In a filing to the Colombo Stock Exchange, the SDB has said the Board accepted his resignation.

Talwatte joined SDB bank in November 2022 after resigning from Nations Trust Bank in April 2022 having served the institution for two decades.

Commanding over 30 years’ experience in banking Talwatte is an alumnus of Harvard Business School (AMP) Boston, USA.

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Special commodity levy on several items, upped

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A government notification has been issued, increasing the special commodity levy imposed on several items including black grams, green grams and cowpeas.

As such, the special commodity levy on black grams (skinned, either split or not) has been increased to Rs. 300 per kilogram. 

Meanwhile, the tax on green grams, cowpeas, Kurakkan (seeds), Kurakkan (other), millet (seeds) and millet (other) has been raised from Rs. 70 to Rs. 300.

In addition, a special commodity levy of Rs. 25 is in place on maize.

The communiqué, issued by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Finance Minister, says the order is valid from February 20, 2024 through December 31, 2024.

It also notes that importation of maize, black grams, green grams, and Kurakkan is allowed on the recommendation of the Agriculture Ministry.

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CBSL imposes penalties on BoC and People’s Bank

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The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has collected penalties amounting to Rs. 14 million in total from three financial institutions.

According to a CBSL press release, the FIU collected these penalties from Sep. 27 – Dec. 31 2023 from MMBL Money Transfer (Pvt) Ltd as well as from state owned banks – Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank.

The CBSL said by the powers vested under Section 19 (1) read together with Section 19 (2) of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, No. 6 of 2006 (FTRA), financial penalties are imposed on Institutions for non-compliance with the provisions of the FTRA.  The penalty may be prescribed taking into consideration the nature and gravity of the relevant non-compliance, it added.

Accordingly, as Sri Lanka’s regulator for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), the FIU collected the penalties has credited it to the Consolidated Fund.

The complete press release is as follows : 

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