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FCCISL meets Indian HC officials

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Officials of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) met with the Deputy High Commissioner of India Vinod K Jacob and the First Secretary Vivek Sharma at the Deputy High Commissioner’s Residence recently.

The newly appointed president of the FCCISL – Keerthi Gunawardane, and the board members Saranga Wijeyarathne, Ruwan de Silva, Abbas Kamurdeen, Dhammika Lokuge and the Acting Deputy Secretary General Tilan Wijesuriya attended the visit.

The Chamber officials had a very fruitful and cordial discussion with the officials of the High Commission on strengthening and improving bilateral trade, investment, and economic cooperation.

FCCISL and the Indian High Commission have shared a very close relationship over the years. Since Covid 19 has restricted physical meetings, High Commission officials and FCCISL met almost after 2 years to discuss the matters relevant to both countries which can benefit the business and industries. During the discussions FCCISL has pointed out the great potential to further develop tourism which can benefit both the countries in a significant manner. The Indian High Commission officials totally agreed to the proposal and assured the fullest support.  They have mentioned the importance of allowing the use of Indian Rupee (INR) in Sri Lanka and they will consider the use of Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) in India which will have an impact specially on tourism. Further they have pointed out the importance  of allowing the Indian digital payment systems to be used in Sri Lanka. This will reduce the demand for USD which will be a direct benefit especially to Sri Lanka at this juncture. 

The Indian High Commission officials indicated that the UAE, France and Mauritius already allowed Indians to use Indian digital payment systems such as RUPAY. This will allow more spending by Indians which can directly benefit the businesses.

In addition to Tourism both parties discussed how to create benefits to both the countries using the Sri Lanka – India FTA. Food security and Energy security are two important areas of concern to both the countries and the Deputy High Commissioner assured the possibility of sharing the knowledge that India has in these sectors with Sri Lanka.

FCCISL was the focal point during the past for various scholarship programs offered by the Indian Government. They assured to update with the information in the future and create more opportunities for members of the Sri Lanka chamber network.

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Indigo launches Mumbai-Colombo direct flights

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Indigo has expanded its connectivity to Sri Lanka adding Mumbai-Colombo direct flights from today (12), Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Pvt) Limited said.

Accordingly, Indigo will operate flights three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

At present, Indigo operates to three destinations in India from Colombo (Chennai twice daily, Bengaluru once daily and Hyderabad six days per week). With this new route expansion, this will increase to four destinations, and it will contribute immensely to the development of travel, trade and tourism between Sri Lanka and India. 

With the new addition, Indigo will operate 30 weekly flights to Colombo from four main cities in India.

“AASL recently had successful negotiations with Indigo to commence flight operations between Jaffna and Chennai, India. Accordingly, Indigo will commence direct flight operations between Jaffna and Chennai from June 1, 2024 onwards with daily flight operations. This connectivity will boost travel and trade in the Northern Province, strengthening the cultural and religious bonds between the two nations”, Eng. Athula Galketiya, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Pvt) Limited (AASL) said.

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Questions raised on investing in the Ceylon Dollar Bond

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Personal Foreign Currency Accounts (PFCs) and Business Foreign Currency Accounts  (BFCAs) cannot be invested in the Ceylon Dollar Bond Fund, says a spokesman of the Foreign Exchange Department at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

He said that banks are well aware of this.

The spokesman was responding to ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ on queries raised on social media promotions being done by Ceylon Asset Management Co. Ltd, with regard to such investments.

Ceylon Asset Management Co. Ltd. is also a company that is registered with the CSE.

The spokesman further notes that the CBSL has only permitted them to invest in ISBs.

However, promotions done by the company have indicated that dollar investments can also be done through PFCs, and that the investors can expect around a 24% dollar returns.

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Experts state that expecting such high profits in ISB investments, is questionable.

Upon contacting the DG of Ceylon Asset Management Co. Ltd, – Dulindra Fernando, he briefly stated that the CBSL has permitted their company to do such foreign fund transfers while some banks have refused to do so.

However, he urged to submit a formal request via email for further details.

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SLT divestiture allowed

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The Court of Appeal yesterday vacated the Interim Order issued on the divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government-owned shares in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC.

The Interim Order was earlier issued by Court on April 4 when two Writ applications challenged the proposed divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government-owned 50.23 percent shares in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and 51.34 percent shares in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC.

The petitions were filed by Lyca Mobile SARL, Lyca Leasing Holding Ltd, Pettigo Comercio International LDA and HAIMS International Ltd.

When the petitions were considered before Court of Appeal Judge Mohammed Laffar, Additional Solicitor General Sumathi Dharmawardena appearing for the Deputy Director General and the members of the State Owned Enterprise Restructuring Unit Established under the Finance Ministry, Secretary to the Treasury and the Attorney General raised preliminary objections highlighting several technical errors in the power of attorney and the affidavit submitted is not valid.

Accordingly, the court vacated the said Interim Order on the divestiture of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and informed the petitioner of this particular petition to submit fresh power of attorney by April 29 and request for an interim order if necessary. However, the Interim Order issued on the divestiture of the shares of Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC was extended by the court until April 29.

(dailynews.lk)

(This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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