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Is Bandula behind attempts to remove Kimbulawala street food vendors?

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The Urban Development Authority (UDA) has informed street food vendors near the walking path towards Parliament in Kimbulawala, to vacate the area.

Meanwhile, vendors suspect that this sudden order has been issued after Minister Bandula Gunawardana’s vehicle was rumoured to be caught in the traffic in the area last Friday.

However, one of the vendors told ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ that they operate in an area of over 7,000 sq. metres and they even have an association.

He added that none of them had been professionally involved in the food and beverage industry in the past.

Noting that they had launched these stalls after becoming helpless without any means of income, he pointed out that they are now thriving and they are even capable of paying a monthly tax of Rs. Rs.300,000 to the government if necessary.

Meanwhile, ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ also learns that several well-known business organizations are eyeing this location.

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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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CPSTL inks pact with ‘Shell-RM Parks’

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The Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals (CPSTL) signed an agreement with US-based petroleum products distributor ‘Shell-RM Parks’ today (12 Feb.).

The relevant agreement was signed at the CPSTL Head Office, pertaining to the storage and distribution of fuel in Sri Lanka.

On 08 June 2023, the Government of Sri Lanka signed an agreement with RM Parks Inc., in collaboration with Shell Plc for a long-term contract for the importation, storage, distribution, and sale of petroleum products in Sri Lanka.

According to the newly signed agreement, CPSTL is now able to store and distribute ‘Shell-RM Parks’ petroleum products in Sri Lanka.

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