The 30th edition of FACETS Sri Lanka, Asia’s premier gem and jewellery exhibition organised by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) in partnership with the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) and the Export Development Board (EDB) will be held in Colombo next year.
It will be held at the Atrium Lobby of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel from January 06 – 08, 2024.
The SLGJA, formed in 2002, is the apex body for the gem and jewellery industry in Sri Lanka and represents all subsectors of the trade.
Over the years, FACETS Sri Lanka has become an important event in the international gem and jewellery calendar. This year too, it will serve as a much looked-forward meeting point for the global gem and jewellery sector, attracting prominent traders, gemstone and jewellery wholesalers, exporters, manufacturers, lapidarists, retailers, and collectors from across the globe.
A press conference was held in Colombo on October 03 to elaborate on the event.
FACETS Sri Lanka Chairman – Mr. Altaf Iqbal, SLGJA Board Member – Mr. Saman Amarasena, NGJA Chairman – Mr. Viraj De Silva, EDB Chairman – Dr. Kingsley Barnard, General Manager of Cinnamon Grand Hotel – Mr. Kamal Munasinghe and Mr. Rizan Nazeer, the Chairman of Local Promotion Committee of NGJA attended the press conference.
No support from tourism authorities!
FACETS Sri Lanka President Altaf Iqbal, who attended the event, shared his views on the upcoming exhibition and new features of FACETS Sri Lanka 2024, including the newly added Sustainability Pavilion and Sapphire Design Pavilion.
He added that the Ministry of Tourism and other authorities were informed about this exhibition, which can be promoted successfully among tourists. However, it is regrettable that they have not given any support to this exhibition, he said.
Many new features and booths
There will be a host of new additions to the show, such as the Sustainable Pavilion and the Sapphire Masterpiece Pavilion.
There will be several Pavilions showcased at FACETS Sri Lanka 2024 including the Premier Gem Pavilion, Premier Jewellery Pavilion, Sustainable Pavilion, Sapphire Masterpiece Pavilion, Rough Stone Pavilion, Gem Lab Pavilion, NGJA SME Pavilion, and the SLGJA Gem and Jewellery Pavilion. The event will also feature a special ‘Reminisce of the Past’ Event.
The Premier Gem Pavilion has been a part of FACETS Sri Lanka since its inception.
It will consist of leading Sri Lankan gem dealers who have been a part of FACETS Sri Lanka over an extended period of time, showcasing their gems for sale. The Premier Jewellery Pavilion will consist of prominent local jewellers, displaying their gems and finely crafted jewellery.
The Sustainable Pavilion is a first for FACETS Sri Lanka and will present the historical evolution of Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery sector, along with its sustainability-related methods and approaches. It will also display the 2300-year history of the Sri Lankan gem trade from mine to market.
The Sapphire Masterpiece Pavilion, which is another first in Sri Lanka, will display large, precious stones, and will be on sale on the final day of the show. The Rough Stone Pavilion will feature and display rough stones from all sourcing countries of the world.
The Premier Gem Lab Pavilion brings together leading local and international gem labs together under one roof. The NGJA SME Pavilion will offer selected SMEs from across the country to showcase their gems and jewellery. The SLGJA Gem and Jewellery Pavilion will showcase gem and jewellery stalls from SLGJA members.
The ‘Reminisce of the Past’ event will feature a variety of speakers including senior gem and jewellery merchants who will speak about a variety of topics including how business was conducted in the past, and how the industry has evolved from the early years of humble beginnings, to what it is today.
SriLankan doubles Colombo – Mumbai daily flights
SriLankan Airlines has introduced double daily flights between Colombo and Mumbai, multiplying the convenience for passengers travelling to and from India’s financial and entertainment capital, the Sri Lanka’s national carrier announced.
In a statement, SriLankan Airlines said the new double daily service to Mumbai will not only give a 50 per cent boost to SriLankan’s capacity on its Mumbai route, but will also strengthen the airline’s already vast network in India.
Flights UL 142 and UL 144 will depart daily from Mumbai to Colombo at 3:10hrs and 20:45hrs and flights UL 141 and UL 143 from Colombo to Mumbai will depart at 23:45hrs and 17:10hrs, respectively, according to SriLankan Airlines.
Thus, passengers travelling out of Mumbai on SriLankan Airlines will now have the advantage of more flight options to Colombo and convenient connections via Colombo to popular destinations in the Far East, Europe and Australia including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Melbourne and Sydney.
Meanwhile, the Head of Worldwide Sales and Distribution of SriLankan Airlines Dimuthu Tennakoon stated: “The Indian market has been incredibly important to SriLankan Airlines since the get-go, and with India fast becoming one of the world’s largest outbound travel markets, we are only happy to expand our operations in one of India’s most celebrated cities and make travel between Mumbai and Colombo extra seamless. Our frequency increase comes on the heels of Sri Lanka announcing free visa for Indian visitors and we hope that these positive developments will encourage more travellers from Mumbai to stop by Sri Lanka.”
India is the only country with nine cities featured in SriLankan Airlines’ network. This includes Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Trivandrum, Chennai, Trichy and Madurai in addition to Mumbai, to which altogether SriLankan operates close to 100 flights every week.
Given the geographic and cultural proximity of the two countries, most Indians are likely to find a welcoming familiarity in Sri Lanka not found elsewhere, and SriLankan Airlines is the best bet for Indians who want to experience the best of both worlds onboard, it added.
For more information in this regard and bookings you can visit the official website of SriLankan Airlines through www.srilankan.com
Removal of VAT exemptions, doesn’t affect UBER & PickME fares – CoPF
The Committee on Public Finance (CoPF) has taken into consideration the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill which aims to remove VAT exemptions on certain items and includes provisions to discontinue the Simplified VAT (SVAT) system.
An official representing the Ministry of Finance stated that agricultural machinery and other equipment including chemical fertilizer which was listed as exempted previously will be VAT liable under the said Bill. Adding to the said, officials stated that agricultural seeds, agricultural plants, shrimp feed inclusive of prawn feed and animal feed excluding poultry feed will however be exempted from VAT.
Thus, the Committee questioned the rationale behind including VAT for agricultural items which will impact the domestic agricultural and food industry. The aforesaid was taken up for discussion at the Committee on Public Finance held recently (28) in Parliament, Chaired by Dr. Harsha de Silva when the Committee met to consider the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, The Finance Bill to amend the Finance Act, No. 35 of 2018 and the Finance Act, No. 12 of 2012 and the Imports and Exports Control Act pertaining to the Gazette No. 2353/16.
Furthermore, dairy products such as liquid milk and eggs will also be liable for the VAT. However, the Ministry of Finance stated that wheat, wheat flour or powdered milk, pharmaceutical products, drugs will be exempted. The Committee questioning the officials inquired why food products made out of grains cultivated in Sri Lanka, identified as high protein and high energy agro foods falling in the category of “Posha” is subjected to VAT in a context where Child malnourishment is considered to be on the rise.
The Committee questioned the officials as to why ambulances and medical equipment are being subjected to VAT. After thoroughly examining the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, the Committee has granted approval, contingent upon the Ministry of Finance incorporating the amendments proposed by the Committee on Public Finance, provided they are in accord. Nevertheless, the Committee has urged the officials present to reevaluate VAT exemptions for medical equipment, ambulances, fertilizer, and food products derived from grains classified as high-protein agro foods and agricultural items.
No impact for UBER and PickME
The Committee of Public Finance further revealed that the elimination of VAT exemptions will not impact the fares of UBER and PickME. Dr. Harsha de Silva, the Committee Chair, emphasized that as UBER and PickME have included VAT since their inception, contrary to other beliefs, thus the proposed VAT changes will only result in a 3% rise without significantly affecting the ultimate fare that customers are required to pay.
The Committee on Public Finance also took into consideration the Finance Bill to amend the Finance Act, No. 35 of 2018 and the Finance Act, No. 12 of 2012 which propose provisions to release motor vehicles imported into Sri Lanka which were not cleared from customs due to import restrictions or non-payment of taxes. However, given the matters arising from importing and opening LCs post the suspension of motor vehicle imports by Gazette Extraordinary No. 2176/19 dated May 22, 2020, under the Import and Export Control Act, the Committee Chair instructed the Ministry of Finance to submit a report on the provisions to release 119 imported vehicles yet to be cleared from customs. The Committee thus decided to reconsider the said from thereon.
Moreover, following the consideration of the Imports and Exports Control Act pertaining to the Gazette No. 2353/16, the Committee approved the said.
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