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50% of jobs in the export sector at stake due to the proposed electricity tariff hike

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The Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association (FTZMA) warned that Sri Lanka’s exporters would be compelled to cut the workforce by 30%-50% as a result of the proposed 60% hike in electricity tariffs this month. 

The proposed electricity tariffs are scheduled to be presented to the Cabinet on the 2nd  of this month. This is the second electricity tariff hike in less than six months. The government in August last year increased the electricity tariff by 76% percent.

According to reports, the country’s SME exporters are faced with a total collapse and the large-scale exporters are witnessing a 30% drop in export orders due global economic slowdown. 

The FTZMA  Secretary Dhammika Fernando said that the country’s export sector risks a total collapse due to the proposed hike in electricity tariffs and foreign exporters could relocate their operations to other countries that present much more attractive prospects. 

The FTZMA along with other associations representing apparel exporters have already warned of the consequences to the President. Further, they have also held discussions with the Minister of Power and the Chairman of the Public Utiiris Commission (PUCSL). However, the Minister of Power hasn’t responded positively to the pleas of the exporters. Meanwhile, PUCSL Chairman Janka Rathnayake opined that there’s no requirement tariff hike. 

Fernando urged the government to focus on minimizing corruption and waste at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) instead of moving ahead with the proposed electricity tariff hike which could cripple the entire export sector.

According to Rathnayake, the PUCSL was yet to receive any proposals for a hike in electricity tariffs. He stressed that the electricity tariffs can not be increased based on various assumptions.

Source- Deshaya

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No COVID-19 deaths yesterday

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No COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed yesterday (29) by the Director-General of Health Services.

Accordingly, the current COVID-19 death toll remains at 16,828.

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Racecourse murder : Boyfriend further remanded

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The university student who was held in remand custody for allegedly murdering his girlfriend with a sharp weapon at Race Course grounds in Colombo has been remanded further.

Taking up the case today (30) Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis ordered him to be further remanded till February 13.

The magisterial inquest into the death was held today before Colombo Chief Magistrate and

A testimony of the deceased’s father was recorded before Chief Magistrate and further magisterial inquiry was fixed for February 13.

The suspect was not produced before Court by prison authorities since he is currently receiving treatment at the Mental Health Unit of prison hospital.

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Constitutional Council approves several judicial appointments

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The Constitutional Council met today (30) in Parliament presided by Speaker and the Chairman of the Constitutional Council – Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Sajith Premadasa, Leader of the Opposition, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, MPs Sagara Kariyawasam, other council members Dr. Prathap Ramanujam, Dr. (Mrs) Dilkushi Anula Wijesundere, Dr. (Mrs) Dinesha Samararatne were present at the Council meeting held.

MP Kabir Hashim, had informed his inability to attend this meeting due to unavoidable circumstances.

The Constitutional Council considered the recommendation of the President to appoint K.P. Fernando, President of the Court of Appeal as a Judge of the Supreme Court, to the post which fell vacant with the retirement of L.T.B. Dehideniya, Judge of the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Council unanimously approved the above recommendation.

Further the Constitutional Council unanimously approved the nomination of N.B.P.D.S. Karunarathna, Judge of the Court of Appeal to be appointed as the President of the Court of Appeal, and the nomination of Mr M.A.R. Marikkar, High Court Judge to be appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal to the resultant vacancies.  

The Constitutional Council further decided to publish the advertisement on newspapers of 1st February 2023, calling for applications for the appointment as Members of the Commissions specified in Schedule to Article 41B of the Constitution. Draft format of the application would be published on the Official Parliament website. The deadline to submit applications is 15th February 2023.

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