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CBSL issues prohibition order on man over pyramid scheme

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has issued a prohibition order on a resident of Polonnaruwa named Hettiarachchilage Sahan Akalanka for accepting cash deposits from the people without any CBSL approval.

Sahan Akalanka, the Director of Athens International Education Center (Pvt.) Ltd., residing at No. 45/5 A, Second Cross Street, New Town, Polonnaruwa, has accepted cash deposits from the public without the approval of the Central Bank, an investigation conducted under Section 42 of the Finance Business Act, No. 42 of 2011 has revealed.

Accordingly, the Monetary Board of the CBSL has ordered the concerned company and the individual not to continue accepting deposits and carrying out monetary transactions through the issuance of memorandums of understanding or in any other way.

The CBSL has already prohibited this company and individual from receiving deposits or money, granting loans, making new investments, selling or transferring assets, and conducting all transactions related to any account, property or investment.

Information revealed that Sahan Akalanka has accepted more than Rs.3,000 million as deposits from over 1,000 people all over the country.

Many aggrieved people have held protests outside his office in Polonnaruwa and in several other cities due to his unauthorized money acceptance process which has been carried out in the form of a pyramid scheme.

The suspect has accepted deposits from people claiming to give interest of up to 90 per cent, and the depositors have complained to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) regarding non-repayment of the money or interest.

He had also paid several TV channels to get programmes broadcast in order to promote his unauthorized financial institution.

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Rs. 20 Bn loan lifeline for SMEs

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The government has taken measures to implement a Rs.20 billion credit scheme to revive the micro, small and medium enterprise sector in Sri Lanka.  

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers has granted its consent to the proposal forwarded by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies Minister to implement a credit scheme to revive the micro, small and medium enterprise sector.

Speaking at the weekly Cabinet media briefing held yesterday at the Government Information Department, Cabinet Spokesman, Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana said the proposed Rs.20 billion will be spent on the entire project which has two components.

“Out of this, Rs.15 billion will be used to strengthen existing and new enterprises and the remaining amount of Rs.five billion will be used to support enterprises under the non-performing loan category.

A significant number of small and medium scale entrepreneurs involved in manufacturing, import, export, tourism, apparel and various other commercial operations have found it very difficult to continue running their enterprises as a result of the economic downturn and the impact of external factors beyond their control.

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to provide working capital support for the Small and Medium Enterprise sector as a relief. The proposed programme is intended to provide credit facilities to existing micro, small and medium scale enterprises for further expansion and recovery of their businesses through licensed commercial banks and licensed specialised banks at concessional interest rates.

(dailynews.lk)

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Bakery industry in crisis as bread and bun sales decline

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The All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association (ACBOA) has reported a significant drop of around 50% in the sales of cakes, bread, and buns in the local market. The association attributes this decline to the high manufacturing costs currently faced by the bakery industry.

According to the ACBOA, the costs of margarine and butter have surged to Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 3,000 per kilogram, respectively. Additionally, the association cited challenges in obtaining imported eggs from India, forcing them to purchase locally produced eggs at Rs. 60 each.

The chairman of the association expressed concerns about the impact these rising costs have on the bakery industry. In light of these challenges, the ACBOA is urging the government to provide concessions and work towards reducing the prices of essential ingredients before the upcoming Sinhala and Hindu New Year.

The association’s plea emphasizes the need for government support to help stabilize the bakery industry and ensure its sustainability amid the current economic challenges. Further updates on the situation and any government response will be monitored closely.

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Former Minister Ronnie de Mel no more

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Former Minister – Ronnie de Mel has passed away today (27) while being treated at a private hospital, reports say.

He was aged 99 years old.A former civil servant, he was the Minister of Finance from 1977 – 1988 under the United National Party government and holds the record for the largest number of budgets presented by a finance minister.

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