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CID to probe 94 OICs for collecting money

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IGP C.D.Wickramaratne has instructed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to launch an investigation into 94 Police Officers in Charge (OIC) for collecting money despite the orders given not to collect money to give gifts to senior police officers.

Accordingly, it was reported that the IGP would forward the name list to the CID today (17).

The IGP has said this during a Zoom meeting held yesterday (16) with the Provincial Senior DIGs and District DIGs.

The 94 OICs have collected money to host senior police officers visiting police stations to participate in annual and semi-annual inspections, to give vouchers and gifts to senior police officers for the New Year and/or when the senior police officers are being transferred.

This report has been handed over to the IGP by the Police Special Bureau, an intelligence unit of the police.

According to the intelligence reports, the OICs have collected money from the officers working under them in various amounts ranging from Rs.3,000 to Rs.10,000 and have given gifts worth hundreds of thousands of rupees to the senior officials.

Police headquarters information said that constables of the police, who receive a meagre salary, have faced many difficulties due to this. The IGP has investigated this information with the help of intelligence agencies following the many petitions junior police officers have sent to the IGP.

The intelligence reports have shown that some senior police officers have received money instead of gifts for the New Year this year, and some OICs have collected two to three hundred thousand rupees from their police officers.

Source – Dinamina

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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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