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CoPF commends decision to redraft Micro-Finance Bill

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The Committee on Public Finance (CoPF), chaired by Dr. Harsha de Silva, played a key role in advancing inclusive policymaking for the Microfinance and Credit Regulatory Authority Bill.

Following extensive consultations with a diverse range of stakeholders, including community-based organizations, transparency advocates, think tanks, and fintech companies, the CoPF’s engagement yielded a significant development.

The Ministry of Finance initially presented the Bill. However, after careful consideration of stakeholder feedback received during the CoPF meeting and recordings reviewed, the Ministry recognized that the Bill, in its current form, did not effectively address their original objectives.  Fears existed that the Bill might inadvertently stifle microfinance activities in Sri Lanka.

This decision by the Ministry of Finance to withdraw the Bill for redrafting reflects a commitment to transparent and inclusive policymaking.  By actively engaging various stakeholders, the CoPF identified potential issues and fostered a collaborative environment for achieving a positive outcome.

This episode also highlights the vital role Parliament plays within a democratic system. The CoPF, through its diligent work, demonstrates how legislative oversight can ensure proposed policies are well-rounded and serve the best interests of the public.

The Ministry of Finance has expressed its commitment to redrafting the Bill in consultation with stakeholders, ensuring that it fosters a healthy environment for both microfinance and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

State Ministers Dr. Suren Raghavan, and Members of Parliament Rauff Hakeem, Nimal Lanza, Mayantha Dissanayake, Chandima Weerakkody, Duminda Dissanayake, Dr. Major Pradeep Undugoda, Madhura Withanage were present at the Committee meeting held.

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Ceylon tea exports offset $60M of Sri Lanka’s fuel debt to Iran

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The Sri Lanka Tea Board announced yesterday that exports of Ceylon Tea have successfully offset a substantial portion of the country’s fuel bill owed to Iran, amounting to US $ 60 million.

Since 2011, Sri Lanka has accumulated an arrears of US $ 251 million for fuel imports from Iran.

Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Niraj De Mel said that the settlement was achieved, as exports of tea to Iran tripled during this period.

Facing financial challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and domestic economic downturn, Sri Lanka struggled to meet its financial obligations to Iran, due to the foreign exchange shortages.

To resolve this issue, an agreement was reached between the two nations, focusing on settling outstanding debts through tea exports.

De Mel reported that tea exports to Iran from January to May 2024 totalled 4.98 million kilogrammes, a significant increase compared to 1.85 million kilogrammes exported during the same period in 2023.

(dailymirror.lk)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff) 

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Sri Lanka to Host ICC Annual General Meeting, July 19-22

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In a statement, SLC mentioned that the mega cricket conference will bring together over 220 delegates from 108 ICC member countries from across the world, covering regions such as Africa, the Americas, Asia, East Asia Pacific, and Europe.

The pinnacle gathering of cricket administrators and stakeholders from around the globe, the ICC Annual Conference provides the platform for discussions on the strategic direction of the sport, governance, and the development of cricket worldwide, it added.

This year’s conference, themed “Capitalizing on the Olympic Opportunity,’ will discuss topics such as ‘Diversity and Inclusion,’ ‘environmental sustainability and the sport,’ and ‘Cricket’s triumphant return at LA28.

“This is a significant occasion for Sri Lanka, and we wish to warmly welcome the delegates from around the world to our beautiful island. We intend to use this conference to contribute to the future of cricket and showcase the beauty and heritage of our country to the world,” said Mr. Shammi Silva, President, Sri Lanka Cricket.

The annual conference will consist of a series of key meetings, workshops, and networking sessions, and key decisions will be taken for the benefit of the future of the game.

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Mervin Backs Wijeyadasa for President

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Former Sri Lankan Minister Mervin Silva is backing Minister (Dr) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne, as potential candidates for President.

“This country needs a leader who can take it forward,” Silva asserted.

As election campaigns intensify, he highlighted the tendency of politicians to make extravagant promises. 

Drawing from his experience serving under Mahinda Rajapaksa, Silva recalled the distribution of various items, including material and undergarments, during campaigns. Despite these efforts, Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the election.

Similarly, Silva pointed out that Sajith Premadasa’s massive rallies at Galle Face Green did not secure victory. 

“We need a leader,” Silva emphasized, *”who can uphold law and order, enforce laws effectively, and collaborate with experts.”

In his opinion, Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe stands out as the best candidate for the presidency. Silva also mentioned ongoing discussions with President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne.

“Deceitful politicians,” Silva concluded, “must be held accountable and sent home.”

newsfirst.lk

(This story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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