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India’s Constitution Day celebrations in SL

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India’s ‘Constitution Day’ was observed through a series of events organized by the High Commission of India, Colombo on 26 November 2022. The special day marked the adoption of the Indian Constitution on 26 November 1949.

More than 200 school children from different parts of Sri Lanka enthusiastically participated in the Children’s Art Competition organized on 26 November 2022. Themes of the Competition such as ‘Incredible India’ and ‘Fundamental Duties’ were closely linked to India and her Constitution which helped the young and creative students from Sri Lanka develop a closer understanding of their civilizational partner, India. High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, who was the Chief Guest at the Competition, complimented families and teachers of the children for nurturing the talents of the next generation by encouraging them to participate in such competitions.

In order to instill a sense of environmental responsibility and care for future generations in the children, a unique workshop which gave training on creating beautiful environment-friendly art works from waste materials was also organized on the occasion. A tailor-made exhibition – ‘Making of Indian Constitution’ – gave the pictorial history and background of events and milestones that made the world’s largest written Constitution a reality.

The High Commissioner and officials of the High Commission paid floral tributes to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, main architect of the Indian Constitution on Constitution Day, 2022. Earlier, preamble of the Constitution which professes guiding principles of India was read out by the High Commissioner and Indian officials in Sri Lanka.

Following the adoption of the Indian Constitution on 26 November 1949, it came into effect on 26 January 1950. Indians across the world celebrate ‘Republic Day’ every year with great fervor to mark this momentous occasion. The Indian Constitution, which has drawn from best practices and procedures of various countries, has been the main anchor and basis for decision making for policy makers of India.

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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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