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Night navigation system for Trinco port handed over (Pics)

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Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka – Mr. Mizukoshi Hideaki, attended the handing over ceremony of the Night Navigation System of the Port of Trincomalee supported by the Government of Japan under the Trincomalee development Programme in the Eastern Province today (17).

Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva, along with other officials of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority joined to grace this occasion.

The Government of Japan assisted the Night Navigation System of the Port of Trincomalee in Eastern Province with Rs. 2.63 Billion under the Trincomalee Port Development Programme of the Economic and Social Development Project.

The agreement was signed in April 2017, as a result of the Japan – Sri Lanka summit held in 2016, which recognized the port development in Sri Lanka as a significant hub in the Indian Ocean. The main aim of this project is to ensure smooth port management enhancing safety for night-time navigation and 24-hour operation of the Port of Trincomalee.

Previously, the port of Trincomalee was unable to navigate in the night, as lighthouses and other navigational aids were destroyed during the civil war. Mooring buoys, Navigation signs, Automatic Identification System (AIS) and other port equipment, manufactured by Japanese companies, were handed over under this programme.

The Government of Japan hopes that the significant outcome of this project will enhance the growth of the regional connectivity and rehabilitation of conflict-affected areas will improve the overall Socio- economic development in Sri Lanka while enabling it to become economic, trade and logistics hub for the South Asian region, utilizing its geographical advantage.

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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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