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US training on Accounting Standards & IT

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The first group of Sri Lankan public sector accounting and auditing professionals participated in Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards 11-20 through a training by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and its public sector wing, the Association of Public Finance Accountants of Sri Lanka (APFASL).

The U.S. Government, through its development arm – the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – supported the training under its Partnership for Accelerating Results in Trade, National Expenditure, and Revenue (PARTNER) activity.

The first 50 of a total 600 public sector accountants and auditors learned about the standards, which provide a framework for preparing and presenting financial statements under the accrual accounting system in line with international best practices. The partnership of USAID, CA Sri Lanka, and the APFASL will also train 1,200 public sector workers on the effective application of IT systems for data management, analysis, and strategic decision-making.

“As one of the country’s longstanding development partners, we are committed to help strengthen and streamline Sri Lanka’s public financial management practices and thereby its path to recovery,” USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Mission Director Gabriel Grau said at the inaugural training. “Further strengthening skills and competencies of key accounting and auditing professionals can help contribute to this long-term goal through improved financial analysis, planning, and management”.

In his opening remarks, Mr. V. Kanagasabapathy, President of APFASL, said: “Strong public financial management is imperative to achieve the long-term goals of any country, therefore, in our standing as the public sector wing of CA Sri Lanka, APFASL has taken immense pride in being a catalyst in helping strengthen the public financial management practices in Sri Lanka. We are delighted that the U.S. Government has recognized our important work and is supporting our efforts to help public sector accounting and auditing professionals perform better.”

Mr. Heshana Kuruppu, CA Sri Lanka Vice President said, “The public sector in Sri Lanka is considered to be large in comparison to the size of our economy, employing approximately 1.5 million people. This sector also holds the key to helping change the lives of 22 million people. Excellent public financial management will play a critical role in achieving this important objective and improve productivity of the sector. As the national body of accountants, CA Sri Lanka together with APFASL are committed to helping the public sector contribute effectively to the economy. The launch of this landmark program with USAID is part of our continuing efforts to achieve this crucial goal.”

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Top Indian delegation to visit Sri Lanka next month

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A high-level Indian delegation is reportedly scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in August to assess the progress of major infrastructure and development projects initiated by India.

The delegation, consisting of top officials and experts, aims to review the implementation and impact of these initiatives, which are designed to enhance bilateral cooperation and foster economic development in Sri Lanka.

The delegation will engage in comprehensive discussions with Sri Lankan counterparts to address challenges and explore opportunities for future collaboration. 

The assessment will focus on evaluating the effectiveness of ongoing projects, identifying areas for improvement and reaffirming India’s support for Sri Lanka’s socio-economic progress.

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Presidential election candidates must declare canvassing expenditure for first time

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Election Commission (EC) Chairman R. M. A. L. Rathnayake announced that the date for the forthcoming Presidential Election will be set by the end of this month. 

For the first time, candidates must declare their election expenditure, in accordance with the Election Expenditure Act of 2023.

The regulations, which were not applied in the last postponed election, will be fully enforced this time to promote accountability and reduce unethical fundraising practices. 

The election is anticipated to be held between September 16 and October 17 this year.

EC Chairman Rathnayake confirmed the readiness of the Government Printer, the Inspector General of Police, the Postmaster General, and other relevant parties for the election. 

The Finance Ministry has allocated Rs. 10 billion for the election from the 2024 Budget, and EC officials will meet with Finance Ministry key officials this week to discuss funding arrangements.

The Supreme Court has clarified the Presidential term as five years, suggesting that this be enshrined in domestic legislation to avoid ambiguity. The EC will also address the media this week regarding election organization.

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Revised schedule for India’s tour of Sri Lanka announced

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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced on Saturday that the schedule for India’s upcoming white-ball tour of Sri Lanka has been revised, with the series now starting on July 27, a day later than originally planned.

The revised schedule is as follows:

T20Is

  – July 27, 2024 – 1st T20I at Pallekele

  – July 28, 2024 – 2nd T20I at Pallekele

  – July 30, 2024 – 3rd T20I at Pallekele

ODIs

  – July 31, 2024 – 1st ODI (D/N) at Colombo (RPS)

  – August 2, 2024 – 2nd ODI (D/N) at Colombo (RPS)

  – August 4, 2024 – 3rd ODI (D/N) at Colombo (RPS)

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