Mixed 2017 forecast for private sector
  • CCC releases Economic Outlook 2017 
  • Predicts growth challenges from drought, external conditions and reforms 
  • Buoyant about some exports, advises stronger engagement of new opportunities from H’tota and Megapolis  
  • Advocates vigilance on oil prices, fiscal consolidation and regulatory changes  

By Uditha Jayasinghe 

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), releasing its economic outlook for 2017 yesterday, warned that the private sector could face growth challenges in a sluggish economic landscape peppered with drought, tricky external conditions and key internal structural reforms but was optimistic of an uptick in some exports.  

The Chamber in its new report titled ‘Economic Review and Outlook 2017: Triumph through Turbulence’, which contains information on trends, risks and prospects of both Sri Lankan and the global economy, noted that tighter fiscal and monetary conditions as well as the impact of drought would be a test for the business community.   

European Investment Bank confirms Euro 50 m backing for Colombo water network

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Andrew McDowell sign a ¤ 50 million Financing Agreement for the Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project at the European Investment Bank Office in Brussels, Belgium

The European Investment Bank will provide € 50 million to support improvement and expansion of sewage networks across Colombo. 

The new loan will help the Colombo Municipal Council achieve its goal of providing full sanitation coverage to benefit people living and working in the greater Colombo area. The new EIB loan is the European Investment Bank’s first support for water investment in Sri Lanka and the first loan for public sector investment agreed with the new post-civil war government.

Rupee falls on importer dollar demand

Reuters - The rupee ended lower on Friday on dollar demand from importers, but the Central Bank’s moral suasion continued to prevent further decline, even days after the monetary authority signalled a change in its intervention policy.

Rupee forwards were active, with one-month forwards ended at 151.15/30 per dollar, compared with Thursday’s close of 151.00/20.

“Today one-month and two-week forwards traded actively, but we don’t see one-week forwards after yesterday’s moral suasion forced reversal of deals below 150.40,” said a currency dealer who declined to be named.

Officials from the Central Bank were not available for comment.

$41 m BIA runway revamp begins

BIA runway 2

Text and Pix by P. Kumarasiri Prasad, our airport


The Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd yesterday began work on the revamp of the runway at the Bandaranaike International Airport with an investment of $41 million.

Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was the Chief Guest at the ceremonial launch of the work which will span three months. To accommodate work on the revamp, the BIA is partially closed from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily until 4 April. As a result, around 1,000 flights will not be operated with airlines making alternate arrangements.

Ceylon Chamber calls on biz community to support CBSL independence

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce yesterday in a bold and welcome statement called on the business community to support Central Bank's independence and policy reform efforts.

It said the Monetary Policy Roadmap 2017 released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) this week provides an encouraging outlook for the Sri Lankan business community. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the future plans of the CBSL with regards to monetary policy, price stability, financial system stability and institutional reforms.

The Roadmap 2017 announced a shift in monetary policy making, towards a flexible inflation-targeting framework away from the current money supply targeting framework. This will be a progressive and ambitious shift, but would need to be implemented over time.

President discusses strategic approach to national program of eradicating poverty

A special discussion on the strategic approach to the national program of eradicating poverty from Sri Lanka was held at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday.

Ministers Sarath Amunugama and Sajith Premadasa, MP Ven. AthuraliyeRathana Thero, Secretary to the President P.B.Abeykoon, secretaries of ministries and senior officials participated in the discussion.

The Government aims to achieve the global sustainable development goals and build a poverty-free Sri Lanka by 2030. Many programs are scheduled to be implemented next year to eradicate poverty.

Fast and confidential public service through economic digitalisation: Ravi K

The economic digitalisation process proposed in Budget 2017 will create a conducive background, giving easy access to markets and technology, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

He also pointed out that digitalisation would help middle income countries like Sri Lanka to lay a firm foundation to improve efficiency in the public service by developing human resources and ensuring transparency in State administrations. It will also help end the age-old practice of making illegal economic gains in the sector.

New Public Enterprise Act in 1Q 2017
  • Finishing touches for legislation as documents sent to Attorney General
  • Public Enterprise Board to be established to appoint top management in all SOEs 
  • CPC highest loss-maker at Rs. 18 b, SriLankan Airlines Rs. 16.4 b, SLPA Rs. 9.5 b, SLTB Rs.4 b   

 By Chathuri Dissanayake 

As State-run strategic business entities continue to make losses the Public Enterprise Development Ministry is adding the final touches to introduce the Public Enterprises Act within three months to restructure management, reduce losses and wastage, a top Government official said.