Columnists

Dimmer 2016 for developing countries – or what?

Views - 2350 Friday, 29 January 2016 00:00

The darling of the Davos political and financial elite Christian Lagarde, the current International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, warned the financial elite in Davos of the risks posed to global economic recovery from the reduction of t


Why we need to do more to attract FDI

Views - 2385 Friday, 22 January 2016 00:00

Sri Lanka in 2015 was way below the budget set for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). The Government is making a huge effort to attract FDI because today FDI has become the major economic driver of economic growth.  The effort made by the Pr


Will the world economy tank in 2016?

Views - 2471 Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

In the first two weeks of the year, unlike in the past few years, we saw foreign exchange volatility jump to the most in a month as Chinese stock markets plunged and tensions escalated in the Middle East.  According to Morgan Stanley, swing


Nokia: A lesson in how the high and mighty can fall fast

Views - 3309 Friday, 8 January 2016 00:00

Research suggests that Nokia’s management was certainly aware that a digital revolution was underway, but failed to recognise the increasing importance of software, while overestimating the power of its brand  


Key priorities for 2016 and beyond

Views - 2642 Friday, 1 January 2016 00:00

The people of Sri Lanka on 8 January 2015 made political history. The 8 January election result was clearly a victory for Sri Lankan democracy - a last-minute motley coalition ‘David’ defeated an apparent ‘Goliath’ by doing


People’s expectations post 8 Jan: Opportunity must not be wasted?

Views - 3298 Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00

    Maithripala Sirisena, with the support of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP, the country’s largest political party, won the election on the promise of “Yahapalanaya” or good governance. Ten months hav


Sri Lanka’s HR Challenge; not enough of the right skills and skilled people

Views - 3465 Friday, 11 December 2015 00:00

Education and skills attainment in Sri Lanka, which in the early 60s was better than that of countries like Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, has in the last 20 years fallen behind, undermining the country’s growth prospects. Undoubtedly,


Sustainability of a private sector pension scheme

Views - 9049 Friday, 4 December 2015 00:00

  Last week, many unions and politicians were protesting against the proposed EPF-ETF reforms covering the private sector employees. The proposal was to introduce a mechanism to improve the quality of management of the curren


Making Sri Lanka a knowledge and services hub

Views - 3568 Friday, 20 November 2015 00:00

Education attainment in Sri Lanka, which in the early ’50s and ’60s, maybe up to the mid-70s, was better than that of countries like Malaysia, Singapore or South Korea, has now fallen behind, undermining the country’s growth pros


Restructuring the EPF is vital to protect funds of the workers

Views - 3293 Friday, 13 November 2015 00:00

The unions must realise that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is attempting to do a good thing; he is effectively taking the control of the fund away from the Central Bank to an independent body where all stakeholder representatives ca


Leaders vs. Leadership

Views - 2850 Friday, 6 November 2015 00:00

HR Guru Professor Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business, says in this exclusive interview that an individual leader matters, but an organisation’s leadership matters very much more over time. In this interview,


SMEs critical to get Sri Lanka to the next level of growth

Views - 6849 Friday, 30 October 2015 00:00

The SME sector is an ideal platform for the Government to invest and support to reduce the gap between the haves and the have-nots     All governments want Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), whic


SL should avoid blindly pouring money into public education

Views - 2829 Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena has vowed to increase the current allocation of education in the next Budget. I am sure that he is fully aware that Sri Lanka cannot spend its way out of this education malaise. If this was possible Mahinda Rajapaksa


State interest in SOEs should be in policy and regulation

Views - 3126 Friday, 16 October 2015 00:00

Eran Wickramaratne, the Deputy Minister of Enterprise Development, recently in an interview observed that the Government’s interest in State enterprise should be in policy and regulation.   The general thinking worldwide nowadays


Why the Super Gains Tax should be avoided

Views - 3392 Friday, 9 October 2015 00:00

  In January, the Sri Lankan business community was obviously unhappy with the imposition of the Super Gains Tax (retrospective tax plan) on large companies through the 100-day Government’s Interim Budget and also with


What Sri Lanka needs from now on is inclusive growth

Views - 2700 Friday, 2 October 2015 00:00

The President surely guided by his advisors has gone on record saying that the Government’s main vision now is promoting sustainable development and reconciliation. However, the specific sustainable development goals to be adopted is still n


Acute skills shortage in key sectors could hold Sri Lanka back

Views - 2806 Friday, 25 September 2015 00:00

Annually, the World Economic Forum ranks countries on the Global Competitiveness Index — a decent gauge of which nations are best positioned to squeeze efficiency out of their businesses and attract companies and investment from overseas. Bu


Sri Lanka should take a cue from Ireland on how to attract FDI

Views - 3169 Friday, 18 September 2015 00:00

   One of Sri Lanka’s major rugby promoters in recent times, Malik Samarawickrema, is the new Minister tasked with attracting FDI. He has had international exposure unlike many others previously on the job because of his in


Legislating a minimum wage; practical or what?

Views - 2663 Friday, 11 September 2015 00:00

For years there has been a sense among many unions that the working class is getting left behind, either it is the EPF getting plundered or the wage increases are insufficient, while the rich got richer. With the elections out of the way now the t


Benefits of free trade on income and development

Views - 3047 Monday, 31 August 2015 00:00

 Critics of free trade argue that trade-driven growth benefits only the rich and not the poor. In India, however, after the economic and education reforms, nearly 200 million people have come out of poverty. In China, which grew faster, it is


The role of the regulator is to ensure a strong capital market

Views - 3003 Friday, 21 August 2015 00:29

The role of the regulator in a developed or in a developing market involves developing, implementing and promoting a consistent set of regulation, providing oversight and enforcement in order to protect all investors, maintain fair, efficient and


The expectations from the next government

Views - 2846 Friday, 14 August 2015 05:08

Many right-thinking people watched with alarm and disappointment the steady decline in the moral values of our nation with politics for material benefits overtaking our cherished values. The breakdown of our religious values, traditions and cultur


Towards exports of $ 50 b; doable or what?

Views - 2926 Friday, 7 August 2015 00:00

The Prime Minister addressing the Sri Lanka Economic Summit organised by the Ceylon Chamber under the theme ‘Towards Exports of $ 50 Billion’ said the $ 50 billion is an achievable target, provided there is a systematic approach to exp


A pension for the entire nation; viable or not?

Views - 2818 Friday, 31 July 2015 00:00

  By Dinesh Weerakkody There has been much debate about launching a pension scheme for those who do not get a government pension or do not currently have a provident fund account.  Traditionally the only pension plan


Strengthening Yahapalanaya in the financial sector

Views - 3232 Friday, 24 July 2015 00:00

The Government decision to pay GK depositors highlights over and over again the need for better regulation, the need to make people accountable and improve governance in the financial sector     The level


Shareholder capitalism needs to be redefined

Views - 2396 Friday, 17 July 2015 00:00

Shareholder value creating is a refreshingly simple construct i.e. companies that grow and earn a return on capital that exceeds their cost of capital, create value.  The 2008 financial crisis is the most recent reminder that when executive


Importance of a National Employment Policy

Views - 2528 Friday, 10 July 2015 00:00

Most countries that adopt a framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth as the instrument for sustainable growth, acknowledge the role of skills development in that framework, stating that through its own national policies they look to s


Improving competitiveness should be a top priority for the next Government

Views - 2510 Friday, 3 July 2015 00:00

An issue that needs urgent attention is the colossal losses in the State-Owned Enterprises, especially, the top three – CEB, CPC and SriLankan       As a country we have slid from the 6


Restructuring the EPF is a must

Views - 2731 Friday, 26 June 2015 00:34

In 2014 the Government attempted to increase the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution for the employer from 12% to 14%. State officials defending the move were quick to point out that in Singapore the employer contributes 16% to th


The private sector must be ready to take advantage of shifts in Government policy

Views - 2660 Friday, 19 June 2015 00:00

    Sri Lanka in the early stage of economic development had excellent education attainment but now lags far behind many middle income and most high-income countries due to low public investment in education. Therefore to


Today's Columnists

Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc


The bald truth about fake news, etc.

Friday, 21 September 2018

In its most innocent forms, we may all enjoy a bit of ‘fake news’ and go to bed with a lighter heart and clean conscience. A meme on Facebook urging social media consumers to caution – “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet


Withholding Taxes – What, why, when?

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The tax regime in Sri Lanka historically imposes WHT on both domestic as well as cross border payments. WHT on domestic payments eases revenue collection (e.g.: PAYE) while WHT on cross border payments are adopted by most countries to ensure that the


Withholding Taxes – What, why, when?

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The tax regime in Sri Lanka historically imposes WHT on both domestic as well as cross border payments. WHT on domestic payments eases revenue collection (e.g.: PAYE) while WHT on cross border payments are adopted by most countries to ensure that the


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