Friday 25th April 2014

Securing the silent: An untapped potential for Islamic microfinance

Published : 12:00 am  January 10, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  1 Comment  |  723 views  |  
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The 2014 budget reflects the Government’s desire to grow the country’s economy faster than other emerging market economies. Indeed, the Government has implemented some legal and tax reforms with the objective of permitting greater flexibility and meeting the needs of international investors. While such initiatives are commendable, it is to be noted that sustainable economic development cannot be achieved by focusing only on one segment of the economy while disregarding the other aspects, especially the social context. Scaling up local innovations and entrepreneurship, among other things, is imperative for achieving sustainable socio economic development. Thus, access to finance has been recognised... 

Commitment to consistency

Published : 12:00 am  January 10, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  345 views  |  
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The way to overcome economic uncertainties in 2014 The Butterfly Effect The New Year has dawned; there is of course great excitement, with new wishes, plans and resolutions at the beginning of the year, but as the year unfolds, many unexpected issues and problems begin to surface and things beyond one’s control and the world of uncertainties is a reality. We would be very happy if we could predict the future and plan out our programs that will suit our dreams and expectations. Despite many advances in technology and human intellectual capabilities, we still haven’t been able to find a human being who can aptly predict the future though there are many astrological predictions from time... 

Divi Neguma: A community-based development intervention

Published : 12:00 am  January 10, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  512 views  |  

Are rural agriculture and fishery communities excluded? The Divi Neguma Law which was enacted on 8 January 2013 by Parliament with a majority of 117 votes was operationalised on Friday 3 January 2014 by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa signing the gazette notification for setting up the Divi Neguma Department. The department combines five organisations, including the Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority, the Upcountry Development Authority (formerly the Kandyan Peasantry Commission of the D.S. Senanayake era) and the Southern Development Authority. All the employees of these organisations will become permanent and pensionable Government servants. Divi Neguma will serve 1.8 million... 

To bridge trade deficit, Sri Lanka’s approach should be offensive

Published : 12:00 am  January 9, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  1 Comment  |  1,285 views  |  
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After the presentation of the Government Budget for the year 2014 by the President, the Secretary to the Treasury in a public speech, responding to the criticisms of the Budget, stated that the economic policies of the Government were not defensive. The reason for this remark was the allegation that the Government was trying to take the country’s economic policies back to the 1970s by increasing tariffs on certain imported products in order to encourage domestic production of the same. Sri Lanka had been experiencing a trade deficit for a long time. A trade deficit means the amount paid for the imports to the country exceeds the income generated by the export products. There are simple remedies... 

The pallbearers’ legacy

Published : 12:00 am  January 9, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS, Dharisha Bastians  |  3 Comments  |  619 views  |  
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 Lasantha Wickrematunge may have been killed, but his spirit lives on in those he left behind. Lasantha’s tribe, some of them exiled in far off lands, others – brow-beaten, hunted and still pushing the boundaries at home, continue to be a thorn in the side of the rulers and remain keepers of the flame   On 12 January 2009, a short distance away from the entrance to the Borella General Cemetery under a blazing afternoon sun, a photograph was taken. The crowded image shows throngs of mourners, wearing black or white, arms raised in protest as far as the lens could capture. At the centre of the photograph, the coffin carrying slain The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge to his... 

Fonseka decries state of the nation

Published : 12:00 am  January 8, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  365 views  |  

Says there is no democracy, slams party politics “As per the Constitution, I have not lost my civic rights,” says Sarath Fonseka, Leader of the Democratic Party and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. “But I don’t have to ask for pardon because according to the Constitution, I have not lost my civic rights. According to the Constitution, if somebody goes to jail, that person will only lose his civic rights if he completes the sentence. I did not complete the sentence. So let me be clear, as far as my civic rights are concerned, I am like any other citizen,” explains Fonseka. He further says that nothing in the country is moving in the right direction. “We can only see the ruler... 

Diplomats: How we see them

Published : 12:00 am  January 8, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  2 Comments  |  769 views  |  
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The very public spat between India, the most populous democracy in the world, and the USA, the most powerful, has received a lot of media attention in recent weeks. Although the incident which gave rise to it, the arrest of a middle order diplomat for the violation of labour/visa regulations in the host country is not the kind of incident that would ordinarily push great nations into public quarrels, this has developed into a full-blown diplomatic confrontation between the two. Most times such things are handled discreetly, good relations and diplomacy being the overriding concerns. From the accounts in the newspapers we are able to form a general picture of what led to the arrest of Devyani... 

The Kejriwal Phenomenon

Published : 12:01 am  January 7, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, COLUMNS  |  1 Comment  |  969 views  |  
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A corruption-free South Asia? A new thunderbolt has hit the political scene in South Asia. The South Asian voter after decades of being lied to and cheated by a class of self-serving professional politicians, a political class which has given a new meaning to the word parasite, since South Asia emerged from colonial bondage many moons ago, has today seen new hope in the Aam Admi Party (AAP) [the Common Man Party] of India led by Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, who swept the polls held recently. They won 28 of the 70 seats, pushing the ruling Congress down to eight seats and the BJP to 32. The AAP was launched on 26 November 2012. The party made its debut in the Delhi Legislative Assembly... 

SL Unplugged: Macro and private sector

Published : 12:01 am  January 7, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  382 views  |  
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Last week at the launch of the Central Bank 2014 Road Map, my mind went back to the days when I used to travel in the C130 military aircraft with soldiers on route to Jaffna in the last phases of the war and how we used to travel from Pallaly Airport to the heart of Jaffna town on work, under stringent convoy protection. Banking density Today, the economy has exploded with an average growth of 6.7% in the last four years with the Hotels and Restaurant sector booming at 13.6%, Eastern Province growing by 25% to 6.3% of the GDP registering value of Rs. 472 billion and the Northern economy growing by 25.9% as a share of GDP of 4% registering a value of Rs. 305 billion, which to my mind are post-war... 

Sustaining economic growth: Public-Private Partnership to keep public investments going

Published : 12:00 am  January 6, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS, W. A. Wijewardena  |  2 Comments  |  969 views  |  

So many traps to avoid in stepping up growth Sri Lanka’s avowed goal has been to maintain a high economic growth in the next few decades to elevate the country from a lower middle income country to a higher middle income country in the first instance and then to a rich country not long after that. But this path is marred with pitfalls and traps. Having recognised these traps, the Central Bank in its Strategic Plan for 2014 – an annual rolling plan which the Bank has had since 2007 – an opportune theme has been pronounced: ‘Step up! Avoid the trap’. There are many possible traps the country may get into but one important trap which impedes the country’s ‘stepping-up’ initiative... 

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