The Northern Province has benefited from investment as a result of the efforts of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. The BOI opened a dedicated office in Jaffna in 2010 to attract and facilitate investment into the province. Whilst it is correct to say the Northern Province does have considerable potential, many opportunities still remain untapped as a result of the effects of the past conflict affecting that region in particular.
In spite of these challenges the BOI places high priority in investment in the North as this effort is more than just development and part of the process of strengthening inclusiveness and reconciliation in the country.Among the BOI investments, currently there are 6 Apparel manufacturers which represent an investment of Rs. 8 billion and employ 7,917 workers. Another 15 projects in different sectors are also operational and represent investments of Rs. 16,293 million and provide employment to 837 workers in the Northern Province.
In addition 2 new projects are awaiting commercial operation, 5 are awaiting implementation, 2 have been approved and awaiting the signing of Agreement and another 5 projects are awaiting approval.When all these 35 BOI projects in the North become operational, the total investment will be around Rs. 46,484.08 million, which will result in a cumulative total of 10,142 jobs.
The six operating apparel manufacturing plants are Omega Line Ltd in Rasinthinankulam (Vavuniya), Hirdaramani Fashion (Pvt) Ltd (Vavuniya), Hirdaramani Clothing (Pvt) Ltd Puthukkudiyiruppu (Mullaitivu), Timex Garments (Pvt) Ltd (Mannar), and MAS Active (Pvt) Ltd and MAS Intimates (Pvt) Ltd both in Kilinochchi. The apparel manufacturing plants cumulatively employ 7,917 staff and represent an investment of US$65 million.
In addition there are 15 other BOI projects that are operational which are involved in the manufacture of ice, fishing nets, mesh products, artificial flowers and concrete products in addition to hotels, health care and power generation.
Their total value is Rs. 16,293.30 million and 837 jobs have been created in the Northern Province through these specific projects. The largest in investments terms is the Northern Power Company (Pvt) Ltd with a total value of Rs. 5,600 million. In employment generation terms the Northern Central Hospitals (Pvt) Ltd project has created 278 new job opportunities.
Typhoon Jebi — the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years — clipped Tokushima Prefecture in western Japan on Tuesday, heading north-northeast, disrupting transportation and leading authorities to call for early evacuations in areas in its path.The Meteorological Agency warned of heavy rains and strong winds in both the western and eastern regions of the country as the typhoon made landfall first in the southern part of Tokushima Prefecture around noon. The storm made landfall again around 2 p.m. near Kobe.
Businesses with a cumulative investment of approximately Rs 26 billion in the oil palm industry in Sri Lanka came together in Colombo on August 30 to formally inaugurate an industry association under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to promote common interests and advocate 'Sustainable Growth through Responsible Production.'
A paper is to be submitted to the Cabinet soon to set up a Police and Crimes University, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.The Prime Minister revealed this at the 152nd police day celebrations held at the Field Force Head Quarters grounds in Bambalapitiya last evening.
“It is essential to tackle drug trafficking. An Emergency response team has been established for this purpose. We hope to present to cabinet a paper to set up a police and Crimes University shortly. IGP has told me that this information is not reported in the media. I have to tell him that police and the politicians are ones who are criticized heavily in this country. Police are not praised no matter how hard they work,” the Prime Minister said.
The Eastern Echo DMCC, subsidiary of a major oilfield services company in Schlumberger,Sunday commenced collecting petroleum data on multi-client basis, to exploit indigenous fuel resources in selected offshore areas of the island. Earlier, the Petroleum Resources Development (PRDS) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga signed an agreement-with Eastern Echo DMCC in this regard.
President Maithripala Sirisena concluded a two-day bilateral visit to Nepal, last Sunday and announced that Sri Lanka would support the Lumbini Master Plan, which aimed at conserving the historic site and improving its facilities for pilgrims. The President was in Nepal to attend the fourth BIMSTEC Summit held from August 30 to 31.
He made the announcement during bilateral talks with Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, which was followed by an official banquet in honour at Shital Nivas, last Saturday. Earlier that day, the President and the delegation visited Lumbini, which was the birthplace of Prince Siddhartha Gautama. Over 50,000 Sri Lankans visit Lumbini, annually. During the meeting, the two leaders reviewed bilateral exchanges that had taken place during the past few years. The Nepali President expressed her gratitude to Sri Lanka for assisting in handling the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake that devastated the country, particularly in reconstruction efforts at the Anand Kutir and the Rato Machindranath temples in Kathmandu. The leaders also discussed the possibility of marketting a ‘Buddhist Circuit’ as an initiative to boost tourism between the countries, and from outside the region.
President Sirisena congratulated the Government of Nepal on the successful conclusion of the BIMSTEC Summit and as the BIMSTEC’s new chair, sought the cooperation of Nepal in operationalising the Kathmandu Declaration. During the meeting with the Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli, the President highlighted the importance of strengthening economic relations between the two countries, and the Nepali Prime Minister said that the Sri Lanka-Nepal Joint Commission would be held early, to carry forward the ideas discussed.
The government has now created economic stability in the country disproving the predictions made by opponents and pessimists that it was heading for bankruptcy. The people are aware that the country is able to service the enormous debts bequeathed by the previous regime, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
He was speaking at a meeting in Padiyatalawa on Sunday after launching development work on the Badulla - Chenkaladi road from Bibile to Chenkaladi.The Prime Minister said the government was able to establish economic stability as a matter of priority, due to the difficult and unpopular decisions taken during the last three years. As a result, there were now sufficient funds to administer the country while servicing debts.
“Usually a government elected to power wished to start development work from Day One. But the yahapalana government could not do so due to the enormous debt burden left over by the previous regime. At first, the government had two options. It had to decide whether to increase VAT facing public opposition or to refrain from it to steer the country to bankruptcy. It bravely took the first option of increasing VAT and enabled the country to gain economic stability,” the Prime Minister said.
The Premier said the previous regime went for early elections before schedule because the country was in dire straits economically without sufficient funds to carry out the government’s daily operations. The country’s total income in 2013 was Rs. 1,137 billion, while Rs.1,162 billion was needed to pay premium and interest on foreign debt.
“Today, the government was moving forward by granting all forms of relief needed by the people notwithstanding their criticism.” He had instructed all ministers to go all out to cater to the needs of the people and their development needs.
The Prime Minister said despite various difficulties, the government had accomplished a great amount of work during the last three years. Steps had been taken to fill 4,000 vacancies for principals in the education sector, 854 vacancies in the Education Administrative Service and 1,700 vacancies in the teacher service. Measures had also been taken to cater to sanitation needs in schools by building 26,000 toilets.
“Steps were taken to provide stents free of charge to heart patients,” the Prime Minister said. “A range of medicines had been subjected to price control and cancer patients had been given a lifetime medical allowance of Rs.1.5 million. Under the ‘Nearest school is the best school’ programme, new school buildings have been provided to 3,000 primary schools and 1,000 secondary schools. All schoolchildren have been given medical insurance cover under the Suraksha programme.”
“The Mahapola allowance has been increased from Rs.2,500 to Rs.5,000. A Rs.20,000 allowance has been offered to expectant mothers,” the Premier said. “Work has been started on 1,100 reawakened villages and 10,000 plantation sector houses. Nearly 1,000 land deeds have been awarded up to the end of August. Jobs have been given to a batch of 5,000 unemployed graduates.”“The country has regained the GSP facility and this would help increase export income. The Hambantota Port would start operations soon,” he said.
President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the island on Sunday, after attending the fourth Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit that recently concluded in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Aeroflot, the Russian Airline, will re-launch regular non-stop flights to Colombo from October 28, 2018, the Moscow-based airline announced yesterday.The airline stopped regular flights to Colombo around a decade ago.The flights will operate under the winter schedule effective through March 30, 2019. Tickets are now available for purchase online and at travel agents worldwide.