The Day Brief of January 1, 2018

1. The year 2018 to be the year where the Taxes to be paid by the people is to double from that of 2014: State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne proudly announces that the people were taxed Rs.1.6 trillion in 2017, as against Rs.1.0 trillion in 2014: also says he expects better performance in 2018 with new Inland Revenue Act coming into force soon

2. The Sri Lankan Rupee depreciates 2.5% in 2017: Rupee’s fall cushioned to a great extent by the US Dollar weakening against many international currencies by about 10% during the year: the Rupee fell about 15% in the years 2015 and 2016

3. Department of Census and Statistics says that Inflation has risen by only 7.1% in 2017: also says that Average Inflation was only 6.6% during the year: Past annual inflation figures – 2014 (3.3%): 2015 (0.9%): 2016 (4.7%)

4. Indian Giant Tatas exits from Sri Lanka Tea business

5. No more Non-Biodegradable shopping bags, rigifoam boxes and lunch sheets from today, on a proposal by President Sirisena: Central Environmental Agency to conduct raids from today, on manufacturers, wholesale and retail outlets, and canteens

6. New Law and Order State Minister Piyasena Gamage under fire for signing as witness at the wedding of a notorious underworld gangster

7. Coconut shortage continues: price of a coconut reaches the equivalent of One US dollar or approximately Rs.150: however, SLFP Minister Chandima Weerakkody claims that such news is utterly false and that rice can be purchased at Rs.61 per kg, and coconuts at Rs.65 each

8. President Sirisena to take a decision this week on the course of action to be taken on the Bond Comm Report

9. Sri Lanka adopts confusing policy: 13 Indian fishermen arrested for fishing in Sri Lankan waters of Kachchativu: At the same time, in another area, 69 Indian fishermen released by the Coast Guard

10. Kalpitiya Police seize 625 Qurans on suspicion that those were to be distributed among the mosques during “the election period”: subsequently transpires that the Qurans were “for religious purposes”

Have a “religious” first day of the year – Monday”

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