Business and Economics
Lankan built Software transforming Vehicle Rental Industry

The car rental sector has undergone a phenomenal transformation in the last decade with shifts in consumer behaviour and use of technologies; this has given rise to new subsets in the ground transportation sector forcing existing players to innovate.

Companies like Navotar were among the first to use technology to drive change in the car rental industry.

“Today’s consumers want fast and frictionless solutions to satisfy their travel needs. As the new entrants in ground transportation are innovating intensely to capture a bigger share of this market, failure to adapt by the SME car rental sector means that they could lose a large share of the market,” CEO of Navotar, Sanker Shivanathan stated. “This is where Navotar stepped in embracing technological advances to help small and medium car rental companies to stay relevant and benefit from technology in both operational and consumer experience,” he added.

Navotar’s cloud-based car rental software, which is known for being economical and easy to use is trusted by 1000+ rental businesses in 70+ countries.
Local assembly of vehicles and component manufacturing SOP launched

The Ministry of Industries spearheaded by Wimal Weerawansa is soon to launch the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Local Assembly of Vehicles and Automotive Component Manufacturing to encourage world renowned brands to locally assemble vehicles.
President of the Sri Lanka Automotive Component Manufacturers’ Association Dimantha Jayawardena, said that the new SOP has been prepared in keeping with the highest standards around the world. “This SOP has been prepared by the Policy Development Division of the Ministry of Industries in close collaboration with Ministry of Finance, Sri Lanka Customs, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Sri Lanka Automobile assemblers and Automobile Component Manufacturers. With the launch of the SOP it will become mandatory that vehicle assembly comply to the SOP and increase value addition for locally manufactured vehicles.

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‘Rates to hold; CBSL assures liquidity as economy rebounds’

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) either can choose to hold policy rates steady or cut by a 25bps or 50bps while, hike is off the table due to the lackluster economic growth according to First Capital ResearchPre -policy Analysis.

“We believe that there is a 70% probability to hold rates due to the considerable improvement in high frequency indicators and with fiscal and monetary measures implemented so far. However, there is a 15% probability each for 25bps and 50bps rate cut to support economic growth.”

First Capital Research estimates the Sri Lanka’s GDP would recover to 3.2% in 2021, from its expected steepest contraction in the history of -5.8% in 2020. Lack of demand for credit, slowness in consumer demand recovery and import restrictions can be considered as a major factor favouring to ease the policy rates at the upcoming meeting.

In-line with First Capital expectations, at the previous policy meeting held on January 2021, CBSL maintained its monetary policy stance, after considering the macroeconomic conditions and expected developments on the domestic and global fronts.

The Board, having noted the reduction in overall market lending rates during 2020, stressed the need for a continued downward adjustment in lending rates to boost economic growth in the absence of demand driven inflationary pressures, particularly considering the significant levels of excess liquidity prevailing in the domestic money market.

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