- Published on Thursday, 12 January 2012 11:58
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1. Transit passengers and children under 12 years exempted from Visa fee
- Cabinet approval has already been granted for foreigners visiting Sri Lanka to obtain visas online.
- Accordingly on a proposal by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Minister of Defence and Urban Development cabinet has decided to provide exemption for children under 12 years of age and for transit passengers who stay in the country up to 48 hours
- It would be very much favourable for Sri Lanka, as it would make this system attractive while boosting visits by foreigners with their children. Further it is considered that if transit passengers are given exemption from processing fees up to two (02) days (48 hours), as on nurnerous occasions they conclude their visits within that period of time.
2.Three elevated Highways are to be constructed from Kirulapone to Kadawatha, Colombo Fort to Kottawa and from Colombo Fort to Peliyagoda –
- Vehicular traffic in the Colombo Metropolitan Area has steadily increased during the recent years due to the accelerated economic and social development in the country.
- Since it is extremely difficult to widen the existing roads due to massive roadside development that has already taken place, it has been proposed to construct elevated highways on the under mentioned road sections.
- in order to ease traffic congestion in the Colombo Metropolitan Area and to provide access to Southern Expressway, Outer Circular Highway and Colombo -Katunayake Expressway:
- From Kirulapone to Kadawata (approximate1y 19Km) which will connect Outer Circular Highway at Kadawata and 1 Colombo -Katunayake expressway at Paliyagoda;
- From Colombo Fort to Kottawa (approximately 21Km) which will connect Southern Expressway and Outer Circular Highway at Kottawa; and,
- From Colombo Fort to Peliyagoda interchange on Colombo- Katunayake Expressway (approximately 5 km)
- The proposal made by President, in his capacity as the Minister of Ports and Highways, to procure consultancy services through to the contract with Egis Beecon International of France under ADB fund for the above feasibility study and out line design was approved by the Cabinet.
- It was also decided that the Engineering Faculties of Local Universities should be requested to undertake the task of providing consultancy services for the purpose, in the first instance.
3.New Buildings for Watareka and the Mahara Prisons to transfer Detainees of Welikada Prison –
- On a proposal made by Mr. Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, cabinet gave its approval to construct 2 two-storied buildings each at the Mahara Prison and at the Watareka work camp at a cost of Rs.96 million, for the purpose of accommodating the suspects detained currently at the Welikada Prison.
- Cabinet approval has already been granted to remove the Welikada Prison from its present location so as to utilize its land for an economically productive purpose in keeping -with the development activities of the government,.
4.Sellakatharagama Sacred Area and its Surrounding to be Developed
- The proposal made by President, as the Minister of Defence and Urban Development, to implement the development activities in and around Sellakatharagama Sacred area, was approved by the Cabinet.
- This will include the construction of 160 shops to provide facilities to pilgrims
- The relevant activities will be carried out with funds provided under the Urban Development Authority at a revised cost of Rs 236 million.
5.MoU with Indian Government for Grant Assistance for Reconstruction/Repair of 49,000 houses.
- The Government of India has agreed to provide grant assistance in a sum of Indian Rupees 13.19 billion (Approximately US $260 million) for construction of 49000 housing units for IDP in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
- The project is to be implemented in three modes.
- Under mode 1, about 38,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces will be reconstructed, with a total payment of SLR 550,000 per house. Payment will be made in four installments directly to the beneficiaries bank accounts.
- Under mode 2, about 5000 houses in the Northern and Eastern provinces will be repaired and payment will be made directly to the beneficiaries in three install1nents.
- Under mode 3 about 6000 houses are to be reconstructed and
- about 4000 of these houses will be reconstructed for Estates workers in the Central and Uva Provinces.
- The proposal made by the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments, was approved by the Cabinet.
- The northern province components of this project will be supervised by the presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security of Northern Province while the Ministry of Economic Development will oversee the project carried out in the East, Central and Uva provinces.
6.Two agreements with State of Qatar on Investment Promotion and Protection and for co--operation in Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research
- On a proposal made by Prof. G.L. Peiris. Minister of External Affairs, Cabinet approval was granted for the proposed Agreement to intensify economic co-operation to the mutual benefit of Sri Lanka and the State of Qatar while creating and maintaining more favourable conditions for investments by investors of both countries.
- Meanwhile the proposal made by Mr.Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Education,Cabinet decided to sign the MoU also for co--operation in Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research
- This MoU intends to consolidate friendship ties and promote co-operation in the fields of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research between the two Governments
- These two agreements will be signed during the visit of his Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar from 15th to 16th January 2012.