- Published on Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:57
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1. Joint Task Force for Promotion of Commercial Relations with India
• On a proposal by Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cabinet of Ministers with the view to promoting mutual trade between India and Sri Lanka and to promote Indian investments in several key sectors including pharmaceuticals, textiles and auto accessories etc. decided to establish a Joint Task Force representing public and private authorities of both the countries
• The annual value of two way trades between Sri Lanka and India has now reached nearly US$ 5 billion.
• Sri Lanka's exports to India stands over US $500 million, while its imports from India have been closer to us $4.5 billion in 2011.
• India has also agreed to set up an Export Oriented Special Economic Zone with facilities for skill development to promote exports to India from Sri Lanka
2. "Uruma Aruna Fund" to be set up for National Heritages
• The proposal made by Dr. Jagath Balasuriya, Minister of National Heritage, to establish the Uruma Aruna Fund, utilizing Rs.I00 million approved in the Budget Proposals for 2012 as an initial capital of the fund, was approved by the Cabinet.
• The main objectives of establishing the above fund are as follows:
o preservation of archeological sites etc. of historical value;
o exploration and excavation of archeological sites and conservation of old paintings;
o promotion of our . heritage and prOV1SlOn of related information for foreign as well as local tourists; and
o organization of exhibitions, printing of publications, production of audio-visual documentaries, conducting of workshops etc. to enhance the knowledge of the people regarding the preservation of archeological heritage for the future generation.
3. MRI Scanner Machines for Kandy and Karapitiya Teaching Hospitals –
with the view to providing better health care services to the people living in the relevant areas, the proposal made by Mr.. Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Health to award the tender for Supply, Delivery, Installation and Maintenance of 02 Nos. of 3 Testa MRI Scanner Machines for Kandy and Karapitiya Teaching Hospitals was approved by the Cabinet.
• This will be offered to the lowest responsive bidder, as recommended by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, at a cost of US $4,054.495.00
4. Housing and Settlement Development Program in Colombo
• The proposal made by Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Minister of Construction. Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities, to expend a sum of Rs.15.6 million for the renovation of housing units under the National Housing Development Authority was approved by the Cabinet.
• This is to meet the housing needs of the low income community in the city of Colombo and for the implementation of the under mentioned projects aimed at offering a better living standard to the people living in the relevant areas, was approved by the Cabinet:
o renovation of housing units under the National Housing Development Authority at a cost ofRs.5.6 million; and
o development of infrastructure facilities of the under- served settlements in the city of Colombo at a cost of Rs.I0 million.
5. Establishment of a Sri Lanka Consulate General in Melbourne, Australia –
• The proposal made by Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, for the establishment of a Consulate General in Melbourne which would cover the States of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, for which the concurrence of the Australian government has been received, was approved by the Cabinet.
• Melbourne has the largest Sri Lankan community concentration in Australia with a presence of nearly 80,000 to 1 OO~OOO Sri Lankans engaged in multiple fields including employment, education, trade, investment etc.
6. ADB assistance for Completion of the Dry Zone Urban Water and Sanitation Project –
• The proposal made by the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning, to negotiate with the Asian Development Bank to obtain Special Drawing Rights (SDR) equivalent to US$ 40 million as additional financing for the Completion of the Original Scope of the Dry Zone Urban Water and Sanitation Project was approved by the Cabinet.
• This project will cover the construction of three new water treatment plants in Chilaw, Puttalam and Vavuniya and improvement of sanitation facilities in Chillaw, Puttalam, Vavuniya and Mannar.
• This project, on completion, will provide safe drinking water to more than 453,000 people living in the relevant areas.