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    Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 21-10-2015 Featured

    October 22, 2015

    Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 21-10-2015

     


    01. Provide studying opportunities to the foreign Army officers/ other ranks of Middle East Region at the  General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University

    General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, which is administrated under the Ministry of Defence, holds the full membership of the Association of Commonwealth Universities in UK. It allows foreign officers/ cadet officers and students to follow degree courses as a means of improving the friendship and diplomatic cooperation with countries in the African and Asian region. Accordingly, officers/cadet officers and students in Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Ruanda, Nigeria and Zambia are currently engaged in academic activities. The Proposal made by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence to train a group of Technicians in the Oman Navy on their request made on the background of the international competition, demand and attraction to this university and to introduce special courses focusing on students of middle east African and other countries in view of strengthening the friendship and cooperation with these countries, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    02. Subscription payments for Organizations of the United Nations, the ‘South Asian Cooperation for Environment’ Programme and Other multilateral environmental conventions and protocols

    Sri Lanka has agreed for various cooperation programmes and other multilateral environmental conventions showing its dedication in environmental conservation. According to these conventions Sri Lanka was able to gain improvement of knowledge in environmental conservation, capacity development, and international technical and financial assistance and training to officers as grants for the environmental conservation. The proposal made by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to allocate required allocations to pay the annual subscription according to the said conventions, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    03. Offering material aids to construct religious places acquired by Moragahakanda – Kaluganga Multipurpose Development Project in resettlement areas

    Lands of Naula, Laggala, Pallegama, and Medirigiriya Divisional Secretariat divisions are being acquired under the Moragahakanda – Kaluganga Development Project and 12 temples currently situated in these areas have been planned to be constructed in resettling areas. Accordingly, the proposal made by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to grant Rs. 18 million worth material aid as Rs. 1,500,000/- per each temple by amending the previous decision taken to grant Rs. 200,000/- per each temple to construct the dagoba, Bodhi Maluva (Bo-tree terrace), Viharageya (Buddha image house), Alms Hall and the Sangavasa (residing house), was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    04. Offering grants for alternative commercial lands in Digana, Victoria, Kothmale Project

    Alternative commercial lands were given to those who are deprived of commercial business due to development activities of Victoria Reservoir Project, Kothmale Reservoir Project and Polgolla Reservoir Project in newly developing areas such as Karalliyadda, Rajawella, Kundasale New Town, Haragama, Gurudeniya, Kolongaswatta, Ambakote/Aluthwatta, Kothmale New Town and Katugasthota New Town on long term lease basis and these long term lease licence have now been expired. The proposal made by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to offer grants to those who are currently enjoying these lands by collecting their assessed value, instead of offering them on lease basis, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    05. Setting up of Emergency Pre Hospital Care Ambulance Service in Sri Lanka

    The Cabinet of Ministers have approved the setting up of an Emergency Pre Hospital Care Ambulance Service in Sri Lanka on 24-06-2015. During the official visit of the Hon. Prime Minister in India the Indian government has agreed to provide a grant of US$ 7.6 million to implement its first phase in Western and Southern Provinces. The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to sign a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and M/s GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute and to appoint a joint Project Supervision Committee for implementing this project, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    06. Computation of the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI)

    The Colombo Consumer Price Index is prepared by the Department of Census and Statistics for the calculation of changes in the price level and inflation. Although it depicts the price changes in Colombo municipal area it does not represent the national level changes. Therefore, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to introduce a National Consumer Price Index, and to consider its base year as 2013 and from 21 November 2015 to declare the proposed NCPI on 21st of each month, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    07. Financial Assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the implementation of phase 3 of the Integrated Road Investment Programme

    Above programme is implemented with the view of improving the road connectivity within selected rural centres by rehabilitating national, provincial, local authority and feeder roads. This programme expects to rehabilitate 3108 km of rural roads and 248 km of national roads with an estimated cost of US$ 906 million. US$ 800 million of the cost is bared by the ADB and the rest should be bared by the Government of Sri Lanka. The project is implemented in Southern, Sabaragamu provinces, Kaluthara District, Central, North Central and North Western Provinces. The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to enter into relevant agreements for obtaining the funds of US$ 200 million from the ADB, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    08. Implementation of Towns East of Colombo – Package II Water Supply Project with Funding Secured from Local Banks with a treasury guarantee

    The Cabinet of Ministers have approved the implementation of 34 Water Supply Projects with a cost of Rs. 39.19 billion using funds from local banks. The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to issue a Treasury Guarantee to the Bank of Ceylon for obtaining the loan amount of Rs. 1,159 million for the implementation of the Towns East of Colombo – Package II Water Supply Project, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    09. Commemoration of the National Safety Day - 2015

    The National Safety Day is commemorated on 26th of December every year from 2006. The Cabinet of Ministers have already granted the approval to hold its commemoration at the Auditorium of the Polonnaruwa District Secretariat under the main theme “A Safer Sri Lanka” and the sub theme “Let us Prevent Disasters together”. However, as the construction of the said auditorium is not finished as expected the proposal made by Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management, to hold the above commemoration at the Auditorium of the Polonnaruwa Royal College, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    10. Development of Accident and Emergency Care Services in Sri Lanka

    Government curative sector of Sri Lanka extends over 1000 medical institutes prevailed throughout the country. Emergency Treatment Units were introduced in 1988 and the Preliminary Care Unit, a more advanced care model, was introduced in 1998. 80% of patients admitted to government hospitals require emergency treatment while the victims of road accidents have rapidly increased. Considering above matters, the proposal made by Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to provide relevant infrastructure including buildings, equipment, and trained staff within 06 years for 28 selected hospitals which are administrated under the central government and to gain Rs. 9,525 million of allocations in this purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    11. Signing of an agreement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

    Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established with the patronage of world leaders with the view of controlling the above 03 deceases. The fund grants financial assistance to countries that the decease has prevailed. Since 2012 no Malaria deceased patients were reported in Sri Lanka and the country will gain the honour of being declared by the World Health Organization as the first tropical country that have eradicate Malaria. The proposal made by Hon. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to enter into agreements with the said fund in view of gaining its further financial assistance from 2015, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    12. Conducting programmes to mark the completion of 60 years diplomatic relations between Thailand and Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka and Thailand, which had relations from several centuries, have begun formal diplomatic relations in 1955 and it completes 60 years at 20th November 2015. The proposal made by Hon. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Buddhasasana, to conduct a series of religious programmes to mark this important event in association with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sri Lankan Embassy of Thailand, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    13.Implementation of a new project to strengthen the process of administration of justice

    The above project is planned to be implemented with the view of providing solutions to long-prevailing issues in the judicial system. The proposed project consists of following main sections.

        - Improvement of infrastructure in courts and related institutions
        - Introduction of a new computerized system for the acceleration of judicial process.
        - Law reforms and researches
        - Trainings and skills development of relevant officers
        - Formation of a Permanent Steering Committee to study and to take policy decisions relating to the judicial field

    The proposal made by Hon. Wjayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to commence the planning of the above project from 2016 with an estimated cost of Rs. 14,681 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    14. Acceleration of judicial process regarding the persons who are in remand custody as suspects on terrorist activities during and after the conflict

    Majority of among about 12,000 LTTE carders who have surrendered to the government at the end of the conflict have been rehabilitated by the government except those who have been accused of terrorist activities. Those who have convicted guilty, and who are under an ongoing judicial act and who have been remanded as suspects are still retained. Considering the proposal made by Hon. D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, the Cabinet of Ministers have requested the Minister of Justice to present the recommendation on accelerating the judicial procedures on these detainees to the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    15. Purchasing of 24,000 vials of Human Immunoglobulin for IV use - 5-6g vial

    The proposal made by Hon. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to award the above tender to the bidder recommended by the Standing Procurement Committee based on the international competitive bids, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    16.  Supply and installation of medical furniture for Epilepsy Unit at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka

    The proposal made by Hon. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to award the above contract as per the recommendations made by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee with the view of providing a better service in the Epilepsy Unit, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    17. Pibidena Polonnaruwa Urban Development Project

    The proposal made by Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to appoint the Urban Development Authority as the Project Manager of the above project and to appoint the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau as its Architectural Consultant, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    18. Amended Parliamentary Programme for the Budget 2016

    The parliamentary programme for the Budget 2016 which was approved at the previous meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers has been amended according to a proposal made by Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, as follows.

        - Presentation of the Appropriation Bill 2016 (First Reading) – 23-10-2015
        - Budget Speech (Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill) – 20-11-2015
        - Second Reading debate (Twelve allotted days from 21-11-2015)
        - Second Reading Division – 05-12-2015
        - Committee Stage Debate (Twelve allotted days from 07-12-2015)
        - Third Reading Division – 19-12-2015

     
    19. Additional financing assistance for the North East Local Services Improvement Project

    The above project is being implemented since 2010 with US$ 50 million from the World Bank and US$ 20.3 million from the Australian Department for Fiscal Affairs and Trade. The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to obtain further US$ 20 million from the World Bank to extend this project to adjoining provinces, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     
    20. Amendment to the Appropriation Act No. 41 of 2014 as amended by the Appropriation (Amendment) Act No. 1 of 2015

    Allocations in the budget estimates adopted in February 2015 have been made under the then prevailed Ministries. Therefore, the proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to amend the Appropriation (Amendment) Act No. 1 of 2015 to allocate funds for the new ministries established after the Parliamentary Election held on 17 August 2015 and for other institutions under the purview of these ministries, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    21. Amendment to the Penal Code

    In the past decades instigation on communal basis, hate speech focusing various religious and ethnic groups and related printed material have caused in breach of communal harmony. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has recommended that laws should be enacted and empowered for prevention of such behaviours. Accordingly, the proposal made by Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to make suitable amendments to the Penal Code, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

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