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    Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 20-01-2016 Featured

    January 21, 2016

    01. Combining a private investor to recognize Mahaweli Livestock and Agri Business Pvt Ltd which is running at loss for the time being (Public – Private Partnership)


    Mahaweli Livestock Enterprises Ltd is a company that is fully owned by the Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority which was established in 1999. Providing knowledge and extensive services on pastoral farming, dairy production, and crops cultivation is one of its main objectives. The company presently has two farms in Girandurukotte and Damminna. The company which has encountered great losses in the recent past have managed to minimize its loss with the changes undergone in the management and with the reduction of unnecessary and prodigal expenses. However, due to diminution of capital assets and decaying of machinery it is necessary to make a capital investment. The proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to select a suitable investor to proceed with the activities of this company through a public private partnership, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    02. Making accreditation mandatory in taking technical decisions


    The Sri Lanka Accreditation Board awards accreditation to laboratories including medical laboratories, certification bodies, and inspection bodies, to ensure a standard service to their customers. Although it has been about 10 years from the inception of the Accreditation Board, up to now it has only awarded about 100 accreditations, mainly due to the reason that the accreditation is only to be granted at the request of the service provider. The inadequateness of the assistance given by relevant institutions is another reason. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Science Technology and Research, to provide necessary provisions to make conformity assessment and accreditation compulsory in the fields of quality, environment, food safety, healthcare of professional and technical staffs, energy etc. which affect the customer security, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    03. Paying contribution to African – Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO)


    Main objective of the African – Asian Rural Development Organization which was established in 1962 was to look into the matters related to sustainable agriculture and rural development and to make mutual understanding among its member countries on the above matter. Sri Lanka has obtained the permanent membership of the above organization in 2013. The proposal made by Hon. Duminda Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, to pay the annual subscription to the said organization, considering its benefits, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    04. Polonnaruwa District Irrigation System Development Project


    Polonnaruwa, one of the largest paddy cultivating areas in Sri Lanka has about 80,000 acres of paddy cultivating lands. However in the recent past paddy cultivation has shown set back as it was severely affected from extreme events of climate change like floods and prolonged dry spells. The Department of Irrigation has proposed to implement a six year irrigation development programme commencing from 2016 to overcome above issues. The proposal made by Hon. Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, to implement the said programme at an estimated cost of Rs. 7 billion from 2016 to 2021 in three stages as short term, medium term, and long term stages, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    05. Accelerated Irrigation Development Project in Monaragala District (Wellassa


    Monaragala is the second largest district in Sri Lanka, which its population largely depends on agriculture, and it has been planned to implement an accelerated programme to rehabilitate irrigation infrastructure in the area. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, to implement the “Wellassa Navodaya” accelerated irrigation project,which has been planned with the view of uplifting the living status of the residents, within Four years from 2016-2019, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    06. Agreement for the transfer of sentenced persons between Government of Sri Lanka and Islamic Republic of Iran


    Delegations of the two countries have discussed the above matter in December 2015. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. (Dr.) Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to enter into the above agreement during the scheduled official Sri Lankan visit of the Minister of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to make necessary provisions to ratify the same thereafter, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    07. Hambantota Port Development Project – Request for Proposals


    A common initial environmental examination was carried out by the University of Moratuwa on proposed industries in the Hambantota Port’s Industrial Zone and the study has revealed that coal related activities should not be done at the area. Sri Lanka Ports Authority has already prepared the business plan in order to identify the business venture that could be undertaken under the above project. It is planned to undertake all ventures as public private partnership. Therefore, the proposal made by Hon. Arjuna Ranatunge, Minister of Ports and Shipping, to appoint a Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee and a Project Committee to prepare and call for proposals, evaluate and to discuss with investors, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    08. Implementation of Sports and Physical Health Promotion National Week


    The rate of Sri Lankan school children engaged in sports is law as 25% and when it comes to higher education the above percentage reaches low level of more than 8%. As a result and with wrong food habits, doping substances and smoking 68% of deaths alone occur among persons below 65 years of age due to non-communicable diseases. Hence, the proposal made by Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera, Minister of Sports, to implement the above programme with relevant ministries and provincial councils from 25th to 30th of January 2016 for promoting sports in the whole community as mentioned below, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    Monday,    January 25 -   Government and Public Services – Sports and physical            fitness      promotion  day

    Tuesday,   January 26 -   Education, Higher Education and highways, youth and              Women’s Affairs –  Sports andphysical fitness promotion day

    Wednesday, January 27 -   Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine - Sports and          physical fitness     promotion day

    Thursday,  January 28 -   Security Forces and Private enterprises - Sports and physical   fitness     promotion day

    Friday,    January 29 -   Sports and physical fitness promotion day for Sports                  Organizations,    Sports Associations and Sports Federations

    Saturday, January 30 -    Sports and physical fitness promotion special day



    09. Obtaining membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)


    The main objective of the AIIB is to develop infrastructure and specially to enhance the relationship in the Asian region. Sri Lanka has signed for the agreement as an initial member to establish this bank on 29 June 2015 at Beijing, China. 57 countries comprised of 37 countries in the region and 20 countries out of the region have pledged support for the bank. The bank will have an authorized capital of US$ 100 billion which will be contributed 75% by regional countries and the rest 25% by countries out of the region. A quota is allocated to each country depending on their GDP. Sri Lanka will have to subscribe around US$ 268 million. According to the proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved the drafting of a bill to enable Sri Lanka in obtaining the formal membership of the above bank through ratification of the above agreement. Approval has also been given to join the Group G led by Indonesia to form a constituency of AIIB.


     10. Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act NO 15 of 1979


    It is considered as a basic characteristic in a fair trial that a person suspected of having committed an offence and arrested thereafter should have the right to access to an Attorney at Law. After the first statement of such a person has been taken down by the Police he should be given the opportunity to meet an Attorney at Law. The proposal made by Hon. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to recognize the right of every person arrested to consult an attorney at law of his choice immediately after the recording of his first statement by the police and to provide that if the person arrested pleads that he is not possessed of the necessary resources to retain an attorney at law, such services to be provided by an attorney at law of the Legal Aid Commission, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    Last modified on Friday, 22 January 2016 13:35

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