November 15, 2018

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    Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 27-01-2016 Featured

    January 28, 2016

    01.Capacity Building Project for Sri Lankan Forensic Science Agencies and officials

     

    Digital Evidence and DNA analysis, which are considered as the main two sources in the modern Criminology, plays a major role in inspection of many crimes. Accordingly, project to develop the capacity of the Government Analyst’s Department and the Criminal Investigations Department in obtaining digital evidences and DNA analysis will be implemented with a grant of US$ 3.2 million by the Korean International Cooperation Agency. Above information presented by Prime Minister RanilWickremesinghe, was considered by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    02. Implementation of the United Nations World Food Programme within the period of 2016-2017

     

    The World Food Programme has formally initiated working with the Government of Sri Lanka in 1968 and thereafter it is being engaged in implementing programmes in nutrition, sustainable development, climate change, and food security etc. A joint proposal has been prepared by the relevant ministries with the WFP for food security and eradication of malnutrition and 11 districts have been identified from North, East, Uva and Central Provinces to be benefitted under the programme. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister RanilWickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to implement the above programme in within the two years from 2016-2017, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    03. Bandaranaike International Airport development project Phase 2 stage II

     

    It is an important requirement to widen the passenger handling capacity of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to achieve the government’s targets in rapid economic development and promotion of tourism. Therefore,the proposal made by Hon.NimalSiripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to enter into a lone agreement with the JapanInternational Cooperation Agency to obtain funds to implement the above project for building of a passenger terminal of 180,000 square meters, higher level access way to the terminal, provision of electricity, water, waste disposal systems, car parks, sub runways, and other infrastructure, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    04. Granting legal recognition to the National Building Research Organization

     

    The NBRO was established in 1984 combining the Building Research Institution of the State Engineering Corporation and Soil Laboratory of the Building Department. It was then established as a separate organization in 1993 under the Institute of Construction, Trading and Development which came under the purview of the Ministry of Housing and Constructions. NBRO depends on its earnings and it acts as the national centre in landslides and geographical management. Granting legal recognition to this institution which has experience over 25 years will help it to perform its services in a more efficient manner. This institution supplies the services such as identifying risk areas in Sri Lanka, , issuing early warnings, issuing of landslide risk evaluation reports consultancy services, and assessment of damages. The proposal made by Hon. AnuraPriyadarshanaYapa, Minister of Disaster Management, to draft a bill to establish this institution as the ‘National Building Research Institution’ by a parliament act, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    05. Natural Mineral Resources Policy for Sri Lanka

     

    The knowledge on the exact spread and extent of mineral resources in Sri Lanka is not fully documented. The potential wealth of these existing resources is high due to the increase of knowledge with regard to their potential and technical knowledge to harness the minerals. As most of minerals are exported without value addition the full economic benefit of them are not gained. A kilogram of Ilmenite found in Pulmuddai is sold for Rs. 40/- but if it was added a pharmaceutical value as titanium dioxide it could be sold to Rs. 450,000/-. Considering this situation, the proposal made by Hon. SusilPremajayantha, Minister of Science, Technology and Research, to appoint a Cabinet Subcommittee toprepare a national policy on mineral resources to stop the row minerals being exported without any value addition, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    06. Obtaining financial assistance for implementation of Kelani Right Bank Water Supply Project Phase II

     

    The existing Kelani right bank water treatment plant with a capacity of 180000m3 per a day provides water to the towns north of Colombo areas and it is operating at full capacity level. The water demand of the area has been increased due to the airport, Export Processing Zones in Biyagama and Katunayake and buildings of the security forces. Therefore, building of a new water treatment plant with a capacity of 180000m3, and other necessary infrastructure including supplying and layingof treated water pumping main, 25km long transmission line, construction of Wee Oya reservoir and supply and installation of inflatable rubber balloons for a salinity barrier should be performed. The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to enter into an agreement with Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank of France for obtaining financial assistance for the above project, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    07. Amendment to the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003 to facilitating access for visually impaired or otherwise print disabled people to published works

     

    According to statistics there were about 983,000 visually impaired people in Sri Lanka in 2011 and it has increased over one million in the year 2015. Visually impaired people in the world are about 285 millions. Hence, they should be facilitated the access to published materials. Marrakesh Treaty of the World Intellectual Property Organization has guided its member states to introduce a set of limitations and exceptions to copyright rules in order to permit reproduction, distribution, and making available of published work in formats designed accessible to visually impaired persons. There for the current Intellectual Property Act no 36 of 2003 should be amended as per that guidance before ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. The proposal made by Hon. RishadBathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, to draft bills in this purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    08. Allocation of Waters Edge Hotel Premise at Battaramulla to M/s Waters Edge Ltd.

     

    The Waters Edge Ltd. was established in 2009 to maintain the Waters Edge premises received by the Urban Development Authority by a Supreme Court judgment. Another company belong to the UDA was established in 2014 as Waters Edge Hotel Developers Ltd. to develop an apartment complex and hotel facilities in the premises. The contract related to constructions has been awarded to a private company by the tender procedure. The construction works have been commenced but at the moment they are being suspended. The new Board of Directors have decided to resume constructionworks. Hence, the proposal made by Hon. PataliChampikaRanawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to allocate the land of 23 acres 1 rude and 36.05 purchases to the Waters Edge Ltd. on 99 year lease base, and to award the existing contract to Waters Edge Ltd., was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    09. Imposition of special trade levies on import of Mackerel Fish for production of canned fish

     

    About 20000MT of canned fish is imported annually for the domestic need. As a result of encouraging the local production of canned fish to save foreign exchange of Rs. 5 billion, since 2012 four local factories are engaged in canned fish productions. This has produced about 150 direct employment opportunities. In 2013 taxes on imported canned fish were increased to Rs. 100 per kilogram to encourage the local production and it was reduced to Rs. 50 for providing concessions to the customers in 2015. Accordingly, a can of 425g fish should include 280g of fish excluding liquid and be sold at a maximum price of Rs. 140, and a can of 155g fish should include 105g of fish excluding liquid and be sold at a maximum price of Rs. 70. However, the expected relief has not been reached the customer while the importation of canned fish has increased to 40000Mt in 2015 that have cost Rs 10 billion foreign exchange. Hence, the proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, to grant the concessionary levy on importation of Mackerel only to local canned fish producers, and only for those who produce them complying with given standards, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    10. Reorganization of the National Equipment and Machinery Organization (NEMO)

     

    Above organization was established in 1991 to provide suitable equipment and machinery for the island wide implementation of construction industry in an economically stable basis. A high demand was seen in that period for obtaining of equipment and machinery from agents such as District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries, Local Authorities, GramodayaMandalayas, Community development councils and small scale private contractors who have performed regional infrastructure development work and they were provided through 54 depots. In 2011 this institution was brought under the State Engineering Corporation and as these two institutions have contradictions in their objectives this institution has declined. Therefore, the proposal made by Hon. SajithPremadasa, Minister of Housing and Construction, to reorganize this institution to be administrated by a separate Management Committee as done in 1992, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    11. Award the contract for consultancy services for reviewing and approving of design and construction supervision of construction of head works of Kaluganga Reservoir to CECB

     

    Kaluganga reservoir is to be built in Pallegama area of the Laggala electorate of Matale District and it is a key part of the MoragahakandaKaluganga Project. The proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to award the above contract at an estimated cost of Rs. 443 million to the CECB, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    12. Floating a tender for the selection of suitable operators for the operation of Core Category Duty Free Shops at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake

     

    Duty Free Shops play a key role in airport trade activities and the maintenance of said shops in arrival and departure terminals has been given as a franchise right shared among two operators. No tender procedure or calling for competitive bidding has been done in selection. The proposal made by Hon. NimalSiripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to appoint a Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee and Technical Evaluation Committee, to award these operations for an agreement period of 05 years according to the tender procedure in a more transparent manner with the intention of gaining more benefits to Airport and Aviation Services Limited, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    13. Repairing 1000 passenger buses of the Sri Lanka Transport Board with the objective of providing a more efficient and comfortable bus service to the general public

     

    General public have tended to use private transportation methods with the insufficiency of public transport facilities that have resulted a high traffic congestion and increase in road accidents. It is a main responsibility of the SLTB to solve this issue. Hence it has been planned to run 6000 buses in 2016. There should be at least 6900 buses in good condition to run 6000 buses. The proposal made by Hon. NimalSiripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to repair 1000 buses that are older than 10 years in a priority basis and to procure necessary spare parts through open competitive bidding, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    14. Asian Development Bank funded integrated road investment Programme – Approval to award contracts for two rural road civil works contract packages in Sabaragamuwa Province

     

    Selected roads in Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Western, Central, North-western and North Central Provinces will be improved under the above project. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. LakshmanKiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to award the contract for rehabilitation of 143km in Kegalle District as recommended by the Cabinet Anointed Standing Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    15. Construction of three Warehouse Complexes in the District of Polonnaruwa, Kilinochchi and Ratnapura

     

    Many basic steps have been taken by the government to improve the productivity in the agriculture field and to affirm the food security in the country by the 2016 budget and Rs. 1000 million has been allocated to construct three warehouses in the said districts for provision of high standard storing facilities to farmers to store paddy, maize, gingili, pepper, and black gram etc in the harvesting periods. Accordingly the proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to award the consultancy contract to the CECB to accelerate the construction work of these warehouses, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

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