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    Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers At the meeting held on 23-02-2016 Featured

    February 24, 2016

    01. Amendment of the article 40 (e) of the National Transport Commission Act No. 37 of 1991

    According to the provisions of the above act, the National Transport Commission grants passenger service permits to buses to be operated in interprovincial roads under competitive bidding by calling for applications through publishing notices in national newspapers. However, it has been reported that many buses are being operated in interprovincial routes without a valid passenger service permit and it is an unhealthy situation for the passenger transport bus service as well as for bus commuters. The proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to amend the article 40 (e) of the National Transport Commission Act No. 37 of 1991, for increasing the fine enforced by a Magistrate’s Court against offenders who operates a bus without a valid route permit from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 200,000/-, within the view of making a quality bus service to the public, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    02.Graduate Trainee Scheme

    Earlier graduates had been directly recruited to the public service of Sri Lanka, and till about 1964 almost all graduates had the opportunity to enter into the government service. The graduate trainee scheme had been established in 1971 and various governments in various periods have recruited graduates to the public service under this scheme. The actual workforce of the public service which recorded as 900,642 in year 2005 had rapidly increased up to 1,302,258 at year 2014, and a total of 88,609 graduates have been recruited within this period as ‘Development Officers’. Graduates were recruited to the public service as a measure to the unemployment the expected service from them could not be obtained. Accordingly, considering the proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, the Cabinet of Ministers have approved to efficiently deploy the recruited Development Officers after reviewing the workforce requirement, and to recruit skilled graduates henceforth to vacancies identified according to the service requirement based on the results of competitive examinations.

    03.Memorandum of Understanding for the BIMSTEC GRID Inter-Connection

    The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation member states namely People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Bhutan, Republic of India, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Thailand at the first BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held on October 2015 in New Delhi has approved an Action Plan made in respect of energy cooperation among the member states. As part of this exercise a MoU has been drafted to provide a broad framework for the member states to cooperate towards the implementation of Grid interconnections for the trade in electricity with a view to promoting national and optimal power transmission in the BIMSTEC region. Accordingly, theproposal made by Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, to sign the above MoU, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    04.Payment of annual contribution by the Government of Sri Lanka to the Asia Pacific Plant Protection Commission functioning under the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization

    The above organization is one of the organizations established within the Asia Pacific Region under the World Food and Organization to deal with activities and responsibilities on plant phytosanitary. This organization has provided an opportunity to study and discuss problems faced by each country on plant phytosanitary. Theproposal made by Hon. Duminda Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, to pay the annual contribution and update the membership of Sri Lanka in thisCommission as a member state, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    05. The Asia Pacific Association of Agriculture Research Institution (APAARI): Upgrading the membership fee for the Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy

    The objective of the APAARI is to foster the development of agricultural research in the Asia-Pacific region. The SLCARP has been a member of the APAARI since 1988 and had been in the membership category C. As the association provides training opportunities and consultations for only the membership fee without any additional charges the proposal made by Hon. Duminda Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, to upgrade the membership of the SLCARP from C category to B category of the above association, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    06. ‘Shelter for All’ National Housing Programme to construct 1000 houses in each electorate

    Constructing new houses, upgrading existing houses as well as granting ownership of houses and lands to their current residents are the key objectives of the above programme which is proposed to be implemented in 2016. The programme is expected to be implemented covering all the areas and fields in the country. It is expected to construct 1000 houses for an electorate which the floor area of a house is 500 sq ft and the maximum contribution of the government is Rs. 300,000/-. Rs. 5800 million has already been allocated to implement this programme by the budget 2016 and the proposal made by Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing and Construction, to obtain further allocations required to continue this project, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    07. Greater Colombo Transmission and Distribution Loss Reduction Project, Package -1 (Lot 1) Construction of Grid Substations and Package – 2 Construction of distribution cables

    The major objective of this project is to enhance the transmission and distribution network in the Greater Colombo area in order to strengthen transmission and distribution capacity and increase the reliability of power supply and reduce transmission losses, thereby contributing to the economic development in the region. The project which is planned to be implemented under 3 procurement packages is to be assisted with a loan amount of 15.9 billions of Japanese Yen by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, to award the contracts for the above constructions to relevant bidders as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    08. Establishment of National Salaries and Cadres Commission

    The President in his manifesto for the Presidential Election held on January 08, 2015 has given an undertaking to set in motion necessary measures to improve efficiency and raise productivity of the public service and improve living conditions and office work satisfaction of the public servants. Accordingly, theproposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, to appoint a new Salaries and Cadre Commission comprising of learned and experienced officers to broadly and formally review salary structures and cadre requirements with a view to creating a more effective and contented Public Service and formulate a salaries and cadre policy having regard to the manpower needs of the private sector in the context of the development programme to be launched by the government, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    09. Partnership Arrangement for the Sri Lankan Dairy Excellence Training Initiative

    The above arrangement aiming the transformation and strengthening of capacity ofthe Department of Animal Production and Health to deliver quality dairy extension services to the farmers in order to improve the farm productivity, is to be signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand and the Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Finance of Sri Lanka. Activities under the arrangement are to be implemented within three years with a financial assistance of NZ$ 2.5 million. Accordingly, the jointproposal made by Hon. P. Harrison, Minister of Rural Economic Affairs, to sign the above agreement, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    10. Revision of salaries of public service – 2016

    It has been decided by the budget proposals 2016 to revise the salaries of public service adding the special allowance and the interim allowance of Rs. 10,000/- given according to the election manifesto of the President, to the basic salary. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Maddumabandara, Minister of Public Administration and Management, to implement the new salary structure prepared with the recommendation of the National Salaries Commission and with the agreement of the Ministry of Finance with effect from 01.01.2016, and to issue a Public Administration Circular in accordance with that structure, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    11. Presentation of Regulations made by the Minister of Sports under section 34(1) of Convention against Doping in Sports Act No. 33 of 2013, to the parliament

    The proposal made by Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara, Minister of Sports, to present regulations published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 1950/01 dated 18.01.2016 made under the above act in the parliament for approval, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

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