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    Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting held on 09-03-2016 Featured

    March 10, 2016

    01.Ecosystems Conservation and Management Project (ESCAMP)


    Though Sri Lanka has been graded as a biodiversity hot spot, the ecosystem and the biodiversity of the country has encountered a severe threat. Guiding Sri Lanka to a sustainable development that conserves and manages the environment is a major objective of the government. This projects aims at strengthening the capacity of public institutions and public for development of hotspot ecosystems by demonstrate a sample on elephant-man coexistence and sustainable use and conservation of natural resources. The proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, toimplement the above project from 2016-2021 with a loan of US$ 40 million granted by the World Bank and Rs. 473 million spent by the Government of Sri Lanka, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    02. Issuing Passenger Permits of the Expressway


    A tender procedure has been introduced in 2005 for selection of operators for issuing passenger permits of the expressway. Under that procedure,bidders who submit the highest value will be issued permits and hence normal bus operators were unable to provide services in the expressway. Accordingly, an Officer Committee has been appointed for making recommendations on an alternative method. Recommendations of the committee were implemented with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. A Cabinet Subcommittee has been appointed to review the above procedure and to submit recommendations. The proposal made by Hon. NimalSiripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to implement the recommendations of the Cabinet Subcommittee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    03. Implementation of the Pre-paid Card System for Public Transportation


    Information technology solutions are wide spread for the qualitative improvement of public transportation. Electronic charging system becoming popular at rapid pace. The main positive feature of electronic charging system is its ability to charge the fixed fee from the passenger and to direct the due income to the bus owners very accurately. Also the issues such as not possessing coins can be easily avoided. The proposal made by Hon. NimalSiripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to implement a electronic charging system through prepaid cards with the cooperation of Information and Communication Technology Agencyof Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Transport Board, National Transport Commission, private bus owners, public banks and IT companies, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    04. National Expressway Authority Bill


    The proposal made by Hon. LakshmanKiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to publish the above bill in the gazette, drafted for establishment of an authority known as National Expressway Authority for the constriction, management, development, maintenance and operation of expressways in Sri Lanka, for ensuring the environmental friendly, safe, and efficient movement of vehicles on such expressways and to specify the powers and functions of the said authority, and to present the same in parliament for approval, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    05. Investment in the “Commonwealth Small States Trade Financing Facility”


    During the CHOGM 2015 held in Malta the Commonwealth and the Governments of Sri Lanka, India, Mauritius, and Malta had announced setting up of a new fund as “Commonwealth Small States Trade Financing Facility” to help to boost trade and investment flows, particularly for small and developing countries of the Commonwealth. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to invest US$ 1.5 million in this fund as an anchor investor, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    06. Financial Assistance for the implementation of Anuradhapura Integrated Urban Development Project


    Anuradhapura is a part of Sri Lanka’s ‘cultural triangle’ and has a particular importance due to its former capital status, high significance of its archaeological remains and its importance in the Buddhist pilgrimage in the country. It is the economic and administrative hub of North Central Province as well as a renowned cultural and tourist destination for both Sri Lankans and foreign tourists. Currently 51,000 inhabitants are residing in the Anuradhapura city area and it is expected that a strong urban growth and demographical expansion will take place in the upcoming years. Under the Strategic Cities Development Project of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development it is proposed to promote a balance mode of co-development between the sacred and modern parts of Anuradhapura City while preserving its cultural and natural heritage. Improvement in urban drainage network, public transport facilities, traffic management, and public space enhancement are expected to be done under this project. Therefore, the proposal made by Hon. PataliChampikaRanawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to implement the above project, and the proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to obtain a loan facility of 52 million euro from the AgenceFrancaise De Developpement for the said project, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    07. Implementation of Small and Micro Industries Leader and Entrepreneur Promotion Project III – Revolving Fund Loan Scheme


    The above loan scheme will grant loans for Small and Medium scale entrepreneurs engaged in production of import substitutes, value added goods with modern technology, with the view to uplift the high yielding industries within macroeconomic framework of the government who are not covered by other loan schemes. With the request of beneficiaries and participatory credit institutions the proposal made by Hon. RishadBathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, to increase the maximum loan amount up to Rs. 25 million under the category of Genera; Loan Scheme and to grant 100% refinance to the Participating Credit Institutions, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    08. Allocation of land at Kaluthara to the Kaluthara Bodhi Trust for a public car park


    The Kaluthara Bodhi Trust has requested the Urban Development Authority to acquire the land called Diyambathalawa situated in between the two bridges of Kalu river of Galle Road at Kaluthara for the expansion of the existing public car park for the pilgrims arrive daily to Kaluthara. The proposal made by Hon.PataliChampikaRanawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to duly entrust the above land of 33.75 perches to the Kaluthara Bodhi Trust, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    09. Obscene Publications Bill


    It is extremely important to safeguard our children from ill effects of exposure to obscene publications. Provisions, stipulated in the Penal Code and Obscene Publications Ordinance of 1927, are inadequate to deal with current social context. The proposal made by Hon. (Dr.) Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to draft a new Obscene Publications Bill to prevent use of children for pornographic material, keep pornographic contents related to children and to prevent children being exposed to explicit contents, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    10. Obtaining Allocations for the payment of compensation for the acquisition of lands for the second stage of the Hambantota Port Project


    The second phase of the above project is in its final stage of completion and the joint proposal made by Hon. ArjunaRanatunge, Minister of Ports and Shipping and Hon. SagalaRatnayake, Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development, to obtain allocations to pay compensations for acquired land on the above purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    11. Allocation of 25% of the provisions earned by projects running for development of rural economy for women


    According to the recommendations of the Cabinet Subcommittee appointed to make recommendations on the above matter, the proposal made by Hon. ChandraniBandara, Minister of Women and Child Affairs, to allocate at least 25% of investments in rural economic development for women, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    12. Ratification of United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts: Amendments to Electronic Transactions Act No. 19 of 2006


    The above convention was signed by Sri Lanka on 07 July 2015 and Sri Lanka was the second country in Asia and the first country in South Asia to ratify the same. Objective if the convention is to solve practical issues occurred in use of electronic communication in international contracts. The proposal made by Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, to amend the Electronic Transactions Act No 19 of 2006 to enable the implementation of the above convention in Sri Lanka that would help in promoting Sri Lanka as an investment hub for electronic commercial activities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    13. Construction of the New Courts Complex, Matara


    The court complex Matara is housed in buildings which are over a hundred years located within Matara Fort. All courts including Civil Appellate High Court, a Provincial High Court, three District Courts, two Magistrate’s Courts and a Labour Tribunal are required to be located in a single space and a suitable land is being identified in Kotawilawatta, Matara. In addition to above courts, a Children’s Magistrate Court, a Commercial High Court, a bank, post office, restrooms and a library for lawyers, Community Correction Office, Legal Aid Office, and a Family Counselling Office are to be added to the new courts complex. The proposal made by Hon.(Dr.) Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to construct the above courts complex at a cost of Rs. 1,119.5 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


    14. Extension of the Government of Sri Lanka Agreement on Colombo Port City Development Project


    Above project has been suspended from February 2015 with occurred environmental issues and a comprehensive environmental impact assessment has been called. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has recommended allowing resumption of the project subject to limitations and conditions stipulated in the EIA report. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister RanilWickremesinghe, to extend the project agreement for a further period of six months from 15 March 2016, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    Last modified on Thursday, 10 March 2016 14:57

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