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Wednesday, 13 July 2016 15:00

DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE CABINET OF MINISTERS AT ITS MEETING HELD ON 12-07-2016 Featured

Published in Cabinet Decisions

01. Formation of an Organization for Nation Development with Civil-Military Coordination (Document No - 09)

 

The knowledge and resources of the Tri Forces of Sri Lanka can be easily obtained in nation building, and they are ready to take responsibilities in nation building mechanism. Therefore, the proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defense, to establish an organization in this regard with civil-military coordination, for obtaining the contribution of tri forces with their resources, training and strength in national development and peace process, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

02. Sri Lanka Sustainable Development Act (Document No - 10)

 

The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to publish the Sri Lanka Sustainable Development Bill in gazette and present the same in parliament for approval, which was prepared with the view of promoting and implementing the Sri Lanka’s national policy and strategy on sustainable development, establishment of the Sustainable Development Council and making other provisions on other matters, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

03. Granting a concessionary period and charges for the delay in applying for registration of transfer at the change of possession of motor vehicles (Document No - 15)

 

As vehicles are being used by new owners without registering the transfer for a long period, the government has lost a large amount of income and it has caused many difficulties to law enforcing agencies. A late fee was introduced by Motor Traffic (Fees) Regulations published in 2011 to minimize this trend, but it has not achieved its targets. The proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to grant a concessionary period of three months and a concession on the additional late fee, to encourage vehicle owners to register transfers of motor vehicles, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

04. Take over the Vocational Training Centre situated in Nilaweli, Eastern Province to the Department of Divi Neguma Development (Document No - 16)

 

The Department of Divineguma Development implements various training programs and workshop related to vocational training through training centers of the department and Rural Development Training and Research Institute in Borella. However, training programs for beneficiaries in Northern and Eastern Provinces are held in Colombo and it has caused difficulties for participants as well as the department on providing accommodation for them. Hence, the proposal made by Hon. S.B Dissanayake, Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare, to take over the above mentioned training centre in Gopalapuram area in Nilaweli of the Trincomalee District, to the department paying the government’s assessed value of Rs. 126 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

05. Infrastructure Development in Universities of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sabaragamuwa, Jaffna, Kelaniya, Colombo, Peradeniya, Uva Wellassa and Eastern University. (Document No - 19)

 

It has been planned to increase annually the students entered in universities for following degree causes in various streams by 5% and to facilitate the above objective it has been planned to improve infrastructures of above universities and to establish Faculties of Technology in Universities of Uva Wellassa, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern University. The proposal made by Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to begin the above activities using Rs. 1,369 million allocated for 2016 and to allocate relevant funds for 2017 and 2018 through the General Treasury, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

06. Implementation of the Greater Colombo Water and Waste Water Management Improvement Program Tranche -3 (Document No - 20)

 

The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to sign a loan agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the European Investment Bank, for implementation of the above program at a cost of 156 million euro, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

07. Obtaining Technical Cooperation Grant of 13 million euro form the Federal Republic of Germany (Document No - 21)

 

The Federal Republic of Germany has agreed to provide the above grant during the H.E. the President’s visit to Germany in February 2016 for implementation of the 4 projects, which are, the Project of National Park and Buffer Zone Management in Wilpattu, Vocational Training in the North and East of Sri Lanka Project, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Sector Development in Sri Lanka Project, the project for Facilitating Initiatives for Social Cohesion and Transformation. The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to enter into an agreement for obtaining the above grant, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

08. Establishment of a National Payment Platform for Digital Commerce and Ease of Digital Transactions (Document No - 22)

 

The most convenient method used by public in obtaining goods and services, is the international credit card such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. However, various reasons including its charges have discouraged the use of credit cards by majority of the public. Government institutions such as Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Inland Revenue, Department of Excise and other businessmen are less interested in using this method as the charges are increased according to the value of the transaction. The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to establish the National Payment Platform to facilitate digital commerce and digital transactions as proposed by the Committee of Senior Officials as per the recommendations made by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Finance, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

09. Relocation of Welikada Prison (Document No - 26)

 

Many of prisons in Sri Lanka are located in centers of towns and in lands of high economic value. Under the program of relocating prisons of the country, it has been proposed to relocate Welikada prison and its sub sections. The Welikada Prison Complex is comprised of four sections, and the proposal made by Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to acquire the land belongs to B.C.C Lanka Company near the Superior Courts Complex for establishment of the remand prison, which the suspects that should be presented before court frequently are being detained, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

10. Allocation of funds for development of rural infrastructure facilities and livelihood development (Document No - 30)

 

The 2016 budget has allocated Rs. 13.3 billion for the Rural Infrastructure Development Program and it is currently being implemented. The proposal made by Hon. P. Harrison, Minister of Rural Economic Affairs, to implement a pilot project for development of infrastructure and livelihood in Anuradhapura, Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa Districts aiming communities that are not covered by various infrastructure development projects, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

11. Scholarship fund for the subject stream of technology (Document No - 33)

 

The above fund established for students from low income families that are following the Technology stream, and it has received a grant of Rs. 100 million from the Asian Development Bank. The program is implemented by the Public Trustee Department. However, it has no achieved its expected objectives as a large portion of the money is spent in administrative tasks. The proposal made by Hon. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Minister of Education, to take over the money credited to the Public Trustee Department to the Ministry of Education and to allocate annual funds under a special vote in the General Treasury for continuation of the program, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

12. Construction of a new four storied building for the District Secretariat, Polonnaruwa (Document No - 40)

 

The proposal made by Hon. Vajira Abeywardana, Minister of Home Affairs, to award the contract for first phase of constructions of the above building to the lowest substantially responsive bidder as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

13. Construction of Batticaloa District Secretariat Complex (Document No - 41)

 

The proposal made by Hon. Vajira Abeywardana, Minister of Home Affairs, to award the contract for construction of a three storied building complex to the lowest substantially responsive bidder as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

14. Construction of a new five storied building for the District Secretariat, Matale (Document No - 42)

 

The proposal made by Hon. Vajira Abeywardana, Minister of Home Affairs, to award the contract for construction of a five storied building complex to the lowest substantially responsive bidder as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

15. Mid-year fiscal Position Report 2016 (Document No - 58)

 

The Minister of Finance is required to release a Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report to the public by 30 th June of every financial year and thereafter to table in parliament as stipulated in section 10 of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 03 of 2003. The proposal made by Ravi Karunanayake, the Minister of Finance, to table the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2016 in the parliament, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers and the following facts in the report were considered.

 

•    The Sri Lankan economy amidst of many domestic and international challenges has succeeded in achieving an economic growth of 5.5% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 4.4% growth in the first quarter of      2015.  

•    The income of the relevant period has increased from 19.5% in 2016 from 2015.


•    The inflation could be maintained further in single digit level.

•    Although the overall export income has decreased from 4.5% withinternational market instabilities, the flow of foreign exchange has increased through foreign workers remittances and tourism, and the import expenditure on food, petroleum products, and transport equipment has decreased causing a reduce of 2.4% of the trade deficit in first four months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

 

16. Obtaining financial assistance for implementation of Kelani Right Bank Water Supply Project Phase II (Document No - 60)

 

The cabinet has already approved the above project which includes, construction of a new water treatment plant with a capacity of 180,000 cubic meters to improve the capacity of Kelani Right Bank Water Treatment Plant, construction of main pipelines to distribute refined water, construction of a 25 km long water supply path, construction of Vii Oya reservoir and supply and installation of rubber balloons as a sea water cover. The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to issue a treasury guarantee to obtain an amount of rupees similar to 13 million euro from a domestic bank and a loan facility of Rs. 10 billion, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

17. Annual Bus Fare Revision - 2016 (Document No - 61)

 

The Committee of Intellectuals appointed to review the Bus Fares Revision policy prepared in 2002 has made their recommendations after consultation with Bus Associations and Passenger Associations. The Committee has recommended an increase of 6% it has to be implemented formally through the National Transport Commission. Therefore, Cabinet of Ministers approved to implement the bus fares revision from 01st August 2016.

 

18. Price Control for essential Food Commodities (Document No - 64)

 

Prices of essential food commodities may vary from district to district depending on the transport expenses and number of intermediaries. But the consumers have recently believed that this has occurred due to the increased VAT. Although VAT is applicable to some consumer goods, essential food commodities such as rice, sugar, dhal, big onion, potatoes, red onion, milk powder, wheat flour, dried chilies, green gram, chick peas, canned fish, chicken, sprats and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, it has been observed that essential food commodities are being sold by merchants in a high price than Sathosa outlets. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, to publish in gazette 15 selected essential food commodities according to provisions in Consumer Affairs Authority Act, and to determine their maximum retail price by the Cabinet Subcommittee on Cost of Living, and to obtain the service of 200 Graduate Trainees to the Consumer Affairs Authority and the service of security forces when necessary to regulate this price control, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

19. Memorandum of understanding between board of investment of Sri Lanka and Surbana Jurong, Singapore to establish a consultancy company (Document No - 65)

 

The government has identified the need for attracting more investments for making Sri Lanka an attractive investment destination by accurate assessment of investment potentialities of Sri Lanka. It has been identified that establishment of a government owned consultancy company is suitable to gain its entire benefits. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, to sign a MoU between the BoI, Sri Lanka and the Surbana Jurong company of Singapore which provides service in a wide range of fields including City planning and designing, development management, project management, and facilities management, for establishment of the said company, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.