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DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE CABINET OF MINISTERS AT ITS MEETING HELD ON 26-07-2016 Featured

July 27, 2016

 01. Productive use of government funds for foreign travel (Document No - 06)


It is the duty of all public representatives and public officers to act with thrift and responsibility in expending government funds. Accordingly, instruction circulars have been issued to all public institutions. However, it has been observed that some public representatives as well as officers are engaged in foreign travels as groups especially in provincial councils and local government institutions neglecting these instructions, using public funds and foreign grants. Therefore, considering the need of expending foreign grants and foreign loans in a productive manner, the proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, to prepare a suitable method on foreign travels of public representatives and public officers, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


02. Concessionary taxes for commercial lands leased under state lands ordinance (Document No - 12)


Under the provisions of the State Lands Ordinance, for lands which are leased for thirty (30) years under the long-term lease scheme, the tax is calculated according to the market value calculated by the Chief Assessor and the tax rate is increased in 50% in every five years. In renting state lands for commercial enterprises the tax rate remains a high value causing many difficulties to small and medium scale entrepreneurs. Considering above facts the proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to prepare a concessionary taxation method for leasing state lands, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers


03. A dollar credit line of us$ 318 million from the Government of India for the development of Sri Lankan Railway Sector (Document No - 14)


India has already granted loan facilities of about US$ 966 million for the development of the Sri Lankan railway service and they have been utilized in improving northern and southern railway lines and to purchase engines and power sets. During the Sri Lankan visit of the Indian Prime Minister in 2015, he has agreed to grant a further loan of US$ 318 million for the improvement of the railway. This loan amount is expected to be utilized in improving the signal system from Maho to Anuradhapura and Anuradhapura to Omanthai, and to purchase 06 power sets with AC carriages, 10 engines, 30 wagons with oil tanks, 20 container carrying wagons, and 160 carriages. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to enter into an agreement with the EXIM Bank of India to obtain the said loan, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


04. Establishment of Wildlife Control Units (Document No - 15)


Numerous long term and midterm steps have been planned to end the wild elephant- human conflict but it will take a considerable time to gain outputs by implementing these steps. Hence, there should be an arrangement to minimize damages caused by wild elephants. Moreover, there should be a program to minimize the damages caused by animals such as leopards and crocodiles and vice versa. The cabinet approval has already been granted to establish Wildlife Control Units to act in incidents related to wild animals – human conflict as a short-term measure covering all wildlife zones that such incidents are frequently reported. According to the recommendations of the Committee of Officials appointed in this regard the proposal made by Hon. Sumedha G. Jayasena, Acting Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, to establish 05 wildlife control units swiftly as a pilot project and to review their progress to continue the establishment of the rest wildlife control units, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


05. Establishment of an Independent aircraft accident investigation bureau (Document No - 18)


It is essential to establish an independent institution to investigate aircraft accidents in each country that are members of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Sri Lanka is also a member of the convention. Its objective is to improve the security of aviation services, prevent possible accidents in the future, and to make recommendations for the improvement of aviation services by identifying factors for such incidents. According to the Civil Aviation Act No. 14 of 2010 the power to investigate on aircraft accidents occurred within the Sri Lankan territory is vested with the Civil Aviation Authority. According to the responsibility bound by the above convention the proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to draft legislations to establish the Independent Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau to act in this regard, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


06. Obtaining funds for the construction of a building complex for the National Institute of Social Development in Seeduwa (Document No - 20)


National Institute of Social Development is the only public institution that educates on social work in Sri Lanka. It conducts qualitative courses with practical trainings. Currently about 1500 students are following 17 full time courses with many difficulties in a space of about 70,000 square feet. It is not sufficient conducting courses, maintaining office activities and providing welfare services for teachers and students. Therefore according to the recommendations made by the Committee of Officials appointed in this regard, the proposal made by Hon. S.B. Dissanayake, Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare, to construct a building of about 100,000 square feet as the first phase of project for constructing a building complex for the National Institute of Social Development, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


07. Project to upgrade and popularize Science, Technology, and Engineering and Mathematics education in schools (Document No - 22)


It is expected that 65% of future occupations will be related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education. However, in Sri Lanka only 30% of students study the above streams. This value is much low compared to the world job market. Hence, the proposal made by Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Science, Technology and Research, to implement the above project with the association of the Ministry of Education and other relevant ministries for upgrade and popularize above fields among students and to improve the teaching process, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


08. Construction of two-storied paediatric ward complex at provincial general hospital - Ratnapura (Document No - 27)


The Ratnapura Provincial General Hospital is the largest hospital that provides tertiary services in the Sabaragamuwa Province and it renders services to adjoining provinces too. However, there exists only one paediatric ward with 68 beds. The Paediatric Ward is always overcrowded due to directly admitted patients as well as patients transferred from surrounding hospitals. The proposal made by Hon. (Dr.) Rajitha Senarathne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to construct a two storied building with funds donated by donors at an estimated cost of Rs. 70 million for addition of 116 additional beds to the ward and to provide the rest facilities by the government, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


09. Enter into Memorandum of Understanding to improve the National Eye Bank of Sri Lanka (Document No - 28)


According to data of the World Health Organization, corneal blindness is the forth key reason for blindness. This could be cured by transplanting the cornea. Currently about 10 million patients suffer from corneal blindness worldwide and the lack of cornea supply for transplantation is a major barrier to eradicate corneal blindness. The National Eye Bank of Sri Lanka plays a major role in eradicating corneal blindness from Sri Lanka. National Eye Bank of Sri Lanka is the only eye bank in Sri Lanka that has obtained the acknowledged certificate of standards and suits international medical standards. It also follows all the ethics that should be followed in eye tissue transplantation. Asian Cornea Foundation and a non-profit global health organization called Sight Life Institution have extended their support in providing technical assistance and training opportunities for the National Eye Bank of Sri Lanka. The proposal made by Hon. (Dr.) Rajitha Senarathne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to enter into memoranda of understanding with these organizations with the objective of developing the National Eye Bank of Sri Lanka, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


10. Implementation of English Language training at the Sri Lanka German Training Institute, Kilinochchi and Satellite Centers in the Northern and Eastern Provinces (Document No - 31)


Vocational Training Project for Northern and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka is being implemented under grants and aids of the Government if Germany with the view of developing demand based vocational training in Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Sri Lanka German Training Institute established in Kilinochchi under the above project was declared open by H.E. the President recently and it is scheduled to commence training courses of National Vocational Qualification 4, 5 and 6 levels. Moreover, providing access to NVQ 1 to 3 15 Satellite Vocational Training Center will be established in Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz of Germany and German International Cooperation Agency has extended their support on improving English Language proficiency of the students in the Sri Lanka German Training Institute and the said Satellite Vocational Training Centers. The proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training, to enter into relevant memoranda of understandings in this regard, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


11. Establishment of an incubator and technology transfer centre at Makadura (West) Industrial Estate (Document No - 32)


Establishment of an incubator and technology transfer centre at Makadura (West) Industrial Estate is to be done as an amalgamated project of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka and National Enterprise Development Authority. This will facilitate the start-ups to obtain basic facilities and business ideas. Therefore the proposal made by Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, to establish an incubator and technology transfer centre at Makadura (West) Industrial Estate (at an estimated cost of Rs. 46.5 million) and to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding between the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka and the National Enterprise Development Authority, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


12. Construction of Commercial Complex and By-pass road at Gampola (Document No - 34)


The Gampola town in the Kandy District covers an area of 5.18 km 2 and it has been planned by the Urban Development Authority to develop the Gampola town with the view of providing required qualitative and quantitative facilities for the public and to reduce the traffic congestion. It is expected to construct an alternative by-pass road and a commercial complex to reduce the traffic congestion as the first phase of this project. The proposal made by Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to acquire a land owned by the Department of Railway to the urban development Authority for the above constructions, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


13. Asian Food and Agribusiness conference of the Asian Productivity Organization to be held in Sri Lanka (Document No - 37)


The Asian Productivity Organization was established based on Japan in 1961 with the view of improving the productivity of industrial and agricultural fields. 20 countries in the Asia Pacific region including Sri Lanka have obtained its membership. It has decided to hold an Asian Food and Agribusiness Conference in Sri Lanka from 02nd to 05th August 2016 under the theme “Innovation for enhancing the productivity and sustainability of enterprises in agribusiness and food industry” The proposal made by Hon. Duminda Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, to host the said event, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


14. Obtaining provisions for the payment of salaries before restructuring Janatha Estate Development Board, Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation and Elkaduwa Plantations Limited (Document No - 39)


Above institutions are being planned to be restructured due to the loss incurred by them and being become a burden to the treasury. The proposal made by Hon. Kabir Hashim, Minister of Public Enterprise Development, to obtain provisions from the General Treasury to pay salaries of the employees of these institutions, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


15. The International Year of Shelter for the Homeless – 1987 (Document No - 40)


According to a proposal made by the late Ranasinghe Premadasa the then Sri Lankan Prime Minister as well as the Minister of Housing, at the 35th session of the United Nations General Assembly the year 1987 has been declared as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless for resolving issues of homeless people in the world. In line with that Sri Lanka with cooperation of several developing countries has implemented several human settlement projects. The proposal made by Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing and Construction, to commence development of several modal villages and reawakened villages in selected districts on 01 January 2017, to declare open selected human settlement projects and to organize some commemoration events to mark the 30th anniversary of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


16. Establishment of the New Villages Development Authority for Plantation Region (Document No - 47)


The proposal made by Hon. Palani Thigambaram, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft legislation to establish the New Villages Development Authority for Plantation Region for joining the relevant communities with the national stream by developing their social, economic, cultural and infrastructures as recommended by the Task Force appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


17. Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Canada in relation to the National Languages Equality Advancement Project (Document No -48)


The National Languages Equality Advancement Project is to be implemented with the view of promoting coexistence, dialogue and official languages among ethnic groups in Sri Lanka as a five year project from 2017. The proposal made by Hon. Mano Ganeshan, Minister of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages, to sign a MoU between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Canada for the implementation of the above project utilizing the grant of Canadian Dollars 11.2 million by the Government of Canada, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


18. Construction of a New Building for District Secretariat Kaluthara (Document No - 50)


Kaluthara District in the Western Province is consisting of 14 Divisional Secretary Divisions and 762 Grama Niladhari Divisions and a population of 1,217,374. The District Secretariat which about 1,100 employees are serving is situated in a 45 years old building and its space is not adequate for the staff and public. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Vajira Abeywardana, Minister of Home Affairs, to construct a new building adjacent to the existing building with the renovations to the existing building at an estimated cost of Rs. 110.3 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


19. Construction of a new four storied building for Divisional Secretariat Kaluthara (Document No - 51)


Kaluthara Divisional Secretary Divisions is consisting of 87 Grama Niladhari Divisions and a population of 159,225. The Divisional Secretariat is currently situated in the second floor of the Kaluthara District Secretariat and the lack of space has cause difficulties to its staff as well as the public. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Vajira Abeywardana, Minister of Home Affairs, to construct a separate building for the Kaluthara Divisional Secretariat at an estimated cost of Rs. 180 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


20. Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Political consultations between the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (Document No - 56)


The proposal made by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to sign the above MoU during the political consultations at the level of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs scheduled to be held in Colombo from 3-4 August 2016, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


21. Request for a Treasury Loan to the State Engineering Corporation (Document No - 58)


The proposal made to issue a treasury bond to obtain a loan for the State Engineering Corporation to obtain working capital to discharge numerous contracts assigned by public institutions as recommended by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


22. Proposed activities to rehabilitate the assets damaged by landslides caused due to intensive rainfall experienced during may 10 to 17 in 2016 (Document No - 61)


The intensive rainfall from 10 to 17 May 2016 experienced by the Kegalle District has caused serious damages to all Divisional Secretary Divisions including Aranayake. 151 lives were lost and 34,833 victims of 9,620 families were affected by landslides. H.E. the President has instructed to establish normalcy in the lives of people, at a special District Coordinating Committee Meeting held at Kegalle Town Hall. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management, to reimburse damages of 1,845 partially damaged houses by the National Insurance Trust Fund, to build 1682 new houses at a cost of Rs. 2,018.4 million for 1682 houses recommended by the National Building Research Organization including fully damaged 230 houses, to provide Rs. 200 million for 500 house owners as Rs. 400,000 each for house owners expecting to build houses in their private lands, to name prohibited areas for settlement the areas which were identified as high risk areas, and to entrust the responsibility of providing instructions on security measures to be followed in constructing house to the National Building Research Organization, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 13:36