02. Amendment to the Percentage of License Duty Charging from Hotels, Restaurants and Lodging Houses registered under Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority for the purpose of Tourist Development Act - the proposal made by Hon. A.L.M. Athaullah, Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft amending legislation for the relevant provisions of the Municipal Councils Ordinance, Urban Councils Ordinance and Pradeshiya Sabha Act, enabling to levy a specific license duty of 0.5% in lieu of up to 1 % license duty presently levied by Local Authorities from Hotels, Restaurants and Lodging Houses registered under the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority, was approved by the Cabinet.
03. Agreement between University of Peradeniya and Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation (NORAD) for receiving a grant on "Institutional capacity building in water management and climate change adaptation in selected countries in Asia" - the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation (NORAD) has launched a programme in 2013 to stimulate South-North Collaboration in the fields of Higher Education and Research (the NORHED) Programme. The purpose of this programme is to strengthen the capacity of Higher Education Institutions in low and middle income countries. The University of Peradeniya has been selected in 2013 for funding by NORHED programme for the post-graduate programmes in Water and Environmental Engineering and a Memorandum of Understanting (MoU) has been Signed between NORAD and the University of Peradeniya. 37% of the grant (NOK 6,730,482) will be utilized by the University of Peradeniya and University of Jaffna for 65 local and foreign scholarships / fellowships programmes. Approval of the Cabinet was granted for signing of the MOU as proposed by Hon. S.B. Dissanayake, Minister of Higher Education and to proceed with the activities relating to the above.
04. Ofticial Visit by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Seychelles - a delegation led by H.E. the President paid an official visit to Seychelles on an invitation extended by H.E. the President of Seychelles recently. The leaders of the two countries had held extensive discussions followed by delegation-level talks on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interests. H.E. the President of Seychelles had also assured his country's fullest assistance for Sri Lanka's application for membership in the Vanilla Islands Organization in which Seychelles is an active member state, to promote tourism among Indian Ocean Islands. The two leaders, after the bilateral discussions had jointly declared open the Sri Lanka High Commission, Branches of the Bank of Ceylon and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation in Seychelles. The above information was furnished to the Cabinet by Hon. (Prof.) G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs and covering approval of the Cabinet was also granted for the following Agreements concluded during the visit which comes under the purview of the Ministry of External Affairs:
* establishment of Sri Lanka - Seychelles Joint Commission on Cooperation (ICC); and
* Agreement on Bi-lateral Political Consultation.
05. SAARC Agreements on Implementation of Regional Standards; and Multilateral Arrangement on Recognition of Conformity Assessment - Cabinet granted approval for signing of the above two Agreements as proposed by Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Technology and Research.
06. Amendments to the Tea Control Act, No.51 of 1957 - the proposal made by Hon, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Plantation Industries, to amend the above Act by incorporating provisions for the Minister in-charge of the subject to make regulations on refuse tea and refuse tea transport, conviction for an offence under the Act and punishment for such offences etc., and to increase the maximum amount of fine to be imposed on a person found guilty of an offence under the Act from Rs.50,000/- to Rs.500,000/- and for compounding of an offence from Rs.I0,000/- to Rs.500.000/-., was approved by the Cabinet.
07. Keglle Town Development Project - the Urban Development Authority has identified the following two projects to be implemented very early in the Kegalle Town:
* development of a Super Market Complex to be implemented in a vacant land abutting the newly constructed Nidahas Mawatha in Kegalle and the project is to be funded through pre-sale of shops. It is proposed to entrust the construction work to the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB); and
* shifting of the Bus Depot presently located in the heart of Kegalle Town, to a location at Paragammana identified by the Urban Development Authority, The General Treasury has already allocated Rs.428.0 million for the project. It is proposed to entrust the contract of drainage improvement and land filling of the new site to the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLR&DC).
The above proposals made by H.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence and Urban Development, was approved by the Cabinet.
08. Construction of a Building for the Faculty of Science - University of Kelaniya - the proposal made by Hon. S.B. Dissanayake, Minister of Higher Education, to award the above tender as recommended by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC), was approved by the Cabinet.
09. Construction of a New Hostel for the Mechanical Training Centre of the Department of Agriculture at Anuradhapura - considering the proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Minister of Agriculture, to construct a new Hostel for the Mechanical Training Centre of the Department of Agriculture at Anuradhapura, Cabinet granted approval to implement the project under the Skills Development Plan (2014-2020) already prepared and in association with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development.
10. Construction of a New Hostel for the Mechanical Training Centre of the Department of Agriculture at Anuradhapura - considering the proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Minister of Agriculture, to construct a new Hostel for the Mechanical Training Centre of the Department of Agriculture at Anuradhapura, Cabinet granted approval to implement the project under the Skills Development Plan (2014-2020) already prepared and in association with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development.
11. 67th Independence Day falling on 4tb February 2015 - the proposal made by Hon. W.D.J. Seneviratne, Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs to appoint a Ministerial Committee under the Chairmanship of Hon. D.M. Jayaratne, the Prime Minister and Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs and consisting of several Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament, to prepare the programme and make necessary arrangements for the 67th Independence Day celebrations to be held on 4th February 2015, was approved by the Cabinet.