October 26, 2020
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    Cabinet Decisions -2020-10-05 Featured

    October 06, 2020

    Decisions taken at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on 05.10.2020

    1. Issuance of orders on maintenance of ‘Special Deposit Accounts’ under the
    Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017.


    Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted at their meeting held on the 08 th April 2020 for the issuance of orders under the foreign exchange act No. 12 of 2017 for the opening and maintenance of contemporary deposit accounts named ‘Special Deposit Accounts’ in order to deposit money remitted into the country across the banking system for a period of 06 months, with the objective of encouraging the influx of foreign exchange into the country. Accordingly, the valid time of the orders issued is scheduled to be ended on the 07 th October 2020 and therefore, the following recommendations have been furnished by the financial board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to enable the foreign exchange remitted to Sri Lanka as per the above orders to be retained within the country for a further period.

     Payment of interest rates applicable to general term deposits to the ‘special
    deposit accounts’ too that are renewed and maintained after the maturity of the
    deposits.
     Permit to transfer the income generated at the maturity of the ‘special deposit
    accounts’ to respective accounts within Sri Lanka.
     The income of the special deposit account maturity of those ineligible (non -
    government organizations, guarantor companies etc,) for opening foreign
    currency accounts although resided within Sri Lanka, to be credited to a Sri
    Lankan Rupee account on the basis of non - remittance to account away from Sri
    Lanka in the future.
    Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Hon. Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance for the declaration of new orders in terms of section 7 to be read with the section 29 of the Foreign Exchange Act in addition to the orders published in the gazettes extraordinary No. 2170/4 of 08.04.2020 and No. 2182/32 of 01.07.2020 in regard to special deposit accounts and the submission of the said orders to the Parliament for the approval.

     

    2. Amendment of Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance (139 th Authority) of No.
    19 of 1934


    It has been mentioned that the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance of No. 19 of 1934 would be amended to take measures to escalate the amount of compensation eligible to be paid to the employees during an accident, under the theme of ‘A Workmen Culture for the Country’ declared in the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour.

    Accordingly, the Legal Draftsman has drafted a bill to amend the applicable provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance for increasing the amount of compensation paid to the employees encounter accidents and experience damages whereas it has been observed that the said bill should be further amended due to the following reasons.
     Increase of the fine of Rs. 1,000 that can be imposed in terms of the provisions
    prevailing to the date at the instances in which an employer does not furnish
    compensation statement to the Commissioner of Compensation in regard to a
    particular accident caused to an employee in terms of section 42 of the
    Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance.
     Amendment of the schedule 4 of the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance that
    emphasize of the compensation amounts to suit the current circumstances as
    follows:
    i. The minimum monthly salary applicable for the payment of
    compensation from rupees 0 to rupees 2,500/- prevailing at present to be
    increased from rupees 0 to rupees 10,000/-.

    ii. Amendment of the maximum monthly salary applicable for compensation
    existing from rupees 20,001/- to be increased from rupees 100,000/-
    iii. The death compensation from rupees 181,665/- to 550,000/- paid at
    present to be increased from rupees 1,140,000/- to rupees 2,000,000/-.
    iv. The compensation paid at a compete discrepancy from rupees 196083.80
    to 550,000/- paid at present (based on the salary) to be increased from
    rupees 1,200,000/- to rupees 2,000,000/-.
    v. The temporary compensation from rupees 1,320/- to 5,500/- paid at
    present to be increased from rupees 5,000/- to rupees 47,500/-
    (depending on the bi - monthly salary).

     Assigning the compensation recovery process of confiscating the property to the
    Fiscal / Registrar attached to the office of the Commissioner of Compensation in
    order to accelerate the compensation process.
     Introduction of a new labour compensation insurance scheme

    Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers have given their consent to the proposal submitted by the Minister of Labour for further amendment of the draft bill prepared already by the Legal Draftsmen with a view to enable including the above amendments too.

    3. Obtaining financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank for the
    quality development of the secondary Education in the government schools.


    Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted at their meeting held on the 01 st April 2020 for obtaining a loan of United States Dollars 400 million for the Education sector from the Asian Development Bank in order to implement result - oriented programmes.

    Accordingly, plans have been drawn to invest the said amount in the following fields.

     Secondary Education curriculum and the evaluation methodology to be subject
    to extended amendments.
     Develop a cluster of fully - fledged secondary schools with facilities at divisional
    secretariat level and ensure the access to quality secondary Education
    opportunities for all the children.
     Increase of national schools up to 1,000
     Upgrade the colleges of Education to the standard of awarding degrees.
     Increment of student performance levels across the assurance of teacher balancing and teacher supply.
    The Cabinet of Ministers has granted their consent for the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Education for the implementation of the above investment project of United States Dollars 400 million mentioned above during the 2020 - 2025-time frame across the relevant institutions with a view to implement the Educational reforms adhering to the national policy statement ‘The Vistas of Splendour’.

     

    4. Allocation of plots of land from the regional industrial zones for the
    establishment of industries.


    The project evaluation committee of the Ministry of Industries has recommended the allocation of plots of land as follows to ten investors for 10 project proposals, based on the recommendations furnished by the regional industrial services committees.
     Four (04) project proposals for Buttala industrial zone;
     Two (02) project proposals for Laksha Uyana industrial zone;
     One (01) per each of the industrial zones of Nalanda Ellawala, Puttlam,
    Karandeniya and Bata - Atha;
    An investment of rupees 1,144 million is scheduled to be utilized under the proposed projects while approximately 555 new employment opportunities will be generated due to this.
    Accordingly, the resolution submitted by the Minister of Industries for allocation of plots of land on the basis of rent for 35 years was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

     

    5. Extension of the measures for granting relief for tourism during the post
    COVID - 19 pandemic period.


    Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has taken measures to allocate a provision of rupees 186 million subject to the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers for granting relief to the tourist guides and tourist drivers lost their living due to COVID - 19 pandemic yet registered under Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and already the steps have been taken to grant relief for the tourist guides and tourist drivers from that amount.

    The Cabinet of Ministers have granted their approval for the proposal submitted by the Minister of Tourism for awarding the said relief to the following groups as well engaged in business in the tourism field.
     Payment of a one - time sum of rupees 15,000/- per person allowance for the tourist drivers / tourist bus drivers and helpers / tuk tuk (three wheelers) drivers as well as the Safari vehicle drivers trained either under the supervision of Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority or any other tourist associations and applied for the concession as at 31.08.2020.
     Payment of a one - time sum of rupees 20,000/- per person allowance for the tourist guides registered under Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority and trained by the Provincial Councils.

    6. Construction of Public Library Building Complex, Batticaloa


    Cabinet approval has been granted on 11.09.2018 to complete the ground floor work of the Public Library building of the Batticaloa Municipal Council and National Competitive Bids have been called accordingly. The cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon.Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Urban Development and Housing to award this contract to Focus Marketing and Engineering Pvt. Ltd for Rs. 214.07 Million (without vat) upon the recommendation of cabinet appointed standing procurement committee.

    7. Procurement for the supply of Concentrated Monoclonal purified and
    detergent treated dried factor VIII fraction 200 IU-350 IU Vials


    Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Minister of Health to award the contract of purchasing 85,000 vials of Concentrated Monoclonal purified and detergent treated dried factor VIII fraction 200 IU-350IU to treat haemophilia patients in the year 2021, to M/s Baxalta GmbH Switzerland for USD 5.185 million with the total cost and freight, as recommended by the cabinet appointed standing procurement committee.


    8. Procurement for supplying 160,000 pre-fill 0.4ml Syringe of Enoxaparin
    Sodium 4000 IU


    Cabinet approval has been granted on 08.01.2020 to award this contract to M/s ABC Pharna Services (Pvt) Ltd. Accordingly, the relevant order has been issued
    to the supplier on 24.02.2020. The need for another 160,000 syringes from the same drug has been confirmed. As per the recommendations of the Standing Procurement Committee, the contract to supply the 160,000 syringes of pre-fill 0.4ml Syringe of Enoxaparin Sodium 4000 IU was awarded to the same supplier, M/s ABC Pharna Services (Pvt) Ltd. Accordingly, at a cost of Rs. 126.96 million was approved by the cabinet of ministers.


    9. Construction of Import Air-Cargo Terminal at Bandaranayake International
    Airport – Phase 1


    Cabinet approval has been granted on 07.05.2019 to initiate the procurement process for the construction of Import Air-Cargo Terminal at Bandaranayake International Airport – Phase 1. Competitive bids have been called accordingly and considering the recommendation of Procurement Appeal Board the cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Minister of Tourism to
    award this contract to Nawaloka Constructions Ltd for Rs.2.37 billion.

    10. Presentation of the Appropriation Bill for the Fiscal year 2020 in parliament.
    Cabinet approval has been granted on 19.08.2020 for drafting the Appropriation Bill of the financial year 2020. Accordingly, the total recurrent expenditure for the financial year 2020 is estimated as Rs. 2692 billion and the capital expenditure is estimated as Rs. 1846 billion.
    Those estimated provisions include the following provisions:
     Provisions allocated by the two Vote on Accounts previously passed by
    Parliament.

     Provisions for Estimated Expenditure for the Year 2020 approved by the
    President in terms of the Article 150(3) of the Constitution.
     Provisions for the accounting of Rs. 211 billion spent for the year 2019 but has
    not been accounted
    Accordingly, the Attorney General's clearance has been received for the Appropriation Bill drafted by the legal draftsman for the Fiscal Year 2020. The cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Finance to publish this appropriation bill in the parliament and then table in the parliament for approval.


    11. Presentation of the Appropriation Bill for the fiscal year 2021 in parliament.


    Drafting of the Appropriation Bill for the Fiscal Year 2021 was approved by the Cabinet on 16th September 2020. Accordingly, the total recurrent expenditure for the financial year 2020 is estimated as Rs. 2.690 billion and the capital expenditure is estimated as Rs. 2,216 billion. The Attorney General's clearance has been received for the Appropriation Bill drafted by the legal draftsman. Accordingly, the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Finance to publish this appropriation bill for the year 2021 in the parliament and then table in the parliament for approval.

    12. Purchasing School Uniform Materials – 2021


    It was decided at the Cabinet meeting on 28.09.2020 to purchase the required school uniform materials for the year 2021 from the local textile manufacturers and to expedite the procurement process commenced accordingly. Accordingly, the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Minister of Education to award the contract for the production, cutting and packaging of school uniforms materials and distribution to the Divisional Education Offices in accordance with the relevant specifications of the Standing Procurement Committee appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers.to Vanguard Industries(Pvt)Ltd, Dankotuwa Viewing Mills, Prabha Tex Industries and Creative Textile Mills (Pvt)Ltd.


    13. Number of students assigned to one class in a school


    The principals follow the guidance in the circulars issued by the Ministry of Education on the admission of pupils to grade one. Moreover, admitting of pupils to grade 06 of national and provincial schools based on cut off marks of the Scholarship Examination and admitting of pupils to advanced level classes based on qualifications of Ordinary Level Examinations are conducted by relevant principals.

    Additionally,   according to the circulars 37/2008 and 33/2019, pupils enroll to intermediate classes with the agreement of school principals. As per the groups who change the residence due to transfers, arrive from abroad, elect to the parliament, Judges in Service, Government Specialist Doctors , Government Medical Officers, employees of the Ministry of Education, schools and allied departments, University Lecturers and Executive Officers, SriLanka Education Administration and Teaching Educationist Services are eligible to enroll students to intermediate classes.

    Moreover, groups who were being to the unfairness  during the admission process of pupils and qualifying by the investigations regard on that, being pupils with special needs and stay in social welfare centers are eligible to enroll to intermediate classes. The Cabinet of Ministers granted the approval for the proposal tabled by the Minister of Education in order to revise the existing procedure of admission of pupils and to introduce a more transparent procedure which enables to increase the number of pupils that could be admitted per a classroom by taking into account the high demand that prevails to admit pupils in such    manner.


    14. Temporary Cancellation of diving permits  issued   to collect   Sea Cucumbers
    and Conch Shells.


    The Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources issues a particular diving permit to collect Sea Cucumbers and Conch Shells in the western coast of Jaffna peninsula. Accordingly, the diving teams engage in such activities while residence temporarily on the coast of the area.
    It has been reported that some divers who have obtained permits for this purpose are abusing the permits and engaging in illegal rackets with Indian fishermen who engage in fishing by trawlers in the maritime boundary. Therefore, It has been observed that there is a huge threat to spread the Covid 19 pandemic among the people of Jaffna peninsula. As per the Cabinet of Ministers granted the approval for the proposal tabled by the Minister of Fisheries for temporary cancellation of diving  permits  issued to collect Sea Cucumbers and Conch Shells

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