December 04, 2021
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    Decisions taken at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on 27.09.2021

    September 28, 2021

     

    Decisions taken at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on 27.09.2021

     

    1. The agreement entered into between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
    and the Kingdom of Bahrein for releasing those possessing diplomatic, special and
    official passports from obtaining Visa permits.


    Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted on the 07 th May 2019 to enter into an agreement
    between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Bahrein for releasing
    those possessing diplomatic, special and official passports from obtaining Visa permits. However,
    it has been unable to sign the applicable agreement during the precise period. Therefore, the
    Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution submitted by His Excellency the President
    as the Minister of Defence for entering the said agreement between the two countries.

     

     

    2. Establishment of a board of trustees for performing maintenance activities and
    administrative activities of Sanda Hiru Seya stupa.

     


    The Sanda Hiru Seya stupa of 282 feet and 6 inches in hight being built in commemoration of and
    as alms to the patriots and the civilians who sacrificed their lives in winning the brutal terrorism
    that existed more than 30 years is being built in Anuradhapura under the sole supervision of the
    Ministry of Defence. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by His Excellency
    the President as the Minister of Defence for the appointment of a board of trustees for performing
    maintenance and administration activities and to establish a trust for collecting and maintaining the
    donations by local and foreign devotees in regard to the sacred Stupa after the completion of
    construction work of the Stupa.


    3. Getting heart surgeries done for the children suffering from heart diseases from
    Amritha Medical Institution (Amritha Hospital) situated in Cotchi, India.


    Approximately 3,000 children in this country are born with heart diseases every year and 1,500 –
    2,000 out of them require surgical treatment. Although such children are directed to Lady
    Ridgeway Hospital in Colombo from most of the hospitals in the island, the hospital is equipped
    with only performing approximately 900 surgeries per annum. Therefore, until necessary actions
    are taken for providing sufficient facilities for surgical theatres and cardiological emergency
    treatments under the Little Heart project in operation at the moment, the International Rotary
    Club, 3201 district in India and the Colombo West Rotary Club RID 3220 have agreed to
    implement a joint project under Rotary funds for a period of two years for facilitating to perform
    complex cardio surgeries for children at the Amritha Medical Institution (Amritha Hospital)
    situated in Cotchi, India with the intention of redressing the jam existing in regard to cardio

     

    surgeries. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal furnished by the Minister
    of Health to sign a memorandum of understanding between, the International Rotary Club, 3201
    district in India, the Colombo West Rotary Club RID 3220 and the Ministry of Health in order to
    implement the relevant programme.


    4. Removal of sand, soil and organic substances from small / medium scale reservoirs in
    order to enhance the hydro catchment capacity.


    A programme is being implemented at present to renovate 5000 rural reservoirs and tanks in order
    to strengthen rural agricultural economy. It has been the main request from the farmers engaged in
    agricultural activities to excavate and increase the capacity of the reservoirs by removing eroded
    soil, aquatic vegetation, and weeds as well as the debris stagnated along the banks of the reservoirs
    and extracted since a long time. In order to perform this, slits from these reservoirs should be
    extracted and transported while so extracted and excavated substances can be utilized for ceramic /
    clay industry, sand excavation, production of organic fertilizer and road development etc as raw
    materials. Therefore, the Government will be able to earn an income without any cost by letting
    the entrepreneurs extract these raw materials with a control over the process while enhancing the
    capacity of the reservoirs. Since the technical staff of the Department of Agrarian Services is not
    sufficient, it has been planned to obtain assistance from the institutions namely National
    Machinery Institute, State Development and Design Corporation, Central Engineering Services
    (Pvt.) Limited and Maganeguma. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the
    resolution furnished by the Minister of Irrigation to obtain assistance of the private sector for
    removing debris stagnated within the reservoirs in a profitable way to the government under the
    supervision of the Department of Agrarian Services with the participation of the private sector, for
    cleaning 2000 reservoir beds for the next 03 years under the Ministry of Irrigation and to take
    necessary actions for escalating the capacity of those reservoirs accordingly.


    5. Allocation of plots of lands from regional industrial parks for the establishment of
    industries.


    Regional industries development programme is a main programme implemented with the objective
    of promoting industries at regional level. Selecting investors for this is carried out followed by a
    total evaluation of project proposals by ‘regional industries services committee’ initiated under the
    Industries Promotion Act No. 40 of 1990 and the ‘Ministerial Project Evaluation Committee’
    appointed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Industries. Accordingly, evaluating and studying 24
    project proposals by the above committees, it has been recommended to allocate plots of lands
    from 10 industrial parks for the implementation of those projects. The Cabinet of Ministers
    approved the proposal furnished by the Minister of Industries for allocating plots of land on the

     

    basis of long - term lease for 35 years to the relevant investors / entrepreneurs subject to the said
    recommendations.


    6. Provision of the land called Weheragodawatte in the divisional secretariat division of
    Weeraketiya, in the district of Hambantota to Sri Jinarathana Educational Institute
    for agricultural vocational training activities on lease basis.


    The land in extent 131 acres 2 roods and 29 perches and called Weheragodawatte in the divisional
    secretariat division of Weeraketiya, in the district of Hambantota is entrusted / transferred to Land
    Reforms Commission. The land with a unattended futile coconut cultivation was requested by the
    governing board of Sri Jinarathana Educational Institute for agricultural vocational training
    activities. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to the resolution tabled by
    the Minister of Lands for awarding the land to Sri Jinarathana Educational Institute on long term
    lease for 30 years.


    7. Attracting aviation companies to inaugurate time bound aviation operations to
    Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport (MRIA).


    The Cabinet of Ministers approved the resolution submitted by the Minister of Tourism to release
    the airport immigration tax for two (02) years from the date of inauguration of the operations by
    international aviation companies and to award discounts for the next 04 years on landing and
    parking charges with the objective of promoting Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport (MRIA)
    operations,


    8. Submission of the Appropriation bill for the financial year 2022 to the Parliament


    Approval was granted for drafting the appropriation bill for the financial year of 2022 at the
    meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on the 26 th July 2021. Accordingly, clearance of the
    Attorney General has been received for the draft bill prepared by the Legal Draftsman. The
    Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution furnished by the Minister of Finance to
    publish the draft bill in the gazette notification and thereby table the same in the Parliament.

     

    9. Products and supplies of Organic fertilizer and natural mineral and Chelated plant
    micronutrients


    Cabinet approval has been granted on 31 st May 2021 to import organic fertilizers and natural
    minerals and Chelated plant micronutrients for the Maha season 2021-2022. Accordingly,
    arrangements have been made to import organic fertilizer required for paddy cultivation by
    government fertilizer companies and to supply stocks of organic fertilizer required for other crops

     

    by licensed fertilizer companies at competitive prices. Accordingly, cabinet of ministers approved
    the Proposal made by Minister of Agriculture to import the stocks of organic fertilizer required for
    other crops by the two Government Fertilizer Companies enabling to supply be organic fertilizer
    required for other crops at competitive prices without any delay.


    10. Amendment of Dangerous Employment Orders under Women, Young Persons and
    Children Employment Act.


    Women, Young Persons and Children Employment Act was introduced to regulate the
    employment of women, young persons and children and to ensure their job security. The minimum
    age for employment of children has been raised to 16 years from January 2021. The Minister of
    Labor has issued a Dangerous Employment Order in accordance with the amendments made to the
    Employment of women, young persons and children amended Act No. 24 of 2006 following the
    ratification of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Minimum Age Convention.
    Accordingly, 51 hazardous jobs have been introduced for young people between the ages of 16-18
    and employing them for such jobs has been declared a punishable offense by law. The orders,
    which was introduced about 10 years ago, has been further reviewed and identified 20 new
    periodically hazardous jobs, including domestic service, beauty culture and jobs related to
    computers and electronics. Accordingly, legal draftsman has drafted regulations expanding the list
    of hazardous jobs to 71. The cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon.
    Minister of Labour to submit the draft regulations to Parliament for approval and to publish the
    amended orders in the Government Gazette.


    11. Amendment of 1990 No 19 High Court of the Provinces ( Special Provisions) Act


    Cabinet approval was given on 14.06.2021 to introduce of new laws to make provisions for
    special procedure of Small Claims Courts and to amend the Judicature Act No. 2 of 1978
    securing provisions required to establish Small Claims Courts. The need has been identified to
    amend Section 5 (a) of the Act to include the Small Claims Courts in the list of Primary Courts
    mentioned in the Provincial (Special Provisions) Act, No. 19 of 1990 in order to be able to comply
    with the new law and the proposed amendment. Accordingly, the cabinet of ministers approved
    the proposal presented by Hon. Minister of Justice to advise legal draftsman to prepare a bill to
    amend the said act.


    12. Amendment to Civil Procedure Code (Chapter 101)


    It has been identified an incidental Amendment should be done to replace Chapter LXVI of the
    Civil Procedure Code to make provisions as the introduction of a special procedure with regard to

     

    Petty Rights Sessions. Accordingly, Cabinet approved the proposal made by the Minister of
    Justice to advise Legal Draftsman to prepare a Draft Bill to amend the Civil Procedure Code.

    13. Amendment to Civil Procedure Code (Chapter 101)


    Although new provisions have been introduced to the Civil Procedure Code in 2017 about the
    ‘Prior Hearing System’, in order to speed up actions regarding Court cases and minimizing the
    time in hearing Court cases, the anticipated objectives have not been fulfilled.  Therefore, it has
    been identified that further amendments are needed to be introduced to the ‘Prior Hearing System’
    to enabling to get fulfilled the aforesaid objectives. Accordingly, in compliance with the
    recommendations made by the Committee appointed by the Minister of Justice after studying the
    relevant factors to establish ‘Prior Hearing and Petty Rights Sessions’, the proposal submitted by
    the Minister of Justice to amend the Civil Procedure Code, and prepare a Draft Bill in that regard
    by the Legal Draftsman was approved by the Cabinet.


    14. Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act No.15 of 1979


    Approval has been made to prepare a Draft Bill to amend the Criminal Procedure Code No. 15 of
    1979 during the Cabinet meeting held on September 28, 2020, thereby, on occasions where
    specific opportune factors are in place, to make entries of new provisions to Clause 144a to not
    necessitate producing a suspect or accused physically before a Magistrate with the aim of
    extending an order with regard to taking the suspect into remand custody, and to make an entry of
    provisions to Clause 241a to not necessitate producing a suspect or accused physically before a
    Magistrate when a certain Case is being heard or Actions are being taken before a High Court
    against an accused. Accordingly, the relevant Draft Bill has been prepared by the Legal
    Draftsman, and clearance of the Attorney General has been obtained for it. The proposal made by
    the Minister of Justice to gazette the aforesaid Draft Bill and subsequently to table it in parliament
    was approved by the Cabinet.


     15. (Special Procedure) Act of recovering possession of Leased out Complexes.


    Taking into consideration renting property complexes, development of rented complexes and the
    impact on the national economy due to such acts, to recover the possession of complexes given on
    Lease basis, to impose new laws, a preliminary Draft Bill has been prepared by the Legal
    Consultative Committee on House Rent appointed by the Minister of Justice. By imposing the

     

    proposed law, the delays in legal procedures that caused in Court cases on General Rent and
    Eviction Cases will be prevented by making redress to the Lessors under a systematic procedure
    within a short period of time. Accordingly, the proposal made by the Minister of Justice to advise
    Legal Draftsman to prepare a Draft Bill in that regard was approved by the Cabinet.

     

    16. Amendments to Rent Act No.7 of 1972.


    Although Rent Act No.7 of 1972 was introduced with the intention of fulfilling the needs of
    shelter for the poor and protect the poor tenants, and as the provisions of the Act have been
    outdated, the housing sector, rented complexes as well as such property transactions have been
    intimidated with unfavourable effects. Therefore, it has been identified that the aforesaid Act
    needs to be amended to cater to the needs of the current requirements. An interim report on the
    Amendment of the Rent Act has been submitted by the Legal Consultative Committee on House
    Rent. Accordingly, to amend the Rent Act by including the amendments proposed by the aforesaid
    Committee, and the proposal made by the Minister of Justice to advise Legal Draftsman to prepare
    a Draft Bill in that regard was approved by the Cabinet.


    17. Existing rice scarcity in the market


    The attention of the Cabinet has been drawn to the shortage of rice that is currently prevailing in
    the local market. Taking the present situation into consideration, to supply sufficient stocks to
    consumers without scarcity, the Cabinet decided to import 100,000 metric tons of rice to maintain
    a buffer stock under the Government custody. Simultaneously, the Cabinet decided to cancel the
    prevailing maximum controlled prices of rice with immediate effect.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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