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    Cabinet Decision on 04.07.2022 Featured

    July 05, 2022

    Decisions taken at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on the 04.07.2022


    1. Re – instituting the Cabinet Sub Committee on Cost of Living and establishment of the food
    security committee.


    The Cabinet of Ministers approved the resolution furnished by His Excellency the President to re –
    instituting the cabinet sub – committee on cost of living in order to recommend policy and practical
    resolutions to the Cabinet of Ministers to maintain the cost of living at a stable position. Accordingly,
    the composition of the cabinet sub – committee on cost of living will be as follows.
     His Excellency the President - (Chairman)
     Hon. Prime Minister
     Hon. Minister of Fisheries
     Hon. Minister of Transport and Highways
     Hon. Minister of Agriculture
     Hon. Minister of Plantation Industries
     Hon. Minister of Electricity and Power
     Hon. Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security
    Furthermore, approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted to appoint the Food Security
    Committee with the Hon. Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security as the chair and the
    participation of the Secretaries of the relevant Ministries.


    2. Optional measures to avoid the current shortage of Ammonium Nitrate explosives used in
    various industries within the countries.


    The authority to import / store and distribution of Ammonium Nitrate explosives required for cement /
    water gel / emulsion production industries and granite explosions entrusted with the Sri Lanka State
    Trading (General) Corporation (STC). At present a shortage of Ammonium Nitrate explosives exists
    within the country due to the scarcity of foreign exchange and the failure to supply those raw materials
    by the supplier who supplied them on long term basis to the Sri Lanka State Trading (General)
    Corporation (STC). A considerable impact on the industries utilizing those chemicals has occurred due
    to this. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution submitted by His
    Excellency the President as the Minister of Defence for taking necessary actions to import Ammonium
    Nitrate explosives to the country immediately with the mediation of the Ministry of Defence as a short
    – term remedy for this issue.

     

    3. Signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) for enhancing the defence cooperation between the Ministry of
    Defence of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Defence of the
    Republic of Indonesia


    It has been proposed to establish an inter – institutional cooperation methodology for enhancing the
    defence cooperation between the Ministry of Defence of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri
    Lanka and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia. In order to initiate negotiations for
    the purpose the government of Indonesia has proposed to sign a letter of intent (LOI) between the two
    countries while the clearance for the draft letter of intent has been given by the Attorney General.
    Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution submitted by His Excellency the
    President as the Minister of Defence for signing the letter of intent (LOI) mentioned above.


    4. Extradition treaty between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the State of
    United Arab Emirates.


    An extradition treaty has been signed between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the
    State of United Arab Emirates in 2014 in order to strengthen the judicial corporation in the extradition
    sector. The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution submitted by His Excellency the
    President as the Minister of Defence for the ratification of the extradition treaty by revising provisions
    mentioned in section 5 (1) of the same to cater the legal systems of both countries, and to submit the
    treaty to the Parliament subject to the provisions of the Extradition law No 8 of 1978 thereafter


    5. Japanese grants programme for Human Resources Development Scholarships


    The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) programme for human resource development
    scholarships has been introduced in 2010 by the Government of Japan in order to grant human
    resource development scholarships for providing opportunities to study post graduate degree courses
    for officers in the executive grade of the state sector. Under the programme, 195 scholarship
    opportunities for studying post graduate courses and 10 Doctor of Philosophy courses were granted so
    far. It has been agreed to grant Japanese Yen 282 million (approximately rupees 761 million) for the
    year 2022 under that programme. The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal furnished
    by the Hon. Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stability and National Policies to
    sign the exchange letters in the regard.


    6. Establishment of a divisional office under the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stability and
    National Policies to assist the Director of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank


    The board of directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is comprised of non – residential
    directors while they represent 12 divisions consist of one or more states / countries. Sri Lanka who is a
    opening member represent the 11th division of the bank. While Indonesia being the main shareholder
    in that division, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Eastern Timor are the other member
    countries. According to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between those states in

    2016, the Directorate and optional Directorate relevant to that division is circulated among the states.
    Accordingly, the opportunity for holding the office of the directorate and chairing the division within
    2022-2024 period is bestowed to Sri Lanka and a Deputy Secretary to the General Treasury has been
    nominated to the office. It is important that Sri Lanka received the office at this this hour and required
    facilities have to be supplied for the director board level functions, since the board of directors of that
    bank functions a non – residential board of directors. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved
    the proposal furnished by the Hon. Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stability and
    National Policies to establish a divisional office of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank under the
    Ministry of Finance, Economic Stability and National Policies to.


    7. Establishment of a flight training institute at the airport of Batticaloa


    Although Sri Lanka Air Force and the Road Development Authority has developed the Batticaloa
    airport as a local air tours destination in the year 2018, the airport does not generate any revenue at
    present since it is toll free of landing and parking charges. It has been observed that the airport space is
    suitable to be utilized for other productive purposes considering the above fact. Accordingly,
    Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal submitted by the Minister of
    Ports, Naval and Civil Aviation for invitation of competitive resolutions to establish a flight training
    academy in the airport of Batticaloa.


    8. The International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and their Families – Sri Lanka Civil
    Aviation Authority


    The governing board of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has decided to nominate the
    20 th February of each year as the International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and their
    Families at their 5 th meeting held at the session 224. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted
    approval to the proposal submitted by the Minister of Ports, Naval and Civil Aviation for declaring 20 th
    February each year as the international day commemorating air crash victims and their families
    adhering to the above decision.


    9. Agricultural Crop Programmes implemented by the Department of Prisons and the
    Rehabilitation Commissioner General’s Bureau.


    The Department of Prisons has planned to implement an agricultural crop programme called
    ‘Sarusaara – Sipirigein Govibimata’ (Prosperous – from prison cell to agricultural field) with the
    intention of contributing the labour of the prison inmates to the agricultural development of the
    country by considering their labour as a human resource to the country instead of stationing them
    within the prison cells. The objective of this programme is to cultivate agricultural crops that generate
    maximum productivity within the outdoor prisons under the guidance of the Department of
    Agriculture and fulfill the food requirement of the prison inmates from the production harvested from
    them.

    Apart from that, agricultural development programmes have already been inaugurated under 03
    rehabilitation centres maintained by the Rehabilitation Commissioner General’s Bureau for
    rehabilitating of drug addicts and it has been planned to obtain 1000 acres of non – irrigated lands
    belong to the Mahaveli Authority and National Livestock Development Board in the areas of
    Kandakadu and Nawasenapura in eastern province for extending those activities further to cultivate
    maize in 500 acres from that while grains, vegetable, and fruits native to the region in the other
    remaining land extent with the labour of the rehabilitation. The Cabinet of Ministers considered the
    information tabled by the Minister of Justice, Prisons and Constitutional Reforms regarding the above
    programmes.


    10. Streamlining the Casino Industry in Sri Lanka


    Provisions have been imposed by Casino Business (Regulation) Act No. 17 of 2010 and the Betting
    and Gaming Levy Act No. 40 of 1988 for regularizing the Casino industry in Sri Lanka. Licenses
    should be given to maintain Casino businesses within Sri Lanka by Act No. 17 of 2010 but no
    provisions to empower the act have been issued up to now that no Casino industry has been issued
    licenses under the said act up to now. Under such circumstances, it has been difficult to recover
    relevant levy from either of the entities engaged in Casino industry. Therefore, the Cabinet of
    Ministers granted approval to the proposal submitted by the Hon. Prime Minister as the Minister of
    Finance, Economic Stability and National Policies to issue orders under the Casino Business
    (Regulation) Act No. 17 of 2010 with the intention of regularizing such industries and recovering
    levies due for the government, and to take measures to introduce appropriate amendments to the
    Betting and Gamin Levy Act No. 40 of 1988


    11. Amendment to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No 2 of 1996


    It has been identified that the Aquatic Resources Act No 2 of 1996 currently in force should be
    amended to enforce agreements to which Sri Lanka is bound regionally and internationally and to
    introduce provisions for the sustainable management and conservation of fisheries and aquatic
    resources. Accordingly the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of
    Fisheries to advice the legal draftsman to prepare a bill for the amendment of the Aquatic Resources
    Act No 2 of 1996 to suit the present requirement.

    12. Amendment to the Civil Procedure Code (Chapter 101) (Repeal of chapter LXVI)


    Cabinet Approval has been granted on 27.09.2021 to draft a separate bill to introduce a special
    procedure for Small Claims Courts and to repeal the Chapter LXVI of Civil Procedure Code
    containing procedural provisions relating to Small Claims Courts taking into account the amendments
    made to the Judicator Act No.2 of 1978. Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal
    presented by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms to publish the said bill
    in the Government Gazette and thereafter present the same in Parliament for approval.

    13. Small Claims Courts Procedure Act


    Cabinet approval was granted on 14.06.2021 to introduce a separated special procedure foe Small
    Claims Court. Attorney General’s clearance has been given for the bill prepared by the legal draftsman
    for this purpose. Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the
    Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms to publish the said bill in the
    Government Gazette and thereafter present the same in Parliament for approval.

    14. Judicature (Amendment) Bill


    Cabinet approval was granted on 14.06.2021 to amend the Judicature Act No.02 of 1978 to establish
    Small Claims Courts with separate laws and introducing special procedure of Small Claims Courts.
    Attorney General’s clearance has been given for the bill prepared by the legal draftsman for this
    purpose. Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of
    Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms to publish the said bill in the Government Gazette
    and thereafter present the same in Parliament for approval

    15. Revision of High Court of the Provinces (Special Provisions) Act No.19 of 1990


    Cabinet Approval was granted on 27.09.2021 to amend Section 5 (A) of the High Court of the
    Provinces (Special Provisions) Act No.19 of 1990 to include the words “Small Claims Court”.
    Attorney General’s clearance has been given for the bill prepared by the legal draftsman for this
    purpose. Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of
    Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms to publish the said bill in the Government Gazette
    and thereafter present the same in Parliament for approval,

    16. Presentation of the Appropriation Bill (Amendment) for the year 2022 in Parliament


    Normal livelihoods have been affected due to exchange rate depreciation, rising inflation and
    shortage of essential commodities like fuel, gas and electricity. Also, it has affected the sectors like
    agriculture, transportation, industries and exports and has made people's life in a very uncomfortable
    situation. Based on this situation, the Cabinet l of Ministers, at the meeting held on June 6, 2022 has
    approved to present a new budget for the year 2022. taking into account all the relevant facts the
    Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Prime Minister in his capacity as the
    Minister of Finance, Economic Stability and National policies to revise the budget estimates adopted
    by Appropriation Act No. 30 of 2021 for the year 2022 and to submit the bill prepared by the legal
    draftsman and cleared by the Attorney General, after publication in the Government Gazette, to the
    parliament for approval.

    17. Write-off of unpaid loans taken by paddy farmers


    The economic crisis in the country caused by the Easter Sunday attack and the subsequent Covid 19
    epidemic situation is further intensifying. In general, it is directly and indirectly affecting every field.
    The situation is difficult for the farmers who are about 30% of the total population. Farmers have to
    face further difficulties due to the decision to resort to organic fertilizers instead of chemical
    fertilizers. Due to this situation, the farmers have defaulted in repayment of loans taken for paddy
    cultivation. Banks have classified those loans as non-performing loans. Due to this reason, many
    farmers may be ineligible for the loans required for paddy cultivation in the upcoming season.
    Therefore, it is essential to provide relief to them through the intervention of the government.
    Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Prime Minister in his
    capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stability and National policies to waive off the
    principal loans taken from the government banks for the cultivation of paddy on land of two hectares
    or less.

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