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    Cabinet Decisions - 22.09.2022. Featured

    September 23, 2022

    Decisions taken at meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on 22.09.2022.

     

    1. Memorandum of Understanding between General Sir John Kothalawala Defence
    University and the University of Calgary in Canada.


    The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal furnished by the Hon. President in his
    capacity as the Minister of Defence to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between General
    Sir John Kothalawala Defence University and the University of Calgary in Canada in order to
    develop cooperation in the study sectors for developing corporation in regard to matter such as
    exchange of intellects, exchange of undergraduates and post graduate seekers, conducting
    combined research activities and intern training opportunities etc, for regularizing the selected
    educational activities, teaching and research activities between the two parties.


    2. The project to strengthen the socio – economic resistance of the community
    affected by Covid – 19 pandemic in Central and Uva provinces


    Plans have been drawn to implement a project financed by the Korea International Cooperation
    Agency (KOICA) to strengthen the socio – economic resistance of the estate communities in the
    districts of Nuwara Eliya and Badulla in Central province and Uva Province respectively who
    have been affected due to Covid – 19 pandemic situations. Direct benefits will be harvested for
    72,400 individuals in 05 divisional secretariat divisions in the district of Nuwara Eliya and for
    19,350 individuals in 06 divisional secretariat divisions in the district of Badulla from this
    project which expects to be implemented under three (03) major components namely hygiene,
    health, and agriculture for a period of 04 years from the year 2022 to 2025. The United Nations
    Human Settlement Program will be performing on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka for
    implementing this project of United States Dollars 06 million which is scheduled to be granted
    by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) while all its coordination activities
    will be entrusted to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils
    and Local Governments. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the
    resolution submitted by the Hon. Prime Minister as the Minister of Public Administration,
    Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Governments to sign a tri – lateral discussion
    report agreement among the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Ministry of
    Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Governments and the
    Department of External Resources in order to implement the proposed project.


    3. Assisting programme for consolidated rural development in the backward districts
    of central and Uva provinces


    The European Union has granted Euro 30 million to implement the assisting programmes for
    the consolidated rural development in the most backward districts in the central and Uva
    provinces and the agreement in regard to that has been signed on 16.03.2016. Accordingly, the
    project period of this project is scheduled to be ended on 15.06.2024. However, delays in
    implementing the project matters have been experiences due to the Covid – 19 pandemic
    situations and the economic crisis prevailed within the country during the previous period.
    Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal furnished by the Hon. President as
    the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies in order to extend the
    period of project implementation as well as the valid period of the donor agreement up to
    15.06.2025.

     

    4. Accessing the protocols pertaining to amendment of statute 50 (a) and article 56 of
    the International Civil Aviation Convention (Chicago Convention)


    Sri Lanka has agreed to amend the protocols relevant to the amendment of statute 50 (a) and
    article 56 of the International Civil Aviation Convention (Chicago Convention) at the 39 th
    assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Provisions will be furnished to
    escalate the number of members of the Council from 36 to 40 by amending statute 50 (a) while
    the membership can be escalated from 19 to 21 of the Air Navigation Commission by amending
    the 56 th article. By now, 60 stakeholder states have agreed these two protocols and those
    protocols will be effective from the date 128 th Instruments of Ratification is placed.
    Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution submitted by the
    Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation to ratify the said two protocols by Sri Lanka as a
    stakeholder state.


    5. Accord on mutual legal assistance related to criminal matter between the
    Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives.


    The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal furnished by the Minister of Justice, Prison
    Activities and Constitutional Reforms to enter into an accord in relation to mutual legal
    assistance with regard to the criminal matters between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri
    Lanka and the Republic of Maldives to enable avoiding constrains confronted while carrying
    out combined investigations as well as develop mutual relationships between the two countries.


    6. Import of maize for the production of animal food.


    The annual requirement of maize for manufacturing animal food is approximately 600,000
    metric tons while a dire scarcity prevails for maize within the market. Although permits have
    been issued to import 225,000 metric tons of maize prior to 31 st December 2022 through food
    production companies and animal food raw material marketers, only 38,000 metric tons have
    been imported by the end of June due to the shortage of foreign exchange. The price of a
    kilogram of maize in the local market has been escalated up to Rs. 220/- by now leading to the
    escalation of animal food as well resulting in the price hike of chicken and eggs too. It has been
    observed of an impending crisis in the animal husbandry sector in the future due to those
    engaged in poultry farming tend to sell eggs without breeding and stepping out of poultry
    farming. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the resolution furnished by
    the Minister of Agriculture to grant permission to the Food Processing Board to import 25,000
    metric tons of maize or any other suitable grains required for manufacturing animal food,
    recommended by the Department of Animal Production and Health.


    7. Amendment of National Transport Commission ACT. No. 37 oF 1991


    An amended Bill is being prepared by legal draftsman for the revision of National Transport
    Commission ACT No. 37 of 1991 in accordance with the previous approval granted by the
    cabinet of ministers. It has been recognized that it is appropriate to further amend the National
    Transport Commission Act No. 37 of 1991 by including provisions for the issuance of relevant
    policies, regulations and guidelines for passenger transport three wheelers, school van/bus,
    office transport services which are currently increasing. Accordingly the cabinet of Ministers

    approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Transport and Highways to include the said
    regulations to the Bill currently being prepared by the legal draftsman.

     

    8. Introducing a Broadcasting Authority Act for Electronic Media


    A basic law to regulate the content of television, radio and new media is currently not in force
    in Sri Lanka. As a result, sometimes different parties have to face different problems in issuing
    licenses to such media and while broadcasting audio-visual content by such media. Recently,
    various problems have arisen in the country due to the unethical way in which certain media are
    promoting hateful ideas among the people. Therefore, the Minister of Mass Media has proposed
    to introduce a new Broadcasting Law to create a media culture that is accountable to the public
    and to introduce a code of conduct for the electronic media, while protecting the utmost
    freedom of speech and expression and taking into account the ongoing changes in technological
    as well as legal fields. The cabinet of Ministers, taking in to account the proposal made by the
    minister, decided to appoint a cabinet subcommittee chaired by the Minister of Justice, Prison
    Affairs and constitutional Reforms to submit appropriate recommendations for this.

    9. Importation of Glyphosate for agricultural purposes


    The government’s policy decision to ban/restrict the importation of Glyphosate has led to a fall
    in all types of agricultural production as well as an increase in market prices of essential food
    items. Considering that situation, recommendations have been made that it is appropriate to use
    Glyphosate for all agricultural activities according to the need, enabling agricultural activities to
    be carried out in a more effectively in the 2022/23 Maha season. Accordingly the cabinet of
    ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. President to take necessary steps to enable
    importation of Glyphosate essential for agricultural activities for a period of 6 months.


    10. Revision of restrictions on import of agricultural inputs


    It has become difficult to import essential agricultural applications in time, due to the
    country’s foreign exchange crisis, problems in opening letters of credit, as well as restrictions
    related to the prepayment system. For this reason, agriculture has faced a severe crisis.
    The importers of agricultural applications have pointed out to the government that because each
    order related to the import of agricultural inputs needs to be approved by several institutions, the
    imports are delayed and incur additional costs. Accordingly the cabinet of ministers approved
    the proposal presented by Hon. President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic
    Stabilization, and National Policies to increase the existing prepayment limit of USD 50,000 to
    USD 250,000 in importing identified agricultural seeds, agro chemicals and chemical fertilizers.


    11. Procurement for the selection of appropriate insurance companies to provide
    insurance coverage for Sri Lankan expatriate workers


    Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers has been given on 17.05.2021 to invite international
    competitive bids for selection of suitable insurance companies to provide insurance for Sri
    Lankan expatriate workers. The proposed insurance does not cost government money and the

    employer providing employment to the Sri Lankan expatriate workers should provide the said
    insurance through an insurance company recommended by the Government of Sri Lanka. The
    Cabinet Appointed Procurement committee has accordingly recommended 6 insurance
    companies out of 9 that submitted proposals in this regard. The cabinet of Ministers approved
    proposal presented by the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment to authorize the Foreign
    Employment Bureau to enter into formal agreements with said insurance companies


    12. Restriction on Foreign Visits of Ministers and Ministers of State


    Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. President to limit the foreign
    visits of Cabinet Ministers and State Ministers to essential functions only and to limit the
    participants for such visits, only to the most essential official or a group consisting of a few
    essential persons for the management of the respective visit. The proposal was made with the
    aim of reducing state expenditure considering the difficult economic conditions Sri Lanka is
    currently facing.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last modified on Friday, 23 September 2022 19:33

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