02. Rationalization of Government Procurement Procedure
A Large amount from the government’s annual expenditure is spent on purchasing of various goods and services required for public such as constructions under various development schemes, purchasing of capital goods, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer subsidy, textbooks and uniforms for students. The purchasing is done according to the government’s procurement procedure and some lapses in that procedure has led to delays and disadvantages on the government. Therefore, the proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena, to appoint a committee comprising of former expert government officers to present proposals to make the government’s procurement procedure more efficient and fruitful enabling to utilize expenditure of public funds economically and to prevent frauds, corruption and irregularities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
03. Implementation of Polgahawela, Pothuhera, Alawwa Integrated Water Supply Project and Kundasale – Haragama Water Supply Project
Rapid urbanization, developing commercial activities and industrial zones have increased the need for high quality water supply projects. Accordingly, it is planned to implement the Polgahawela, Pothuhera, Alawwa Integrated Water Supply Project and Kundasale – Haragama Water Supply Project at an estimated cost of US$ 280.1 million. Polgahawela, Pothuhera, Alawwa Integrated Water Supply Project, which the water source is Ma Oya covers Polgahawela, Alawwa, Kurunegala (a part) and Weerambugedara Divisional Secretariat divisions. Kundasale – Haragama Water Supply Project with a 380 km distribution network will have the capacity to provide 50,000 connections in total covering 250,000 domestic consumers and cater to the present commercial and industrial demand of 10,000 cu.m./day. The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, to make arrangements for financing these projects, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
04. Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2015
The Minister of Finance is required to release a Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report to the public by 30th June of each financial year and thereafter to table the report in parliament as stipulated in section 10 of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 03 of 2003. The report provides updated information of the government’s fiscal position pertaining to first four months of 2015 and includes an analysis on macroeconomic situation of the country and global economic trends and also covers a detailed explanation on fiscal developments. The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, the Minister of Finance, to table the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2015 in the parliament, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
05. Pre-election Budgetary Position Report 2015
The Secretary to the Ministry of Finance is required to present a Pre-election Budgetary Position Report, containing information on the fiscal position of the economy to the public within three weeks of publication of Proclamation or Order requiring the holding of a general election for the election of members of parliament and thereafter table it in the parliament as stipulated in section 16 of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 03 of 2003. The report contains provisional figures of government revenue, expenditure and borrowing covering the first five months of 2015 and a broad fiscal outlook for 2015. The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, the Minister of Finance, to table the Pre-election Budgetary Position Report 2015 in the parliament, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
06. Review of the Government Paddy Purchase Programme – Yala 2015
The Government targets to purchase 120,000 MT of paddy in the 2015 Yala season. The two government banks i.e. Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank have granted Rs. 6 billion for the above purpose and as at 07-09-2015 the government has purchased 102,796.91 MT of paddy expending Rs. 4,653 million. Paddy purchasing programme in Polonnaruwa, Hambantota and Mannar districts are yet to be completed due to the delayed harvest. The above information presented by Finance Minister Hon. Ravi Karunanayake was considered by the Cabinet of Ministers. Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers have decided to appoint a Cabinet Subcommittee chaired by Hon. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to investigate on the purchasing of paddy in the Yala season 2015 and to make recommendations to the next meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.
07. Increasing the authorized limit on the issue of treasury bills
The parliamentary approved that the maximum borrowing limit of the government through various debt instruments is Rs. 1,780 billion. Based on that limit, the government fulfils its financial requirements through various ways such as issuance of bonds, issuance of treasury bills, and administrative borrowings. Since 2012, the limit on treasury bills has remained as Rs. 850 billion as per the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance. The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, the Minister of Finance, to increase the approved treasury bills limit from Rs. 850 billion to Rs. 1,250 billion and to present the related resolution in parliament, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
08. Tender for lightering of coal for Lakvijaya Power Station, Puttalam
The proposal made by Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga, the Minister of Ports and Shipping, to award the tender by the Ceylon Shipping Corporation for lightering of coal for Lakvijaya Power Station, Puttalam as recommended by the Procurement Appeal Board, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
09. Satellite for SAARC Countries to be launched by the Government of India
At the 18th SAARC summit held in Kathmandu, Nepal, November 2014, Heads of State / Government of the SAARC member states, including Sri Lanka, welcomed, in principle, the initial offer by India to develop and launch a SAARC satellite. The satellite will be planned, processed and launched by India as a donation to the SAARC countries and it would be located in Eastern Longitude 48 to develop the relationship and to render required services to SAARC countries. India expects to enter into bilateral agreements with each country on Orbit Frequency Coordination of the proposed satellite. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to sign the above bilateral agreement during the Indian visit of the Prime Minister, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
10. Common Programme of the National Government
The Prime Minister has pointed out the suitability of preparing a programme for the National Government based on the fruitful proposals included in policy statements of all the parties including United National Party and the United People’s Freedom Alliance which were launched at the recent general election. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers have agreed for preparation of the programme under the patronage of HE the President and the Hon. Prime Minister.