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DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE CABINET OF MINISTERS AT ITS MEETING HELD ON 14-02-2017

cabinet01.    Sugar development project in Bibila (Document No – 07)


Above project is proposed to be implemented providing lands for farmers living in Rambaken Oya Special Economic Region of Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority, for uplifting their living status. The project is to be implemented as a public private partnership with a total foreign investment of USD 152.25 million and it expects to produce 80,000 MT of sugar annually. It has planned to provide 1000 direct employment opportunities and about 75000 indirect employment opportunities. It has also been planned to produce animal food and organic fertilizer as by-products and to implement a subproject for generating 20Mw electricity. The proposal presented for implementing this project by including Bibila and Medagama Divisional Secretary's Divisions, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

02.    'Swashakthi' National programme (Document No – 10)

Above programme is implemented by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs conjointly with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) for creating one million employment opportunities. It expects to grant loan facilities with commercial and regional development banks for creating 25000 entrepreneurs. Successful business plans are considered in this regard and they will be granted loans subject to a maximum of Rs. 250,000/- as a financial grant of Rs. 50,000/- and a loan of Rs. 200,000/-. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to implement this project through CBSL, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

03.    Extension of the concessionary period granted for registration of motor cycles imported illegally and circulated in market (Document No – 14)

The Cabinet has approved the registration of illegally imported motor cycles up to 450cc engine capacity subject to a surcharge charged on the engine capacity till 31-01-2017. Within this period 1558 motor cycles have been registered and around another 2500 applications have been received regarding registration. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to extend this period from another two (02) months from 31-01-2017 to 31-03-2017 enabling proper completion of the registration activities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

04.    Establishment of a national Air Transport facilitation programme and a national Air transport facilitation Committee (Document No – 15)

The Convention on International Civil Aviation has stipulated 452 standards and recommended practices which should be followed in air transport operations and Sri Lanka as a member of the convention is bound to implement these practices. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to appoint the NATFC chaired by the Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, and with the participation of other relevant officials and assign the task of preparing and implementation of the NATFP to that committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

05.    Issuing of international sovereign bonds by the government - 2017 (Document No – 21)According to the Appropriation Bill 2017 the balance outstanding of government's maximum borrowings for the financial year 2017 is Rs. 1,579.11 billion. It has been estimated that Rs. 1,480 billion is required for payment of loan instalments and interest in 2017. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to issue international sovereign bonds for obtaining funds up to USD 1,500 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

06.    A new act for National Lotteries Board (NLB) (Document No – 22)The NLB is established by the Finance Act No. 11 of 1963. It is currently maintaining nine (09) passive lotteries and two (02) instant lotteries and its income for year 2015 is Rs. 17.5 billion. The COPE has indicated the need for amending the current act in order to revoke its shortcomings. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a new act for the NLB, considering the present market trends, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

07.    Review of Cadre in public institutions - 2017 (Document No – 24)Although the public sector has been expanded as one public servant for 15 citizens, gaining of annual goals is not insufficient which has decreased the public appreciation on the public service. Moreover, there is a deficit of officers in rural areas and in some urban areas there are more than required amount of officers. In addition there are a large number of primary level employees compared to tertiary and senior level officers. Accordingly, a review on the cadre of public institutions will be done by the Ministry of Finance with the participation of Ministry of Public Administration and Management, National Salaries and Cadre Commission, and the Finance Commission, based on information gained through the circular no. 01/2017 dated 11-01-2017 issued by the Department of Management Services of the General Treasury and the cadre requirement of public service and provincial councils will be decided on its outcomes. Above information presented by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

08.    Increasing the annual aid granted to aged and ailing artistes by the department of Cultural Affairs (Document No – 25)

The Cabinet has already approved the increase of the aid provided from Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 10,000/-. Accordingly, the method for selecting eligible artistes to grant these aids was presented by Hon. S.B. Navinna, Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, was considered by the Cabinet of Ministers.

09.    Control of coconut price in domestic market (Document No – 27)

Coconut Research Institute has forecasted that the coconut harvest may decrease from 13.9% in January – August 2017 compared to 2016 and it could cause an increase in coconut price. Therefore short term strategies should be implemented to maintain the coconut price in a certain level. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries, to amend the special commodity levy as follows, enabling importation of 40,000 MT of edible oil  required for 04 months, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

i.    Reduce special commodity levy of a kilogram of coconut oil from Rs. 150/- to Rs. 130/-

ii.    Reduce special commodity levy of a kilogram of crude coconut oil/crude palm oil from Rs. 130/- to Rs. 110/-

iii.    Reduce special commodity levy of a kilogram of palm kernel and refined palm oil from Rs. 150/- to Rs. 130/-

 

10.   Project for improving efficiency and productivity of irrigation system (Document No – 28)

Above proposed project will reconstruct 80 main and medium scale irrigation schemes which have not been reconstructed since past 25-35 years and it will benefit about 98,000 agrarian families.  Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, to implement this project within 2017-2021 at a cost of Rs. 18,500 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

11.    Identification of judicial and legal reasons for minimizing congestion in prisons and prison reforms (Document No – 29)

The first report of the inter-institutional task force appointed on the above purpose has made the following recommendations.

•    Instead of imposing imprisonment use of community based corrections productively.

•    Fully implementing provisions in Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act No 4 of 1995 enabling the payment of fines as instalments instead of imposing imprisonment for those who fail to pay fines.

•    Until prosecutions are made in High Courts regarding cases which the Magistrate's Court has no jurisdiction, to continue such cases in Magistrate's Court and implement a Management Information System for preventing misplacement of files.

•    Release persons retained without prosecuting on a bond and magistrates visit to prisons once a month according to provisions of the act

•    Utilizing Police Bailing method according to provisions in Bail Act No. 30 of 1997.

•    Considering the ability of reducing death penalty to life imprisonment

•    Construction and relocation of prisons

•    Creating a suitable and secured environment for detainees and staff of prisonThe joint proposal made by Hon. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, and Hon. D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, to present the said report in the parliament, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

12.    Providing relief for those who have faced various issues due to political reasons (Document No – 30)

According to the circular no 09/2015 dated 17-04-2015 issued on the above purpose, 31,666 appeals have been received by the Ministry of Public Administration and Management. Out of them 23,093 appeals have been presented to the cabinet in 03 stages and implementation of their recommendations have been approved. The proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Maddumabandara, Minister of Public Administration and Management, to implement recommendations on another 3,440 appeals related to 06 ministries from the rest 8,573 appeals as its 04th stage through the respective administrative authorities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

13.    Sale of local stamps and associated items for foreign stamp collectors (Document No – 34)

Sale of stamps and associated items for local and foreign stamp collectors is done by the Philatelic Bureau established in 1967. Sale of stamps to foreign stamp collectors helps in earning foreign exchange and in promoting tourism industry through natural and archaeological aspects depicted in stamps. It is required to appoint foreign agents for sale of stamps to foreign stamp collectors and the proposal made by Hon. M.H.A. Haleem, Minister of Post, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs, to appoint such agents and enter into agreements with them, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

14.    Amendment to Sugathadasa National Sports Complex Authority Act No. 17 of 1999 (Document No – 36)The Sugathadasa National Sports Complex Authority provides sports facilities administrated by them on concessionary rates and use its income for their maintenance. However, its current income is not sufficient for their maintenance. Hence, the proposal made by Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara, Minister of Sports, to amend the above act enabling the authority to provide national sports complexes for activities that an income could be made such as artistic activities, seminars, and examinations, when they are not used in sports activities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

15.    Improvement of Police Hospital (Document No – 37)

The Police Hospital incepted in 1911 has to be improved to provide treatments for police officers, their family members and retired police officers. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Sagala Ratnayake, Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development, to acquire a land of 02 roods and 23.5 perches in Narahenpita, opposite the hospital, owned by UDA to Sri Lanka Police, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

16.    Procurement of food items (raw, dry rations and miscellaneous items) required for three armed forces in 2017 (Document No – 38)

The proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence, to award above contract at a total cost of Rs. 17,555 million to 28 suppliers as recommended by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

17.    Procurement of government securities trading IT infrastructure (Document No – 39)

The cabinet has already approved the procurement of above facilities and considering the complexity of the procurement and according to the recommendations of Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to call for proposals in this regard under the Two Stage Bidding, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

18.    Purchasing of 20 sniffer dogs to be deployed at BIA by Sri Lanka air force (Document No – 40)

It is important to deploy sniffer dogs that can identify explosives, firearms, drugs, money and illegal items in airports for the protection of civil aviation services. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to purchase 20 sniffer dogs and deploy them in Bandaranaike International Airport, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

19.    Purchasing new 1000 buses for SLTB (Document No – 41)

At present most of people are not confident on public transportation and use their private vehicles causing traffic congestion, traffic hazards and environment pollution. Creating an efficient and confident service may attract many of them to public transportation. Moreover, public transportation should be developed as a whole with a bus-train integrated service. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to purchase 40-46 high back seater (2x2) 900 nos. buses and 100 nos. new low floor AC buses through the Indian Line of Credit on the above purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

20.    Commencing a project for producing organic fertilizer, establishment of cooling storage facilities and generation of power (Document No – 42)

A German Company has agreed to implement the above project with several domestic companies. Under this project it is expected to establish an Organic Fertilizer Production Unit near the Kandy Waste Management Yard and within the first year produced fertilizer will be provided to Ceylon Fertilizer Company free of charge. It also expects to add 6-10 Mw of renewable electricity to national grid and reduce the amount of wasting fruits and vegetables through establishing storing facilities. The proposal made by Hon. Duminda Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, to implement this project as recommended by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

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