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DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE CABINET OF MINISTERS AT ITS MEETING HELD ON 04-04-2017

cabinet01.    Improvement of Marine rescue services (Document No – 10)

 

 

According to international conventions regarding air and marine transportation signed by Sri Lanka a 'Marine Rescue Coordination Centre' should be maintained. This responsibility is currently born by Marine Shipping Secretariat and they have assigned the task to Sri Lanka Navy.

It has been proposed to implement an infrastructure improvement project for the above Coordinating Centre with the partnership of Merchant Shipping Secretariat, Sri Lanka Air Force and Coast Guard Department. Its main centre will be established in Colombo, and Secondary Centre will be located in Hambantota. Subunits will be located in 07 strategically important places, i.e. Galle, Trincomalee, Point Pedro, Mollikulam, Arugambay, Batticaloa, and Kallarawa. The proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence, to commence this project in 2017 and to complete within 04 years, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

02.    Government local office costs of United Nations Development Programme (Document No – 11)

UNDP works closely with Sri Lanka since 1967. Sri Lanka contributes USD 150,000 as the combined voluntary subscription and USD 39500 as expenses for UNDP office. As Sri Lanka was classified as a middle income country in 2014 from a low middle income country Sri Lanka should settle a due of USD 1.182 million at 31-12-2016. The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to implement the proposal made by UNDP to implement identified development programmes using that money instead of repaying the due amount, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

03.    Development of Colombo city as a cultural hub in south Asia (Document No – 12)

More than 2 million tourists have visited Sri Lanka in 2016 and 70% of them arrive with the purpose of recreation and 25% for visiting their relatives or friends. Although there is a potential in attracting tourists by our traditional cultural aspects only 1% of tourists arrive in Sri Lanka with religious and cultural aspects. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to appoint a committee of senior officials for taking necessary action for developing Colombo city as a performing and exhibition hub in South Asia for promoting domestic arts and cultural elements, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

04.    Rehabilitation of 20 national highways through domestic contractors using domestic funds (Document No – 14)

About 7900 km of highways of a total length of 12210 km of highways have been already rehabilitated and about another 4300 km are to be rehabilitated. It has been planned to rehabilitate 20 highways of A and B classes with a total length of 564.53 km at an estimated cost of Rs. 58 billion within the next 03 years. Considering the importance of capacity development of local contractors and the ability to use domestic funds through local banks, the proposal made by Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to call for proposals from interested local companies under the Swiss Challenge procurement method, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

05.    Implementation of Kandy tunnel construction project (Document No – 15)

It has been proposed to construct a 4 lane roadway which comprises of tunnels of total length 4.36 km and 1.2 km long roadway connecting Tennekumbura and Suduhumpola for reducing the traffic congestion in Kandy town. Estimated cost is USD 252.30 million. Economic Development Cooperation Fund of Korea has agreed to provide financial facilities of USD 199.27 for the project. The proposal made by Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to implement this project and to authorize the Department of External Resources to negotiate regarding regulations and conditions of the loan, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

06.    Purchasing of a land for future development activities of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (Document No – 17)

About 11557 students study in 07 faculties of the USJ. It has been planned to purchase surrounding buildings and lands for its development activities. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to purchase a land of 377.5 perches owned by a private party using a portion of earnings of the university and government funds, for Rs. 481.31 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

07.    Establishment of a new vocational training centre in Panadura (Document No – 22)

About 9000 students annually leave schools after sitting for OL and AL examinations in Kalutara District but only 1785 can be enrolled to training centres of Vocational Training Authority. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training, to establish a new vocational training centre in Panadura area at an estimated cost of Rs. 370 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

08.    MoU among member states of Indian Ocean Rim Association for promoting small and medium enterprises (Document No – 24)

At the second IORA ministerial economic and business conference it was decided to sign the above MoU. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, to sign on behalf of Sri Lanka to this MoU, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

09.    Programme to utilize uncultivated paddy fields for the promotion of freshwater aquaculture activities (Document No – 25)

Aquaculture currently contributes 13% to the total fresh water fish production of Sri Lanka. It has been identified that many uncultivated paddy fields in wet and dry zones are suitable for aquaculture and it could increase the production by 10000 MT and earn an additional income of Rs. 2500 million. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, to use suitable uncultivated paddy fields in this regard after a proper feasibility study, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

10.    Amendment to Assistance to and protection of victims of crime and witnesses act no. 04 of 2015 (Document No - 26)

The proposal made by Hon. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to publish in gazette and present in parliament for approval the bill drafted to amend the above act making provisions to enabling victims and witnesses to give evidences from outside the country through audio visual media, without being present at the courts, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

11.    Importation of 20000 dairy heifers (Document No – 31)

Under the above project first stock of heifers will be received by Sri Lanka on 17 May 2017. They will be provided for farmers to a concessionary price and required funds will be provided by Central Bank of Sri Lanka under a relief loan scheme. Beneficiaries for the first stage of the programme have been selected and the project should provide employment opportunities for at least two samurdhi beneficiaries in a farm with minimum of 10 heifers. Above proposal made by Hon. P. Harrison, Minister of Rural Economic Affairs, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

12.    Revolving the recoveries of the relief loan scheme to displaced people who have been resettled after being affected by the war and the related activities (Document No – 38)

Above loan scheme was implemented according to a cabinet decision made on 11 August 2010 through Bank of Ceylon and at 31 December 2016 loans of Rs. 770.1 million has been granted to 5222 beneficiaries and Rs. 497 million have been recovered. As the BOC expects to revolve the recoveries to resettled persons, the proposal made by Hon. D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, to revolve recoveries as mentioned above, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

13.    Setting up bilingual signage in the public/semi-government institutions and public places, under the official languages policy (Document No – 39)

Under the Official Language Policy any person should have the ability of reach where he needs through bilingual signs and boars, and in all public institutions all name boards, should be demonstrated bilingually and services in reception counters should be provided in both languages. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Mano Ganeshan, Minister of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages, to guide public institutions to rectify any deficiencies regarding implementation of official languages policy, and to provide any required additional funds through the Ministry of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

14.    Memorandums of Understanding to be signed by Ministry of Primary Industries with Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (Thailand) and Faculty of agriculture Kasetsart University (Thailand) (Document No – 40)

The proposal made by Hon. Daya Gamage, Minister of Primary Industries, to sign the above two MoU, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

15.    Central Expressway project – Section 1 from Kadawatha to Mirigama (36.59 km) – award of contract for providing consultancy services for design review and construction supervision (Document No – 41)

The proposal made by Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to award the above contract as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Consultant Procurement Committee at a cost of Rs. 2548.91 million to the joint venture of Resources Development Consultants (Pvt) Ltd and Green Tech Consultant (Pvt) Ltd and Consulting Engineers and Architects Associates (Pvt) Ltd, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

16.    Revision of total cost estimate of Ruhunupura Water supply project (Document No – 42)

The proposal made by Hon. Rauff Hakeem, Minister of City Planning and Water Supply, to revise the original estimate of Rs. 8653.54 million of the above project as Rs. 10,029.64 million due to factors beyond the control of contractor, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

17.    Construction of a special paediatric unit in Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya (Document No – 43)

As the third largest hospital in Sri Lanka Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya has 60 wards with 1900 beds but only 250 beds are allocated for child patients.  It has been decided to construct a building complex to establish a complete Paediatric Unit and accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. (Dr.) Rajitha Senarathne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to award the above contract to Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau and Engineering Services Private Limited subject to recommendations of Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

18.    Procurement for supply, installation and commissioning of 137 Nos. anaesthetic machines with ventilators (Document No – 45)

The proposal made by Hon. (Dr.) Rajitha Senarathne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to award the above contract as recommended by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, at a cost of USD 1.3 million to M/s Meditechnology Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

19.    Construction of corporate office building of distribution division 4 (Document No – 46)

The proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, to award the above contract as recommended by Procurement Appeal Board at a cost of Rs. 466.66 million without tax to the lowest responsive bidder M/s. Sripalie Contractors (Pvt) limited, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

20.    Revision of scope of the Mannar Grid substation construction (Document No – 47)

Above contract was awarded in 2014 and its scope has been revised due to the capacity of substation should be increased from 132 kV to 220 kV, and new financial proposals have been called in this regard. According to agreements made by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee, the proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, to obtain the services of the revised scope from the current contractor, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

21.    Implementation of 'Viru Sumithuru' housing project for families of war heroes (Document No – 51)

Above project expects to build 1950 new houses and to complete partially built 1700 houses. Beneficiaries will be identified by Ranaviru Seva Authority. Rs. 1.2 million will be provided for a complete house and Rs. 500,000/- will be provided for partially built houses and three forces and police will contribute required labour. Accordingly, the joint proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, and Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing and Construction, to implement this project during 2017-2020, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.


22.    Smallholder agribusiness partnerships programme to assist rural agri-producers under the assistance of low interest credit facility of international fund for agriculture development (Document No – 56)

Above programme will benefit 57,500 low income families within next 06 years and it will be operated by President's Office with an investment of USD 105 million. Accordingly, the proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, to implement the project and to authorize the Department of External Resources to hold relevant loan discussions, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

23.    Interest free loan scheme to students to follow the degree programmes in non-state degree awarding institutions (Document No – 57)

Budget 2017 proposed to grant the above loan to a maximum of Rs. 800,000/- for students who are unable to enter state universities due to their z-scores.

Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to select students based on z-score of 2014 and 2015 AL results and to implement its first step through National School of Business Management, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

24.    Further assistance for the persons affected due to landslide in Kegalle District (Document No – 59)

The National Building Research Institute has recommended evacuating and resettling people living in 1682 houses due to high rainfall in May 2016. The amount of houses has been increased to 1941 by later researches and, the proposal made by Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management, to allocate additional funds from treasury for resettlement of 259 families, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

25.    Income tax incentives for investors (Document No – 65)

The proposal made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft the proposed Income Tax Act by including schedule ii.'INVESTMENT INCENTIVE

 Scheme' and schedule iv. 'Incentive scheme for small and medium investors, who invest for the period from 2017 to 2019, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

26.    Provision of relief to farmers affected by drought during the Maha season of 2016/17 (Document No – 66)

The joint proposal made by Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management, and Hon. Duminda Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, to provide a special financial assistance of Rs. 10,000 for farmers whose harvest has been damaged due to drought and who have omitted cultivating for the month of April 2017, and to provide the relief before Sinhala and Hindu New Year, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

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