Cabinet Decisions | Daily News

Cabinet Decisions

Decisions taken at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on December 7

1. Submission of the published gazette notifications for Parliament approval

The Cabinet of Ministers has given approval to the proposal submitted by the Prime Minister as the Finance Minister for the submission of the following gazette notifications to the Parliament.

(i) Under the Ports and Airport Development Tax Act No. 18 of 2011;

* Gazette notification No. 2191 /25 dated 02 September 2020

*Gazette notification No. 2198/ 57 dated 23 October 2020

* Gazette notification No. 2199 /2 dated 26 October 2020

* Gazette notification No. 2203 / 37 dated 28 November 2020

(ii) Under Production Tax (Special Provisions) Act No. 13 of 1989;

* Gazette notification No. 2189 / 47 dated 21 August 2020

* Gazette notification No. 2197 /3 dated 12 October 2020

(iii) The gazette notification No. 2194 / 6 dated 21st September 2020 published under the Finance Act No 25 of 2003

(iv) Under the strategy development project act No. 14 of 2008.

*Gazette notification No. 2201 / 6 dated 10 November 2020

* Gazette notification No. 2202 / 3 dated 16 November 2020

* Gazette notification No. 2203 / 16 dated 24 November 2020

2. Allocations for working capital requirements of the Central Cultural Fund

The income of the Central Cultural Fund has declined due to the collapse in the tourism industry due to the global pandemic spread. Although, action has been taken to obtain a loan of rupees 135 million for the activities of the fund subject to the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers earlier, it has been observed the amount obtained is not sufficient for maintaining the institutional activities. The Cabinet approved the proposal submitted by the Prime Minister as Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Minister to obtain Rs 50 million from the General Treasury to settle the bills relevant to the conservation and construction activities performed by the institution.

3. Renovation and rehabilitation of Mahinda Rajapaksa National Tele Cinema Park

The Mahinda Rajapaksa National Tele Cinema Park was established to help in local cinema and tele creations and providing studios and shooting background facilities as well as accommodation and other facilities on a concessionary basis to artistes in the field. Since this park has not been properly maintained for the past four years, most of the physical resources have deteriorated. It has been identified that essential renovations of the tele cinema park need to be done and the Cabinet approved the proposal submitted by the Prime Minister as the Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs to allocate funds from the General Treasury in 2021 and 2022 for this.

4. Amendment of Sri Lanka Lands Development Corporation Act No. 15 of 1968.

Approval of the Cabinet was granted on the 02nd of December 2015 to amend the Sri Lanka Lands Development Corporation Act No. 15 of 1968 amended by acts Nos. 27,52,35 and 11 respectively of 1976, 1982,2006 and 2019. Clearance from the Attorney General has been granted for the draft bill prepared by the Legal Draftsman. The resolution submitted by the Prime Minister as the Urban Development and Housing Minister has been approved by the Cabinet to publish the said draft bill in the gazette and thereafter submission of same to Parliament.

5.Revision of the methodology of payment of four housing projects implemented on Indian Government funds.

The Indian government has granted Sri Lankan rupees 300 million per project for four projects for the construction of houses for low - income families and the relevant projects are being implemented by National Housing Development Authority. Steps will be taken to release applicable funds followed by a progress report submitted to the Indian High Commission by National Housing Development Authority upon the completion of the relevant construction by the beneficiaries with their cost. However, the house owners do not have sufficient funds to complete the construction as supposed that the progress of the project lies at a lower level. Therefore the Indian High Commission has agreed to release the initial payment required for the construction at the inauguration of work and continue to release the rest of the installments as per the construction progress. The Cabinet has granted approval to the proposal by the Prime Minister as the Urban Development and Housing Minister to take required steps to implement the said projects.

6. Revision of the Children’s Secretariat as “National Secretariat for Early Childhood Development”

The “Children’s Secretariat” which is established in the year 1979, acts as the central institution implementing the National Policy on Early Childhood Development. The institute also plays a special role in the field of early childhood education. However, the name of the institution does not appear to represent that role. Therefore the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Minister of Education to amend the institutional name “Children’s Secretariat” as” National Secretariat for Early Childhood Development”.

7.Formulation of a long term “Human Resource Development Plan” for the public service

Formulation and implementation of a long-term “Human Resource Development Plan” has been identified as an urgent requirement for enhancing the performance and productivity of the public service. Public Administration Circular no 02/2018, dated 24 January 2018, emphasizes the need of preparing a Human Resource Development Plan for every Public Institution. Accordingly, the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Minister of public service, Provincial councils and Local Government to formulate a long term “Human Resource Development Plan” with the participation of all relevant parties to enhance the efficiency and productivity of the public service.

8.Securing financial assistance for the working capital of Laksala

Laksala sales revenue has dropped by 90 per cent due to the absence of foreign tourists due to the Covid-19 epidemic, making it difficult to run the institution. Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the proposal presented by the Industries Minister to secure provisions from the General Treasury for salaries and other essential expenses required to function the Laksala.

9.Implementation of a 1000 acre Nutritive Grass Silage Bailing Project at the Polonnaruwa NLDB Farm

Lack of quality roughage has been identified as a major issue in large scale dairy farms belonging to the National Livestock Development Board. Generally, one dairy cow should be given roughage of about 10 per cent of her body weight. As a solution to this situation, a 1000 acre nutritive grass silage baling project has been planned at the Polonnaruwa farm of the National Livestock Development Board. The Cabinet approved the proposal presented by the Agriculture Minister to cultivate 1000 acres of nutritive maize and sorghum and produce mechanized baled silage as the first phase, to import 2000 dairy cows and keep them in the farms as the second phase of the project and to obtain 60 per cent of the total capital expenditure estimated for the project as a government contribution.

10. Steps to increase the production of quality seeds required to increase crop production in Sri Lanka

The “Food Production National Program”, launched in the Yala season 2020 to reduce imports by cultivating locally grown crops, is now being successfully implemented. It is difficult for the Department of Agriculture alone to provide quality seeds to increase harvests and the area of cultivated lands. Accordingly the cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Agriculture to implement a formal program in collaboration with the Provincial and Inter-Provincial Departments of Agriculture and the Seed Producers’ Institutions in the Mahaweli Areas to enable farmers to produce their seed requirements in the relevant areas.

11.Construction of a building for proposed Army Base Hospital, Pallekele

A new base hospital is designed to be constructed at Pallekele, Kandy to provide medical treatment to soldiers serving and residing in Kandy and surrounding districts. It is expected to construct a 3 storey building for this and the estimated cost is 376.22 million rupees. The Cabinet approved the proposal presented by the President in his capacity as Defence Minister to complete the construction of the proposed hospital within a year using the labour of other ranks of the Sri Lanka Army professionals and to make provisions from the Treasury.

12.Construction of 2 buildings consisting of 30 houses under Soysapura Relocation Housing Project

Cabinet approval was granted on the 16th of October 2O14 to implement the Soysapura Relocation Housing Project for the construction of 5 buildings consisting 20 houses each to relocate 48 dilapidated two-storey, half-rented houses and, 24 dilapidated shanties located within the premises of the Soysapura Housing Scheme. Accordingly, the relevant families have been resettled in 60 houses constructed in 3 buildings. 40 houses on a pre-sale basis were planned to be built in remaining two buildings. However, it has been observed that only 30 houses can be constructed under the existing provisions. Accordingly, the Minister of Urban Development and Housing presented a proposal to construct 30 houses as a building consisting of 20 houses of 550 square feet and a building consisting of 10 houses under the Soysapura Housing Project. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal.

13.Implementation of Yakkala Middle Class Housing Project

The Urban Development Authority is planning to implement a middle class housing project with 500 houses in the Werellawatta area in Yakkala in three phases. Preliminary work is prepared to construct 900 houses under its first phase as a 12-storey building comprising of 132 houses of 600 square feet and 22 houses of 900 square feet. The total estimated cost of the project is 1503.30 million rupees and the cost of construction is expected to be covered by pre-sales. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Urban Development and Housing Minister for the implementation of the project.

14.Awarding the contract of constructing the Engineering Faculty Building of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura

International Competitive Bids have been called on the basis of designing and constructing the Engineering Faculty Building of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura under the Science and Technology Human Resource Development Project.

Accordingly, the proposal submitted by the Minister of Education to award the contract for the Sanken Constructions (Pvt) Ltd at a sum of Rs.3,624.96 Million (VAT Excluded), as recommended by the Standing Committee on Procurement appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

15. Awarding the contract of Providing, Fixing and Supervising of 132/33kV, 45MWA two Electric Transformers for the Wagawatta Grid Substation

Competitive Bids have been called for the contract of Providing, Fixing and Supervising of 132/33kV, 45MWA two electric transformers for the Wagawatta Grid Substation.

Accordingly, the proposal tabled by the Minister of Energy to award the contract to M/s PT.CG. Power Systems Company in Indonesia at a sum of Rs.245.62 Million (VAT Excluded), as recommended by the Standing Committee on Procurement appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

16.Implementing the 100MW Solar Power Plant under Private Sector Investments at Siyabalanduwa

The necessary preliminary steps have been taken to implement the Siyabalanduwa Solar Power Plant such as studying the feasibilities, Securing the lands and environmental evaluations. The assistance of the Asian Development Bank has been received to conduct an analysis on the procedure that should have to follow to develop that power plant and the finance. It has been proved by the analysis that the proposed project with transmission infrastructure should be implemented as a single procurement of 100 MW single power plant and transmission facilities in order to obtain a minimum power consume charge for the generation and transmission of a unit of electricity according to the various capacity opportunities that could be implemented. As per the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal tabled by the Minister of Electricity to initiate the procurement procedure by the Ceylon Electricity Board, the licensee of transmission, to implement the proposed project through private sector investments and to construct the power line from Medagama to Ampara by the Ceylon Electricity Board under the aforementioned project.

17.Awarding the contract of 10MW Wind Power Plant for the Trincomalee Grid Substation

It has been decided to add on an amount of 60 MW wind power capacity for the electricity supply system through Trincomalee, Mannar, Bolawatta, Madampe and Kappalthure Grid Substations with the view to increase the usage of renewable energy sources.

Accordingly, the proposal submitted by the Minister of Energy to award the contract to purchase 10MW wind power capacity for a time period of 20 years for Trincomalee Grid Substation at the rate of Rs.14.52 per unit (14.52 LKR/Kwh) and to construct the above mentioned power plant to the transmission network for Capital City Holdings (Pvt) Ltd by following the international competitive bids procedure and as recommended by the Negotiating Committee appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.