Cabinet Decision | Daily News

Cabinet Decision

Cabinet decisions made on March 1

Final report of Presidential Investigation Commission to probe into fraud and corruption

The final report of the Presidential Commission, which was set up on January 14, 2019 and chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Upali Abeyrathne has been handed over to the President. The Cabinet has

granted their approval to the proposal the President to submit the report to Parliament.

Customs activities between Sri Lanka and Turkey

Sri Lanka has already entered into agreements with several selected trade partnership countries including India, Pakistan and China in association of the Customs activities and mutual administrative cooperation. It has been proposed to enter into a similar agreement

between Sri Lanka and Turkey to facilitate legal trade across recognised

procedures with transparency, minimising the cost for trade between the two countries and preventing drug trafficking. The Cabinet, therefore, approved the proposal by the Prime Minister as the Finance Minister for signing the agreement between the two parties.

Administering temporary centres to protect harassed women

Temporary centres for women have been set up in the Northern, Eastern,

Western and Sabaragamuwa Provinces for harassed women and their children. Agreements have been signed with the Women In Need (WIN) and the Jaffna Social Action Centre (JSAC) from 2018 to administer these centres in Jaffna, Mulathive, Batticaloa, Colombo and Matara are among them. The Cabinet approved the proposal by the Education Minister for obtaining the service of the non-government organisations in 2021, too.

Transferring NHDA land and buildings in Thammennagama, Aanamaduwa to SLGTTI

The ‘Gam Udawa’ premises and its buildings in Thammennagama, Aanamaduwa (3.585 hectares) have been transferred to the National

Housing Development Authority (NHDA) through a special grant. The Sri Lanka German Technical Training Institute (SLGTTI) has made a request to transfer the land and its buildings for inaugurating the SLGTTI Aanamaduwa Regional Centre whereas the NHDA has given its consent. The Cabinet has approved the resolution by the Education Minister to transfer the land and buildings back to the Government and entrust to the SLLGTTI.

Constructing Watthegedarawewa in Matale

It was decided at the Gama Samanga Pilisandara programme in Himbiliyakada in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Wilgamuwa in Matale to secure a good income for the poor farming community by supplying water for 1,I0 acres of lands and 1,300 acres from the Himbiliyakadawewa. The Irrigation Department has designed a project to supply water by constructing Watthegedarawewa and Dodamgollawewa across Gemburu Oya and supplying water to

Watthegedarawewa and Himbiliyakadawewa through a 1,800 metre long tunnel from the right bank main channel of the Kalu Ganga Reservoir. The estimated cost for the project will be Rs. 7,155 million. The construction has been planned to be completed in three years from 2021 - 2023. The Cabinet approved the proposal by the Irrigation Minister to inaugurate the Watthegedarawewa construction work in 2021 with the

use of machinery of the Irrigation Department and labour from the Army and the villagers and to allocate the provisions from the medial budget for 2021 - 2023.

Re-naming Centre for Non-Destructive Testing as National Centre for Non-Destructive Testing

The Institute of Non-Destructive Testing Certification carries out Non – Destructive Experiment Training while promoting testing services. It operates as an independent authority under Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board for certifying non-destructive experimental qualifications and personnel in terms of the international standards. A Non-Destructive

Testing Certification National Institute should be established by every country to obtain an international recognition for Non-Destructive Experiments Training and Certification. The Cabinet, therefore, approved the resolution by Electricity Ministry for changing the name of the Non-Destructive Testing Certification Institution as the National Institute for Certification of Non Destructive Testing.

Committee to develop rubber cultivation, affiliated industries

The global demand for sanitary devices including rubber gloves has been greatly increased because of the COVID pandemic and therefore, to manufacture raw rubber locally for catering to the demand has been identified. A coordinating committee, therefore, was implemented comprising planters and industrialists to encourage the local rubber industry in a joint endeavour of the State and private sector institutions. The Cabinet, therefore, approved the proposal by the Plantation Minister to maintain value addition of the rubber sector in Sri Lanka with proper operation, solve the issues in the sector through discussion for providing policy recommendations to the Government and to appoint a “Inter-Institutional Coordination Committee for the Development of Rubber Cultivation and Industries comprised of relevant Ministries and institutions headed by the Plantation Ministry Secretary.

Mangrove Botanical Garden in Akmeemana, Galle

A Mangrove Botanical Garden of 26.71 hectares will be set up by the National Botanical Gardens Department near the Expressway access point of Pinnaduwa in the Nugaduwa Grama Niladhari Division of the

Akmeemana Divisional Secretariat Division. This garden will cater the long-standing shortage and would uplift the Tourism Industry and assist the national and international researches on mangrove species. Therefore, the resolution to establish the garden by the Tourism Minister has been approved by the Cabinet.

Amending Swashakthi Loan Scheme

Approval has been granted to implement the Swashakthi Loan Scheme under the Youth and Sports Ministry with necessary amendments to facilitate loans for small and medium scale entrepreneurship development and the generation of employments. Fifty eight per cent of the loans have been granted for the ongoing enterprises whereas 42 per cent been awarded to new enterprises. The Cabinet has approved the proposal y the Youth and Sports Minister to provide loans under the Swashakthi Loan Scheme and to release Rs. 2 million under the Scheme.

Plan to enhance Judicial Sector infrastructures

The unusual delay in the justice mechanism has become a challenge for

ensuring the Rule of Law in the country. This exhibits in many international indicators influencing the foreign investments as well. Therefore, it is of vital importance to supply sufficient human and physical resources to the Judiciary Sector, introduce novel technology, strengthen a remedial conflict resolving mechanism and introduce

legal reformations to resolve the issue.

Therefore, it has been proposed to allocate Rs. 20.000 million from the budget 2021 to implement a three-year plan to enhance infrastructures in the Judicial Sector.

The Cabinet, therefore, approved the proposal by the Justice Minister to implement a project to develop infrastructures in the Sector under six subject areas utilising the provisions.

Amending Procurement Committees’ authority limits

The Cabinet has approved the proposal by Prime Minister in his capacity as the Finance Minister, to increase the contract awarding authority limits of the Ministries of Highways, Water Supply, Irrigation, Power, Port, and Urban Development enabling them to implement various projects efficiently.

Contract to rehabilitate, develop and maintain Kekirawa-Thalawa-Ganewalpola-Dawhalmillewa Road

Competitive bids have been called for six work contract packages to rehabilitate, develop and maintain the Kekirawa-Thalawa-Ganewalpola- Dawhalmillewa Road, under the Asian Development Bank funded Combined Road Investment Project.

The Cabinet, therefore, approved the proposal by the Highways Minister to award the contracts as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee.

New Act abolishing Botanic Gardens Ordinance No 31 of 1928

The Botanic Gardens Ordinance No. 31 of 1928 as amended by Act No. 32 of 1973 is mainly applicable to the functions of the Department of National Botanic Gardens. The Cabinet approved the proposal by Tourism Minister to amend the provisions of the Ordinance, which is about 90 years old to meet with the present requirements.

Repealing Youth Corps Act

The Cabinet approval has been granted to draft a Bill to set up a Youth Corp Authority after repealing the Youth Corps Act No. 21 of 2002.

Although Legal Draftsman has drafted the Bill, no further action has been taken in this regard. The Cabinet, therefore, approved proposal by Youth and Sports Minister to instruct the Legal Draftsman to expedite the Bill including further amendments to establish the Youth Corps Authority by repealing the Youth Corps Act No. 21 of 2002.

Repealing Section 285, 286 and 286 (a) of the Penal Code

The Cabinet approval has been granted on October 29, 2020 to draft a Bill to prohibit obscene publications. After passing the Bill, the Obscene Publication Act of 1927 will be repealed and execution of Article 285,286 and 286 (a) of the Penal Code will not be required. The Cabinet, therefore, approved the proposal by Justice Minister to prepare a Bill to repeal the articles of the Penal Code.

Cabinet Sub-Committee Report on January 12 Constitutional Affairs Meeting

The submitted concept papers relevant to drafting of the Bills have been referred to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Constitutional Affairs as recommended by the Cabinet for review and render recommendations. The Cabinet approved the proposals contained in the Cabinet Memorandum by the Education Minister as the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Constitutional Affairs Chairman to draft the Bills by taking into consideration the recommendations of the Sub-Committee.

• Imposing a new legislation instead of Assistance and Protection of Victims and Witnesses Act.

• Muslim Marriage and Divorce Bill (Amendments)

• Amendments to the Penal Code {19th Chapter} (Protect the Human Pride and Social Unity, Fake News and Malicious Speech)

• Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure No. IS of 1979 (Protect the Human Pride and Social Unity, Fake News and Malicious Speech)

Recruitment to Sri Lanka Principals’ Service

There are about 4,600 vacancies in the Sri Lanka Principals’ Service in Grade 1.2 and 3 and it has been observed that it will take more than a year to conduct a competitive examination and structured interview and make formal appointments in the COVID pandemic. Taking these facts into consideration, the Cabinet approved the proposal by the Education Minister to take necessary measures to select and appoint qualified candidates to the Sri Lanka Principals’ Service by giving opportunity to qualified officers of the Teaching Service who have been acting and covering the duties of principals for a long term and other officers who meet the qualifications according to the service minute by a structured

interview instead of conducting a competitive examination which only confined to this occasion.

Line Ministries’ Progress Development Projects Report 2020

According to the Cabinet decision on April 25, 2018, the Finance Ministry should submit a report to the Cabinet once a quarter on the physical progress of the projects implemented by the line Ministries through the Capital Budget. The Finance Minister, therefore, submitted the Progress Report on large-scale projects implemented in 2020.The Report in this regard was submitted to the Cabinet.

• 289 development projects, which exceeding the estimated cost of Rs. I billion have been implemented under 40 line Ministries in 2020.

• Approximately Rs.710 billion has been allocated for these projects and financial progress of them is 72 per cent.

• Approximately another Rs. 2.9 trillion will be allocated for the future activities of 289 such development projects.

• It has been observed by the report that various issues and obstrucles have been arisen in the implementation of these projects and although approximately Rs. 8 billion has been spent on additional staff allocated for the projects, the expected results have not been achieved within the approved cost and timeframes for some of theprojects.

• Some weaknesses are observed from the pre-preparation stage of some projects and delays in obtaining the required approvals from Government institutions have been sometimes become an issue in the implementation of projects.

Taking into consideration the information contained in the report by the Prime Minister as the Finance Minister, the Cabinet decided to appoint a committee chaired by the Money and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms State Minister and consisted by the Senior Secretaries to conduct monthly reviews on resolving issues arising out of large-scale capital budget projects and to obtain the necessary assistance from the relevant parties in an optimal and timely manner.

Colombo South Port Project

The Cabinet approval has been granted on February 1 to develop the West Container Terminal of the Colombo South Port as a Public-Private Limited Company in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Parties nominated by Indian and Japanese Governments, and also to appoint a Cabinet Appointed Negotiation Committee and a Project Committee to evaluate the proposals in this regard. The Build, Operate and Transfer Plan approved by the Negotiating Committee have been forwarded to the High Commission of India and the Embassy of Japan

requesting them to nominate investors. The Proposal by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ Consortium) has been approved by the Indian High Commission.

No investor has been named by the Japanese Government. The Cabinet appointed Negotiation Committee has presented their recommendation based on the discussions between the two parties and the Cabinet approved the proposal by Ports and Shipping Minister to develop the West Container Terminal on Build. Operate and Transfer basis for a 35 years as a public-private partnership with Adani Ports and Special

Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ Consortium) and its local representative John Keels Holding PLC (APSEZ Consortium) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.