01. Increasing the Representation of Women in Local Authorities
Although about 50% - 51% of Sri Lankan population is women, they bear only about 5% from the total members elected for the parliament, Provincial Councils and Local Government Institutions. According to the promise given at the recent Presidential Election and the General Election to allocate 25% of representation to women in Provincial Councils and Local Government Institutions, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to amend the Local Authorities (Special Provisions) Act No 21 of 2012 in view of increasing the women’s representation in local authorities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
01. Signing of a Technical Cooperation Agreement between Sri Lanka and Thailand for HR development in Sri Lanka
The bilateral technical cooperation between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Thailand plays a major role in Human Resources development in Sri Lanka. The Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA) with the assistance of the GOSL has prepared a five year plan for offering scholarships and training programmes to Sri Lanka in the period of 2015-2019 related to the fields of agriculture, food technology, rural development and self-sufficient economy, tourism management and diplomatic training. Accordingly the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Thailand for promotion of technical cooperation between the two countries, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
01. Financial Assistance from the Asian Development Bank for the implementation of Greater Colombo Water and Waste Water Management Improvement Programme – Tranche 3
The Colombo Water and Waste Water Management improvement programme is being implemented in three phases under financial facilities by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and government funds. It intends to uplift the water supply efficiency in Greater Colombo. Total investment of the third phase of the project is US$ 168.46 million. US$ 40.46 million will be bared by the government. The Proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs to obtain the balance of US$ 128 million form the ADB as concessionary loan, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 28-10-2015
01. Building Complex for the Faculty of Healthcare Sciences, Eastern University of Sri Lanka
The Faculty of Healthcare Sciences of the Eastern University, which is situated in Batticaloa, was established in 2004 with six departments, and 425 students are currently following degree courses in medicine, surgery and nursing. The faculty is currently situated in a building which is temporarily taken over from the Paddy Marketing Board. The Ministry of University Education and Highways have estimated the cost of constructing a new building complex as US$ 47.3 million (Rs. 6,617.5 million). US$ 34 million from this cost was agreed to be granted by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs to enter into relevant agreement in this regard, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 21-10-2015
01. Provide studying opportunities to the foreign Army officers/ other ranks of Middle East Region at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, which is administrated under the Ministry of Defence, holds the full membership of the Association of Commonwealth Universities in UK. It allows foreign officers/ cadet officers and students to follow degree courses as a means of improving the friendship and diplomatic cooperation with countries in the African and Asian region. Accordingly, officers/cadet officers and students in Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Ruanda, Nigeria and Zambia are currently engaged in academic activities. The Proposal made by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence to train a group of Technicians in the Oman Navy on their request made on the background of the international competition, demand and attraction to this university and to introduce special courses focusing on students of middle east African and other countries in view of strengthening the friendship and cooperation with these countries, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
01. A national programme for environmental conservation has been prepared with the view of creating a sustainable environment in Sri Lanka, with the contribution of all the relevant parties and it is expected to provide solutions for the following major environmental issues within a period of three years.
01. Grant and Technical Assistance of Euro 43.7 million from the European Union
The European Union has agreed to provide a grant (a non-repayable financial aid) of 43.7 million Euros out of which 38 million Euros in support of the Integrated Rural Development Programme in Central and Uva Provinces and for Trade Related Assistance programme in Sri Lanka, and 5.7 million Euros as technical assistance to the Water Supply and Drainage Board.
Out of the 38 million Euros, 30 million Euros of the grant are expected to be utilized in Integrated Rural Development Programme in Central and Uva Provinces. The programme intends to improve livelihood, income level, health and nutrition of low income receivers of the said provinces and to strengthen the social and economic services rendered by Local Government Institutions, Community Organizations, and Private Institutions. Other 8 million Euros are intended to be utilized in Programme for Trade related Assistance in Sri Lanka, which intends to increase the competitiveness of Sri Lankan exports in the foreign market, implementation of policy and regulatory reforms on GSP+ of the European Union, and to implement a Trade Policy that includes measures to be implemented on regaining the GSP+ trade concession. Moreover, the 5.7 million Euros to be given to the Water Supply and Drainage Board for technical assistance programme, will grant technical assistance in Institutional Management and Technical Skills Development with special attention on Waste Water Management.
The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of National Policy and Economic Affairs, to enter into relevant agreements on this purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
01. Minimizing waste and excesses in the use of Government Funds
The Prime Minister has focused the attention of the Cabinet of Ministers on the economic use of expending government funds on various projects and activities. Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers has agreed that the following criteria should be adopted in expending government funds.
• Minimizing to the maximum level foreign visits by the Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers, all elected public representatives, and Government officials,
• Even in undertaking essential foreign visits, to include in the delegation only persons who will be required to participate in such delegations.
• To reduce the number of security vehicles and security personnel to maximum possible level for the dignitaries and peoples representatives who have been provided with security vehicles and security personnel
• Making these conditions and stipulations applicable to regional authorities, security forces, state institutions, established Boards of Government, and State Owned Companies as well.
Decisions made by the Cabinet of Ministers at their meeting held on 16.09.2015
01. Safeguarding the collective responsibility of the Cabinet
Clause 42(2) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka stipulates that Cabinet of Ministers who are in charge of the steering of the administration of the government of the Republic of Sri Lanka and who are in charge of the conduct of that administration are bound to be collectively responsible for the Parliament and to respond to the Parliament. However, taking into consideration the experiences of difficulties encountered on the implementation of some cabinet decisions due to non implementation of certain decisions, honouring the noble traditions of the Cabinet, that should have been expeditiously implemented for the welfare of the country and to prevent recurrence of such events, the Cabinet of Ministers approved following proposals made by the Hon. President Maithripala Sirisena.
01. “Let’s Awaken Polonnaruwa” District Development Programme 2016 - 2020
Polonnaruwa District which is situated in Raja Rata area consists of seven (07) Divisional Secretariat Divisions and two hundred and ninety five (295) Grama Niladhari divisions. Infrastructure which is limited to the urban area does not suit the present community needs and infrastructures such as health, education and highways in rural areas are not in a satisfactory situation. Especially, in Welikanda, Dimbulagala, Medirigiriya, and Lankapura Divisional Secretariat divisions which have confronted the experience of the ethnic conflict are in a critical situation. Therefore, people in Polonnaruwa have been undergoing immense hardship in their day to day lives and have to visit adjoining districts to obtaining various services.
A number of projects have been proposed to be implemented with a cost of Rs. 60 billion under the five year programme and the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers have already been granted for implementing the drinking water project and the construction of a hospital for kidney patients. Many projects under this programme are expected to be financed by local and foreign personal donations.
Several projects in the Education, Health, Irrigation and Rural Road sectors which deserves special attention and cannot be delayed until it’s taken up along with the five year plan, are expected to be launched in the year 2015 itself and speedily completed. Estimated cost of these projects would involve an investment of approximately Rs. 750 million. Accordingly, the proposal made by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena to implement the “Let’s Awaken Polonnaruwa” district development programme within the period of 2016-2020, and to commence urgent projects under the programme, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.