June 01, 2020
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    Decisions taken at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on 22.01.2020 Featured

    January 23, 2020
     

    01.Accelerated programme to purchase paddy during the Maha season 2019 / 2020

    Harvesting paddy of Maha season 2019 / 20 has already being inaugurated by now while a harvest of 03 million metric tons of paddy harvest is expected. As a result of avoidance of importing rice by the government as a policy although a slight hike of prices of rice can be seen; the decision leads to saving approximately 100 million US dollars of foreign exchange. The said circumstances have resulted in strengthening foreign exchange as well as decline of interest rates. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers decided that the government shall mediate in purchasing surplus of paddy stocks in the Maha season of 2019 / 2020 with objective of encouraging the private sector paddy millers to purchase paddy under a fair price to ensure sustaining a fixed price of paddy. Therefore it was further decided to implement the following decisions without delay.
    •Imposing a minimum certified price of Rs. 50/- for a kilo of paddy with the due standard (subject to the criterion of moisture.)
    •Minimum certified price of a kilo of paddy with moisture to be certified as Rs. 45/-
    •Implement the government programme to purchase rice through district secretaries / government agents as well as the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB)
    •Direct purchase of qunatities of rice required for government institutions such as Tri forces, Department of Prisons, Hospitals etc; from Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) itself.
    •Immediately entrusting all the store houses / warehouses under the purview of the Food Commission for storing the paddy stocks purchased for storing paddy stocks that is purchased.
    •Utilizing lorries and trucks belong to the government for transportation of paddy stocks
    •Assuance of pledge loans through state and private banking establishments approximately amounting to Rs. 100 billion under a concessionary loan interest rate of 8% for those purchasers including small and medium scale as well as large scale millers for the purchase of paddy under the certified price.
    •Entrusting the monitoring of the paddy purchasing programme in the pioneering districts of Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Vauniya, Ampara, Batticaloa, Monaragala and Hambantota to several state ministers.
    •Immediate issuance of circulars required to implement the above programme by the Secretary to the President.

    02.Appointing authorized officers for submission of visa application of tourist arriving and travelling within Sri Lanka via the Electronic Travel Authorization System (ETA)
    The Department of Emigration and Immigration follow the Electronic Travel Authorization System (ETA) since the year 2012 for issuance of pre – check up and approval to foreign tourists visit Sri Lanka. Although attraction of a considerable amount of Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka is apparent, those Chinese tourists are not encouraged due to delays in obtaining visa to visit Sri Lanka as a result of the language barrier resulting form the implementation of Electronic Travel Authorization System (ETA) system only in English at present by Sri Lanka. As a remedy to these circumstances it has been observed that these tourists are to obtain assistance from private agencies when travelling to Sri Lanka. Accordingly the proposal submitted by the Minister of Mahaveli, Agriculture, Irrigation, Rural Development, the Minister of Internal Trade, Food Security and Consumer Welfare and the State Minister of National Defense to obtain the service of Travelson International Travel Services (Shanghai) Limited prossessing experience in a number of countries in catering the need is approved by the Cabinet of Ministers as a policy.

    03.Establishment of National Scientific Technology and Innovation Authority (NASTICA)

    An approval has been granted earlier by the Cabinet of Ministers to convert Cordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) into National Scientific Technology and Innovation Coordination Authority (NASTICA) by a parliamentary act
    The Legal Draftsman Department is towards the end of formulating the proposed draft. The proposal submitted by the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation to the Cabinet of Ministers to prepare the said draft act by introducing relevant provisions to the bill now been drafted including the duties and responsibility of Sri Lanka Innovators Commission with the objective of realizing the vision of converting Sri Lanka a centre for International Innovations adhering to the policy declaration “The Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” was approved.

    04.Accelerating the infrastructure facilities development of the Universities of Sri Jayawardhanapura, Wayambe, Ruhuna, Colombo, Sabaragamuwa, Peradeniya, Moratuwa and Sri Lanka Bhikku Campus.

    The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovations to implement 13 construction projects recognized in the Universities of Sri Jayawardhanapura, Wayambe, Ruhuna, Colombo, Sabaragamuwa, Peradeniya, Moratuwa and Sri Lanka Bhikku Campus within the median time budget framework 2020 - 2021on the priority basis with the objective of developing the student capacity that can be enrolled for the year 2021 by 20%.

    05.Attracting foreign and non - residential students for higher education within Sri Lanka

    Although there are legal provisions to recruit 4.5% of the student population from overseas students for undergoing basic degree courses in state universities, it is visible that only a slight number of foreign students are registering for University education in this country. Considering the prevailing circumstances, with the objective of changing Sri Lanka into an international knowledge portal the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation submitted a proposal to inaugurate branches of world renowned Universities according to the global university grading while recruiting on the basis of payment of course fees with foreign exchange by Sri Lankan students engaged in foreign employments as well as to implement the promotion activities for recruitment of foreign students by charging within the percentage limit allocated for the foreign students and the Cabinet of Ministers approved it.

    06.Transferring the land and buildings where Medical Postgraduate Institute of the University of Colombo is maintained to that institution

    The proposal submitted by the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation for transferring the land and buildings within in extent of 0.2074 hectares situated at Prof. Nandadasa Kodagoda Mawatha (alias Norris Cannel Rd.), at the grama niladhari division of Cinnamon Gardens, in the divisional secretariat division of Thimbirigasyaya in terms of the provisions of the government land ordinance by a free grant was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

    07.Current situation of the electricity field of Sri Lanka and the precautions to be taken to face the shortage of electricity.

    Due to delay in implementing the electricity power plant projects planned, Ceylon Electricity Board has to encounter a bitter crisis. Therefore, the Cabinet of ministers decided to take following decisions with immediate effect considering the proposals submitted by the Minister of Electricity and Power with the objective of securing and safeguarding as well as fulfilling the power requirements in Sri Lanka.
    •Construction of a power plant unit with a capacity of 300x2 of mega watt as an extension of Norachcholei Coal Power Plant.
    •Installation of an LNG (bi –sectorial natural gas plant) with a capacity of 300 maga watt as a joint venture with Ceylon Electricity Board and India / Japan at Kerawalapitiya
    •Acceleration of the construction activities of LNG (bi –sectorial natural gas plant) with a capacity of 300 maga watt proposed to be constructed in the Kerawalapitiya area under the funds of the Asian Development Bank
    •Acceleration of the construction of hydro - electricity plants and regeneration power projects that are under construction.
    •Implementation of projects agreed to be funded by the government of India for solar power generation hastily with the loan grant of US dollars 100 million.

    08.National policy on the conservation and sustainable utilization of mangrove eco – systems in Sri Lanka

    Although the mangrove eco – systems cater essentially to the environmental equilibrium as well as protecting the coastal belt, these eco – systems are being endangered at present due to various human activities at present. Considering the prevailing the circumstances, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Environment and Wildlife Resources for implementing the national policy that has been prepared with the objective of ensuring the sustainable existence of the mangrove eco – systems with the participation of all the parties applicable with the monitoring of the specialist committee on mangrove eco – systems conservation and sustainable utilisation.

    09.Procurement of a consultant for civil works package 03, under the Reconstruction of 25 Bridges Project

    Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has signed an agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka to provide 10 million Kuwaiti dinars for the implementation of the reconstruction of 25 Bridges Project. Phase 3 of the project includes the rebuilding of eight dilapidated and narrow bridges on the National Highway Network in the Western, Northern and North Western Provinces. Accordingly the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Minister of Highways to award the consultation services contract to M/s Al-Abdulhadi Engineering Consultance (AEC) JV with consulting Engineers & Architects Associated (Pvt) Ltd upon the recommendation of Consultant Procurement Committee.

    10.The contract for the supply , Installation and supervision of two 145kv Double Busbar (GIS) Gas Insulated Switchgears and the administration, Assessment, and Measuring contract of 145kv Double Busbar (GIS)

    The expansion of Kelanithissa 132kv Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) has been commenced in order to connect the 132 Busbar in Kelantithissa Grid Substation with proposed Gas Turbines. Accordingly the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Minister of Power and Energy to award the contract of supply, Installation and supervision of two 145kv Double Busbar (GIS) Gas Insulated Switchgears and the administration, assessment, and measuring contract of 145kv Double Busbar (GIS) to Asea Brown Bovari Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd., the original manufacturer.

     

     

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