Cabinet Decisions

Cabinet Decisions on August 23, 2021

Cabinet Ministers’ this month remuneration to COVID-19 funds

In par with a resolution by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Ministers unanimously decided to donate their August remuneration to the COVID – 19 funds to strengthen the funds to assist in controlling the COVID – 19 pandemic in the country.

Tourist Visa up to 180 days for tourists arriving via electronic approval

The Cabinet meeting on January 4, 2021 decided to issue a Tourist

Visa Licence for 180 days for the tourists via the Sri Lanka Tourist

Mobile App of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. It has to be obtained via the Tourist Visa Application Process through ‘Online Electronic Tourist Visa Activation System (ETA)’ under the Department of Emigration and Immigration. The Cabinet, therefore, decided to grant approval to the resolution by the President as the Defence Minister to issue the Tourist Visas subject to:

• Tourists from the SAARC countries – 70 USD

• Tourists from the non-SAARC countries – 85 USD

• Tourists from Singapore, the Maldives, Seashells – 50 USD (as per the bilateral agreement with those countries)

Government vehicles

The Prime Minister as the Economic Policies and Plan Implementation Minister submitted a report including the information on the vehicles belonging to Government establishments to the Cabinet

• The Government Institutions including the Ministries,

State Enterprises and Provincial Councils and Local Government Institutions have 82,194 vehicles.

• Of them, 76,661 vehicles are under running condition, while 5533 vehicles are not under running condition.

• Of the vehicles under running condition, 33,931 vehicles are under the ownership of the Government Institutions, 26,395 vehicles are under State Enterprises and 16,335 are under the Provincial Councils and Local Government Institutions.

• About 8,500 Senior Officials at State Institution have been using their private vehicles for official transport on a monthly allowance.

The Cabinet decided to use the repairable vehicles out of those not under running condition after repairs and to discard those irreparable subject to a formal methodology with immediate effect.

Additional financial grant from Asian Development Bank

Sri Lanka has been supplied with USD 50 million comprising USD

37.5 million loan and a USD 12.5 million grant by the Asian Development Bank to implement the “Health System Enhancing Project,” to secure a healthy population with an access to a widened primary health services system. USD 15 million of that amoun has already been allocated for situations related activities.

Apart from that, the Asian Development Bank has consented to release an additional USD 125 million under a “Health System Enhancing Project” to facilitate to manage positive cases. The Cabinet, therefore, granted approval for the proposal by the Health Minister to conduct discussions with the Asian Development Bank to obtain the grant.

Progress of large-scale development projects by the end of second quarter this year

The Finance Minister tabled the progress/information with regard to the large-scale development projects to the Cabinet:

• 319 large-scale development projects over a cost of Rs. 1,000 million are being implemented under 43 Ministries.

• These projects that will go on until 2030 have an approximate total value of Rs. 7.1 trillion

• Rs. 1.75 trillion has been spent, while Rs. 745 billion of provisions have been allocated for 2021.

• Of those 319 projects, 88 projects ensure the new development access of the Government.

• The estimated cost is Rs. 2.5 trillion and Rs. 232 billion has been allocated for those projects for this year.

• Amongst those are the Drinking Water for All projects Programme, the100,000 kms of Highways and By-Ways Programme, Hundred Cities programme, the Waari Saubhagya (Irrigation Prosperity) Programme and the Saubhagya Production Villages Programme along with the programmes the Government has set up to confront COVID pandemic.

• Only 55 per cent of the target expenditure has been spent during the first quarter of the year due to the COVID pandemic.

The Cabinet decided that the projects showing less progress to be implemented on priority basis after reviewing them so that the goals and objectives from these projects could be achieved by implementing them and take them under the close supervision of the Development Coordination and Supervision Ministry so that the project activities can be finalised within the scheduled timeframe for the public.

Samanalawewa Reservoir Dam

Constructions of the 120 MW Samanalawewa Power Project commenced in 1986 and the Reservoir filled for the first time in 1992. During the same year, there was a water leak in the Reservoir. A number of studies have been conducted in this regard, but so far the leak has not been identified. Due to the leak, the volume of the Reservoir is limited to 288 million cubic meters. Therefore, the power generation capacity of the Samanalawewa Power Plant, which is expected to be 405 GWh, has been reduced by 70 GWh. A layer of highly decomposed limestone has been found in the south bank area of the Reservoir.

The water leak is likely to increase further and cause a disaster. Taking these factors into account and after conducting a study on the previous treatments, the CEB has prepared a project to completely remove the water from the Reservoir and then seal the leaking areas with suitable material. The Cabinet approval was granted to implement the Project.

Local organic fertilizer for 2021/2022 Maha Season

In accordance with the Cabinet approval on July 8, 2021, the National Fertilizer Secretariat has invited bids from local fertilizer manufacturers to purchase organic fertilizer for the 2021/2022 Maha season.

The Cabinet, therefore, approved the proposal by the Agriculture Minister to provide procurement for organic fertilizer quantities for the Ceylon Fertilizer Company Limited and the Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Company Limited to selected local organic fertilizer manufacturers as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Negotiation Committee.

Orders under National Gem and Jewellery Authority Act No. 50 of 1993 to Parliament

The demand for gems in the international gem market has dropped significantly due to the global pandemic. Therefore, the industrialists have requested the Authority to provide relief for charges levied on gem exports and to facilitate online gem exports as air services have been disturbed. Therefore, the Cabinet approved the proposal by Industries Minister to submit the Orders issued by the Gazette Notification

No. 2232/36 dated June 18, 2021 under the National Gem and Jewellery Authority Act No. 50 of 1993 to Parliament for approval providing the facility to revise the relevant charges and export of gems and jewellery online.

Revision of fees in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure

According to the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, all fees between a party or parties or a registered lawyer and client shall be determined by the Registrar of Courts. Gazette Notification No. 2234/67 dated July 2, 2021 has been issued to amend the fees mentioned in the Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 994/7 dated September 24, 1997 to suit the present requirements, which imposed those fees before. The Cabinet approved the proposal by the Justice Minister to submit the orders to Parliament for the approval.

Rs. 2,000 allowance for lockdown affected families

An allowance of Rs.2,000 will be granted for families who have lost their livelihood due to the temporary closure of the country to control the spread of COVID-19 and do not receive any government allowance. The required funds will be issued to the District Secretaries and the relevant allowance will be paid to the families selected by the Divisional Secretaries.

The Presidential Task Force on Economic Rehabilitation and Poverty Alleviation has issued the required guidelines for this purpose. The proposal by the Finance Minister to release the necessary provisions to the District Secretaries to pay the allowance, was approved by the Cabinet.

Import of 300,000 liters of liquid medical oxygen per week

Approval was given at the Cabinet meeting on May 24, 2021 to import 120,000 liters of oxygen per month to ensure the supply of liquid medical oxygen to the COVID-19 patients in critical condition.

As the number of patients who are dependent on oxygen has increased due to the spread of the COVID Virus Variant, the Cabinet approved the proposal by the Health Minister to import 300,000 liters of medical oxygen weekly instead of importing 120,000 liters of oxygen monthly. 

by Daily News Sri Lanka

, Political, cabinet,decisions,

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