Cabinet Decisions | Daily News

Cabinet Decisions

Climate Change Mitigation Action Support Project

The Cabinet of ministers approved the implementation of the Climate Change Mitigation Action Support Project under World Bank subsidies, to minimise the emission of greenhouse gases.

Accordingly, the proposal presented by President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to establish a Project Management Unit that consists of experts in the field and the officers of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment for the management of the project, was approved by Cabinet. The project will cost US$210,000.

Setting up Sri Lanka Coast Guard Department Headquarters

The duty of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard Department is to protect the Sri Lanka Marine Zone and the life and properties inside it.

It has been decided that a fully-equipped headquarters should be set up in a suburb of Colombo for this department, in order to hold meetings, conferences, and bilateral official meetings, as well as to supervise administrative activities and coast guard operations, and to maintain proper coordination with government institutions, enabling the department to be more productive and efficient.

Accordingly, Cabinet approved the proposal presented by President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence, to construct a 11-storeyed headquarters building in the same land where an office of the department had already been established.

In 2019, Rs.500 million will be allocated for the project, while another Rs.500 million will be allocated in 2020. Rs.544.9 million will be allocated in 2021. The total cost will be Rs.1.544 billion.

Revision of SLPA’s and Jaya Containers’ service charges

The Cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Ports and Shipping, to revise the charges relating to the services provided by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and Jaya Containers Terminal Pvt. Ltd., facilitating to enhance the quality of services, as well as to meet the present competition.

The revision of charges will be done without causing any harm to the company’s competitiveness. The charges had not been revised for several years.

Strengthening Crop Forecasting Information System

The Department of Agriculture issues Crop Forecasting Reports which indicate information on the condition of crops cultivated in the island, as well as crop damages and harvesting. These reports can be considered as a reliable data source to take timely decisions related to agriculture, including the importation of crops.

The database is presently practised through a software called the Crop Forecasting Information System (CFIS). Cabinet approved the proposal presented by Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture, to improve the database by using existing resources in Agricultural Service Centres, offices of Deputy Directors of Agriculture, as well as Mahaweli Zone Offices, with the intention of utilising the same in a more productive and efficient manner. In 2019, Rs.75 million will be allocated for CFIS, while another Rs.34 million will be allocated in 2020. An additional Rs. 31 million will be allocated in 2021. The total cost is Rs.140 million.

Improving agriculture schools’ facilities

Five schools of Agriculture; Kundasale, Pelwehera, Agunakolapelessa, Karapincha and Vavuniya; introduce modern technology to agriculture in order to attract younger generations to the field, and also pass out NVQ5-level Agriculture Diploma-holders.

The Cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture, to enhance the quality and quantity of agricultural products in the country with the assistance of the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training, by expanding the number of students recruited to the schools and providing them a more standard knowledge. In 2019, Rs.104 million will be allocated for the project, while another Rs.134 million will be allocated in 2010. Rs.142 will be allocated for the project in 2021. The total cost will be Rs.380 million.

Repairing abandoned rural tanks

In accordance with the Agricultural Department’s Minor Irrigation and Primary Water Sources Database, it has been identified that there are 14,421 tanks in operation and 1,958 tanks that had been abandoned under due to internal conflicts and the spreading infectious diseases.

By repairing these tanks, it is expected to cultivate 97,000 acres of new arable lands. Considering the utilisation of these tanks for nourishing groundwater sources, afforestation of barren lands, as well as helping wild animals, the Cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture, to repair such tanks. Rs.1 billion will be annually allocated for the project. The total allocation for five years will be Rs.5 billion.

Implementing the Agriculture Development Project

Avoiding challenges such decline of productivity, lack of seeds, land use issues, climate change, post crop management inabilities, marketting and value addition difficulties, water supply issues, tank reconstruction and agricultural road issues, lack of infrastructure facilities and shortage officers engaged in the field of agriculture was identified as an essential factor to increase the agricultural harvest in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Accordingly, Cabinet approved the proposal presented by Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture, to implement the agriculture development project ‘Krushi Nawodaya in North East’ in order to enhance the contribution of the Northern and Eastern provinces to the national economy, as well as to uplift the livelihoods of the people in the area. In 2019, Rs.3 billion will be allocated for the project.

Amending the Sri Lanka National Freedom from Hunger Campaign Law

The Sri Lanka National Freedom from Hunger Campaign Law is required to be amended to meet the present economic and global trends. Accordingly, the Cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture, to prepare the respective bills to amend the name of the Sri Lanka National Freedom from Hunger Campaign Board as the ‘National Food Promotion and Agricultural Marketting Board’, as well as to revise the general objectives of the board.

Bio-energy Project for Economic Development

The importance of promoting the use of local energy sources has been identified as necessary to mitigate foreign exchange spent on importing fuel such as petroleum and coal to fulfil the energy requirements in Sri Lanka. Hence, a project called ‘Bio-energy 2022’ has been planned to focus 1,000 new entrepreneurs on biomass cultivation through 50 biomass-collecting and supplying centres in the country.

The Cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, to implement the project with the support of government, private and foreign funds. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will provide US$17.8 million, while another Rs.50 million will be set aside from the 2019 budget.

Contract for constructing Applied Science faculty at Sabaragamuwa University

Cabinet approved the proposal presented by Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Education and Higher Education, to award the contract of Phase II Part I constructions of proposed for the new building complex for an Applied Science faculty at the Sabaragamuwa University, to Sathuta Builders Pvt. Ltd. for Rs.452.4 million upon the recommendation of the Standing Procurement Committee. The contract will cost Rs.452.4 million.

Naming Cabinet Spokespersons

Cabinet has decided to name Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe as well as Mass Media and Digital Infrastructure Minister Keheliya Rambukella as Cabinet Spokespersons.


 

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