Cabinet Decision | Daily News

Cabinet Decision

Establishment of a digital store for the National Achieves.

The National Achieves is fortified with legitimate reserves of all the publications including newspapers published in Sri Lanka from the 19th century as well as invaluable achieved documents created in the Dutch and British colonial reigns since 1640 AD. This collection is swelling day by day due to the enormous heap of documents added including the digital publications and documentaries, broadcasting and telecasting,websites and electronic mails. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal submitted by the Prime Minister as the Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Minister to establish a digital store adhering to international standards on digital conservation for ensuring the accountability and the authenticity of those digital documents.

Opening of Special Economic Centres in Batticaloa, Vavuniya and Jaffna.

The Special Economic Centres programme has been inaugurated to ensure direct marketing of the agricultural products of the farmers as well as to implement the price mechanism more efficiently through competition while 15 such economic centres are being implemented islandwide by now. Accordingly, construction process of Batticaloa and Vavuniya special economic zones have been completed and the construction work of the phase one of the Special Economic Centres in Jaffna has been completed by now. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Agriculture Minister for the establishment of a management trust for the administration of the respective special economic centers as well as allocating business premises utilizing formal methodologies.

Revision of the subsidiary amounts paid for the encouragement of the cultivation of Tea.

Out of the total production of 300 million kilogrammes of tea manufactured in 2019, approximately 75% which amounts 225 million kilogrammes were manufactured by tea smallholders. The requirement of upgrading the productivity of tea smallholdings has been recognized for precisely maintaining the levels of production of Tea. Sufficient encouragement should have to be rendered to accomplish the production target of 360 million tons of Tea by the year 2025, since the attention paid on re - planting and newly planting of tea are insufficient due to spending around 04 years for generating income from a re-planted cultivation and the cost in regard is of higher position. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the resolution submitted by the Plantations Minister for increasing the tea re - planting subsidiary and newly planting subsidiary from Rs. 400.000 to Rs. 500.000 per hectare.

Accelerated Procurement

Methodology for implementing the Projects included in 2020-2025 Consolidated Plan of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board Implementation of water and sewerage projects included in the consolidated plan 2020-2025 was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on January 11, 2021. Through the implementation of the proposed projects. it has been planned to meet the drinking water requirement of 78.8% of the households in the island by 2025. To achieve this target, it is planned to supply and install approximately 40.000 km of transmission and distribution pipelines and increase the current production capacity by 2.35 million cubic meters per day. As a result of the complexity in the water sector projects, it has been found that the procurement process of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board is slower than the other institutions. Therefore, the cabinet of ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Water Supply to procure plumbing and fittings under a centralized system and to introduce a unit price system.

Awarding contracts for supply of food items to the Prisons Department for 2021-2022.

National competitive bids have been called for the supply of food items to the Department of Prison. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Justice Minister to provide food items to the Prison Department from 16.04.2021 to 15.04.2022 in accordance with the recommendation of the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee.

Repealing the Tourism Act No.38 of 2005 and imposing a new Tourism Act.

According to the provisions of the Tourism Act No.38 of 2005, the entire tourism sector has been divided into four major institutions as the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sri Lanka Federation Bureau and the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management. However, it has been seen the occurrence of the adverse effects such as coordinating issues and resource wastage due to the dividing of the entire tourism sector into four institutions. The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal tabled by the Tourism Minister to repeal the Tourism Act No.38 of 2005 and to draft the Bill to impose a new Tourism Act to ensure the sustainable development of the Tourism Industry and thereby to establish a new authority as “Sri Lanka Tourism Authority” by confederating the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Sri Lanka Federation Bureau.

Extension of the validity period further to open Special Deposit Accounts under the Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017.

The relevant orders have been issued under the Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017 to allow the provisions to open a special deposit account which effect from April, 2020 with a view to attract the remittance of foreign currency into the country. As well as the Cabinet of Ministers have approved to pay an additional interest with a view retain the prevailing deposits of the said accounts further. Accordingly, as at March, 2021, total deposits in the said accounts amounted to Us Dollar 360.3 Million. The validity period for opening the said special deposit accounts is due in April, 2021. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal tabled by honorable Prime Minister as Finance Minister to extend the validity period and to issue orders in accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Act to encourage the parties who wish to deposit money further.

Purchasing another six million doses of ‘Sputnik V’ Vaccine

The Cabinet of Ministers on March 23, 2021 decided to purchase 7 Million doses of 'Sputnik V' vaccine at a cost of US Dollar 9.95 each to a sum of USD 69.65 Million on the recommendation of the Cabinet Appointed Negotiation Committee.The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Health Minister to purchase another 6 million doses of the ‘Sputnik V’ Vaccine at the same price in addition to the same number of vaccines.