Local News: Press Briefing on the decisions taken by the cabinet of ministers at the meeting held on 13.05.2020, was held at the Department of Government Information today (May 14 2020). Cabinet Spokesmen Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Higher Education, Technology, Innovations and Information & Mass Media and Mr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation Industries, and Export Agriculture participated the press briefing. The following is a summary of the facts stated there.
- Three books containing detailed information on the program to control the Covid-19 epidemic were presented to the Cabinet. A book on the Sri Lankan method for eradicating Covid-19 epidemic, a book that explains the country’s Present situation caused by this epidemic and a book written in English regarding the matter.
Gazette Notification on Import Restriction in accordance with the provisions of the Import and Export Control Act was presented by Hon. Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksha
Under this gazette notification, importation of luxury goods is banned. However, there is no restriction on the importation of essential goods.
Permission is granted in importing other goods such as Materials needed for construction purposes which are included in neither essential nor luxury goods categories, only if the goods can be imported upon the agreement to make payments after 180 days.
If there is any issue regarding the above, indigenous industrialists and entrepreneurs can inform the Committee headed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance.
- Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Skills Development, Employment and Labor Relations informed the Cabinet that the following decisions were taken having Discussion with both private sector human resource entrepreneurs and trade unions In order to ensure job security of the employees in the event of the inability to open private factories and establishments
No employees will be dismissed due to this Corona epidemic.
An amount of minimum Rs. 14,500/- or half of the salary received so far to be paid for an employee during the closure of the institution.
- Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and Women and Child affairs presented the proposal to provide Rs. 5000/- allowance for the month of May for recipients of kidney and adult allowances and those who have lost income due to Kovid19
Cabinet approval has been granted to provide the sum of Rs 25,720.24 million for 5,144,046 persons.
- According to Hon. Chamal Rajapaksha, Minister of Mahaweli, Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development, the agricultural revival in the country has increased the number of hectares cultivated in the Yala season. As a result, there is a shortage of fertilizer in the country. Actions have been taken by Ceylon Fertilizer Company and the Commercial Fertilizer Company to import fertilizer on quick orders to solve this problem.
In addition, actions are taken to produce Single Super Phosphate by Eppawala Phosphate Deposit instead of Rock Phosphate and as a substitute for the currently imported Triple Super Phosphate
- In accordance with the proposal presented by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Justice, Human Resources and Legal Reforms, implementation of short term and long term vocational training programs for Remand Prisoners under the supervision of Department of Prisons with the participation of the private sector ,Awarding a certificates and providing employment opportunities in private institutions for those who are successfully complete these vocational training courses.
- In accordance with the proposal presented by Hon. Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksha, Disposal of garbage into the Aruwakkaru garbage dumping site and related works will be continued until the end of the project.
Cabinet approval was granted to use this yard to dump solid waste, urban building waste and ash produced by generating energy and to proceed with the treatment of wastewater generated from the discharged garbage.
- In accordance with the proposal presented by the Hon. Arumugam Thondaman, Minister of Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure Development, to increase the amount of Loans granted for low income people in the plantation sector to build a new house from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.
52% of the loan amount is to be paid by the respective house owner, subjecting to a 4% interest and a 20-year settlement period.