Local News: Press Briefing on the decisions taken by the cabinet of ministers at the meeting held on 20.05.2020, was held at the Department of Government information on (May 21″, 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 in the press briefing. The following is a summary of the facts stated there.
The cabinet of Ministers considered the fact that the government has spent an amount between Rs 2,500 and 3,000 million in April for providing the Rs.5,000/- allowance for low- income people and expects to provide 5,144,046 persons with the allowance in May 2029.
Accordingly, Rs.25,720 million will be spent in the month of May with this purpose. The Prime Minister drew the attention of the Cabinet of Ministers regarding funding for this. The Cabinet of Ministers discussed obtaining a short loan on behalf of the Department of Samurdhi Development in order to secure additional funds of Rs. 16,000
million and to authorize the Secretary to the Treasury to carry out related activities.
The Cabinet of Ministers paid special attention to the letter sent by the Election Commission to the Government regarding the allowance. Considering the facts of the letter, this allowance for the month of June will not be paid in honor of the election commission’s instructions. This decision was preceded by the earlier decision to suspend the payment of Rs. 2O, OOO allowance to Graduates upon the instructions of Election Commission.
ln accordance with the proposal presented by Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Higher Education, Technology & innovations and information and Mass Media, the Cabinet of Ministers considered the tender submitted with an appeal for Rs.1,479 Million which is less than the Rs. 1,619 Million tender submitted for the construction of a multipurpose building complex in Sri Jayawardhanapura University. Approval was granted for the new tender accordingly.
It was discussed the fact that’university education is currently conducted via the internet and there is a significant number of students who do not have computer facilities. Considering these facts, H.E. the President instructed the Secretary to the president to arrange the manufacture of necessary computers in Sri Lanka.
According to the proposal presented by Hon. Dalas Alahaperuma, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs it was decided to increase the prevailing Rs. 200,000/- a loan provided by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to young entrepreneurs under the Swashakthi Loan Scheme up to Rs.450,000/- and to grant Rs.50,000/-.financial provisions.
ln addition it was decided to increase the loan given to existing businesses from Rs.250,000/- up to Rs. 5oo,ooo/-.
Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Skills Development, Employment and Labour informed the Cabinet of Ministers that 4,500 persons have been returned under the program of repatriating Sri Lankans and there are around 41,000 persons expecting to return. They are gradually repatriated to Sri Lanka based on the
factors such as quarantine requirements.
Accordingly, Sri Lankans in Indonesia, Russia, Bangladesh, Qatar, and Belarus will be repatriated from May 21,-28.
After that, steps will be taken to repatriate Sri Lankans in the Middle East and the Maldives on priority basis.
ln addition, it has been planned to repatriate around 4,040 Sri Lankans abroad with short-term visas. (Special Aircrafts will not be deployed for this purpose.)
Extending the retirement age of Medical Officers from 60 years to 61 years as presented in the proposal of Hon. Pavitradevi Wanniarachthi, Minister of Health, Nutrition, and lndigenous Medicine.
His Excellency the President instructed to appoint a committee to determine the retirement age for all the technical fields upon the requirement of the service in addition to the Medical Officers service. ln accordance with the proposal presented by Hon. Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Nutrition, and indigenous Medicine it was decided to improve the Colombo East Base Hospital using Rs.1.8 billion.
ln accordance with the proposal presented by Hon. Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Nutrition, and indigenous Medicine it was decided to improve the scope in the construction of the cardiovascular surgery unit of Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital Colombo.
ln accordance with the proposal presented by Hon. Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Nutrition, and indigenous Medicine it was decided to implement a public and private sector joint project to provide residential facilities to the staff of hospitals islandwide.
The Prime Minister, considering the current situation, proposed to build special ward complex in all the hospitals in the country for fever patients.