Decisions taken at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on the 07.06.2021
01. Drafting a National Cultural Policy
a national cultural policy has been prepared and gazetted for the first time in the year 2007. Thereafter, no further actions have been taken place, although approval of the Cabinet of Ministers has been granted in the year 2017 to prepare a national art and cultural policy by further revising the said national cultural policy. By now, requirement of a national cultural policy prepared to suit the contemporary requirements has been arisen.
Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution tabled by the Hon. Prime Minister as the Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious & Cultural Affairs to prepare a new policy by further revising the existing national cultural policy and to appoint a committee comprised of intellects with a broad knowledge on the subject representing all cultures.
02. Hundred cities beautification programme (A hundred city programme)
Some second and third level cities throughout the island are untidy, ugly and a pain / disturbance to the Public for a considerable time due to unorganized development while most of them can be converted public friendly, pleasing cities across taking necessary steps according to a neat / proper plan.
Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution tabled by the Hon. Prime Minister as the Minister of Urban Development and Housing for the implementation of a programme called “Hundred Cities” with the assistance of all the government sector institutions and all other parties entrusted with the supply of infrastructure facilities pertaining to systematically beautifying 100 such recognized cities scattered throughout the island by enhancing their fundamental facilities.
03. Entering into memoranda of understanding with the objective of education partnership between the Sri Lankan Universities and overseas Universities.
With the intension of uplifting the Universities in this country to higher number in the indicators of the global grading according to the Government’s policy framework, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal furnished by the Minister of Education for entering into Memoranda of Understanding with the foreign Universities.
• The Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Sri Jayawardhanapura and the Manipal Life Science Academy of the Manipal Higher Education Academy of India
• The Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Peradeniya and the Agricultural Centre of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on consolidated technology associational activities
• The Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Colombo and the University Malaya in Malaysia
• The Memorandum of Understanding between the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency of Australia for exchanging information, cooperation and institutional networking when standardization certification
• The Memorandum of Understanding between the Agricultural Extension Studies Department of the Agriculture faculty of the University of Peradeniya and the Extension faculty of the University of Alberta, Canada.
04. Special programme on stationing industries at Divisional Secretariat division level covering the entire island and promotion of investment opportunities for enterprise development.
The Ministry of Industries in consolidation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports have planned to implement an industries and entrepreneurship development programme at Divisional Secretariat division level with the objective of minimizing the regional imbalance of the Development, reaping the maximum out of the rural resources as well as encouraging the industrial sector entrepreneurs turned to generation of employments in the rural areas.
Under this it has been planned to implement at least one project at each Divisional Secretariat division at the minimum with the intention of promoting especially the small and medium scale enterprises, increase the employment generation across the generation of a network of strong entrepreneurship at rural level, promotion of value – added productions utilizing resources / raw – materials scattered at divisional level, while promoting exports and encouraging import substitutes. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the consolidated proposal furnished by the Ministers of Industries and Youth and Sports for furnishing incentive relief and facilitation to the entrepreneurs / investors promoting the inauguration of industries / enterprises and encouraging the existing entrepreneurs / investors in their entities that invest rupees 100 million to the minimum under the proposed programme and generate at least 50 employment opportunities in the field.
05. Implementation of a pilot project for the production of organic fertilizer at the Divisional Secretariat division level in the North Central Province.
Since the Government has already taken measures to ban usage of chemical fertilizer for Agriculture, it is essential to prepare an appropriate programme for ensuring a sufficient supply of organic fertilizer by increasing the production of the same by the start of Maha season in the month of September.
Therefore, a project has been planned / designed to implement an organic fertilizer production project by furnishing the essential fundamental capital from the Land Reformation Commission Fund, the so manufactured organic fertilizer to be purchased by the Ministry of Agriculture and distribute among the farmers.
Thereby, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the resolution submitted by the Minister of Lands for the implementation of the proposed pilot project by establishing at least one organic fertilizer center per each Divisional Secretariat division covering 29 Divisional Secretariat divisions in the districts of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa where agriculture is the major industry.
06. Establishment of Export Agro Value Chain Development Industrial Zone at Mahaheenthenna Elpitiya.
It has been identified that increasing value added products in the field of export agriculture leads to market opportunities and access to high quality markets which in turn enable the country to attract a large amount of foreign exchange.
To facilitate such projects, it is planned to establish an Export Agro Value Chain Development Industrial Zone in a 64 acres land owned by the Land Reforms Commission in the Mahipenna area in Elpitiya. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon Minister of Plantation to allocate plots of land for 14 Agri entrepreneurs identified through Business Feasibility Assessment conducted under the Agriculture Sector Innovation Project which is being implemented, to start projects as the first phase of the project and to appoint a committee headed by the Secretary to the relevant State Ministry to select agro entrepreneurs under the second phase.
07. Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka Bill 2020
Cabinet approval has been granted on 26.10.2021 to draft the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka Bill. The bill drafted accordingly by the Legal Draftsman has also received the clearance of the Attorney General. Accordingly, the proposal made by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Finance to publish the Bill in Government Gazette and to submit it to Parliament for approval, was approved by the Cabinet.
08. The orders that declared under the Sri Lanka Export Development Act No.40 of 1970.
An order has been issued under the Sri Lanka Export Development Act No.40 of 1970 to amend the Cess Tax levied on importations of tile and ceramic sanitary fittings. The said order has been published on the Extra Ordinary Gazette No.2219/15 dated 15 March, 2021 and the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the proposal tabled by the Minister of Trade to submit the said order to the Parliament as per the provisions of the aforementioned Act.
09. Providing houses for the families affected by constructing the four lane – elevated expressway from the New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya.
The Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to implement the construction project of the four lane – elevated expressway from the New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya. It has been identified that the necessity of providing alternative settlements facilities for 1,100 families residing in acquired lands for the project including families and sub families residing in encroached lands and the families residing in the lands below 6 perches in extent as well as the families residing in the encroached lands in the proposed land to construct the Dematagoda Stadium.
Accordingly, the proposal submitted by the Minister of Highways to provide housing facilities to the said 1,100 families from the Kolonnawa, Henamulla and Maligawatta housing projects that implemented by the Urban Development Authority, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
10. Selling of essential food items which are not released from the port and confiscated by the Sri Lanka Customs to the public at a concessionary price by Lanka Sathosa Ltd.
Lanka Sathosa already implements a system to provide essential food items to the public at affordable prices without any shortage under the current covid-19 pandemic situation.
Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the resolution tabled the Minister of Ports & Shipping and Minister of Trade to take necessary steps to provide the essential food items confiscated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Sri Lankan Customs to Lanka Sathosa Ltd in order to enable the said system continuously and successfully.
11. Purchasing and distributing of surplus stocks of vegetables and fruits by the Government that unable to be sold by the farmers during the period of Covid 19 travel restrictions prevailed.
It has been identified that a major economic crisis is being faced by the small and medium scale farmers as well as large scale farmers due to the destruction of their products, especially vegetables and fruits, due to the inability to transport and trade as normally due to the travel restrictions imposed by the government on island-wide.
Whereas, a scarcity of vegetables and fruits at a fair price is also being faced by the consumers.
As per the Cabinet of Ministers granted their consent for the proposal tabled by the Minister of Agriculture to implement a programme to purchase the stocks of vegetables and fruits which could not be sold during the travel restrictions by the District Secretaries/Agents of Government according to the prices of the District Price Committee and provide the purchased vegetables and fruits free of charge to the Covid Treatment Centers, all Government Hospitals, Tri-Forces, Displaced Camps and Families who have lost their livelihoods until the travel restrictions lifted up.