Decisions taken by Cabinet of Ministers on 18.03.2020

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Decisions taken by Cabinet of Ministers on 18.03.2020

1. Acquisition of 200 acre lands in order to establish an Air Force Camp in Maththala
Rajapkshe Airport (MRIA)

Sri Lanka Air Force provides security to all Airports in Sri Lanka. Mattala Rajapaksha
Airport is considered as a strategically important airport in the Indian Ocean Region and
an Air Force Camp which is similar to the camp operated in Katunayake Bandaranayake
International Airport is required to be set up therein. Considering the proposal
presented by the Minister of Mahaweli, Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural development
and Minister of Food Security and Consumer Welfare, the cabinet of Ministers decided
to allocate adjoining land 200 acre in extent for this purpose.

2. Dissolution of C.F.C. Founding limited liability Company

C.F.C. Founding limited liability Company was established on a decision taken by the
cabinet of ministers in 2016 with the intention of establishing and maintaining the
Financial City of the Colombo Port City Project. A committee of experts has been
appointed to analyze the present project portfolio and the committee has observed that
the company is no longer needed. Accordingly, the cabinet of ministers approved the
proposal presented by Hon. Prime Minister, in his capacity as the minister of Finance,
Economy and Policy Development, dissolve the company above mentioned in
accordance with the section 319 (b) of the Companies Act No. 07 of 2007, and to
authorize the secretary to the treasury to carry out other related activities.

3. Allocation of a land in the IT Park, Malabe to Mahamewnawa Buddhist College

Seruwila Wilgamwehera Somawathie Rajamaha Vihara incumbent has requested for a
four-acre land in Malabe on concessionary payment basis to establish Mahamewnawa
Buddhist College. Accordingly, the Urban Development Authority has identified a 2 acre
2 rood 0.70 perch plot of land in IT Park in Malabe, to allocate for this purpose.
Accordingly, the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Hon.
Prime Minister, in his capacity as the minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and
Housing Facilities, for the disposal of said land to Mahamewnawa Buddhist School on
30-year lease basis.

4. Issuance of “Skills License” to National Vocational Qualification holders

The Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission has introduced a National Vocational
Qualification Framework (NVQ) and a national qualification system. It is planned to
launch a pilot project to introduce a skills license for Skilled Craftsmen with National
Vocational Qualifications and for migrant workers, in partnership with the International

 

Labor Organization and the Ceylon Employers Federation to enhance the recognition of
this methodology. Accordingly the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal
presented by Hon. Minister of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations to
issue a “ Skills License” to skilled NVQ Certificate holders who possess at least one year
experience, in the form of a smart card.

5. Purchase of proposed land and construction of building complex of the Medical
Faculty of Sri Lanka North Western University.

 

An amount of Rs. 70 million has been allocated on cabinet approval, for the land
acquisition of Sri Lanka North Western University’s Medical Faculty construction. It is
estimated that the current value of the land will cost Rs. 92 million. Accordingly, the
cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Minister of Higher
education, Technology and Innovation to increase this amount up to Rs. 92 million.

6. Entering into a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of
Jaffna and the University of Birmingham of United Kingdom.

In regard to the policy framework of the ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’, the
vitality of implementing development strategic programmes that navigate towards
an economy based on knowledge has been recognized. Adhering to the strategic
concept mentioned above, it has been proposed to enter into a memorandum of
understanding between the University of Jaffna and the University of Birmingham of
United Kingdom in regard to the global medical group researches on Atrial
Fibrillation implemented by the National Institute for Health Research of the United
Kingdom, by adhering to the said strategy. Enhancement of research ability of
undergraduates and candidates of postgraduate degree will be fulfilled across this
proposed memorandum understanding. It is proposed to allocate an amount of
Sterling Pounds 209,000 of United Kingdom as funds for total financial aid and
consultation aid. Accordingly, the proposal submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers by
the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation for entering into the
memorandum of understanding for the proposed research project has been
approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

7. Awarding 45% of the printing of school textbooks distributed free of charge
for the year 2021 by the Department of Educational Publications to
Government Printing Cooperation.

Printing of school textbooks during years 2018 and 2019 has been entrusted to the
Government Printing Cooperation directly away from the tender procedure.
Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal of the Minister of
Education for awarding the open tender for printing a portion of the total required

 

school textbooks for the year 2021 away from the open tender procedure to the
Government Printing Cooperation, considering the capacity of the Cooperation and
its previous performance.

8. Developing Diyagama International Sports complex and Sports Academy as a
Sports University.

An international sport complex along with a sports academy is being constructed
with all necessary facilities in a land in extent of 125 acres in Diyagama in the
Divisional Secretariat Division of Homagama in the district of Colombo. The
proposal submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers by the Minister of Sports and Youth
Affairs for taking further measurements required for revising and developing the
plans of the above sports complex so that the National University of Sports which
was highlighted in the policy declaration of ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ was
approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Furthermore, the proposal submitted by the Minister for the appointment of an
Intellectual Committee chaired by Dr. Chandra Embuldeniya acted as the first Vice
Chancellor of the University of Uva Wellassa for submission of recommendations of
studies of all circumstances pertaining to the process of establishment of the
proposed Sports University too was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

9. Re – initiating the production activities of Walachchenei Paper Factory belongs
to National Paper Company Limited as a diversification project.

The Government has identified the vitality of re – initiating the state ventures with
a potential. Therefore, steps are being taken to re – initiate the production activities
of Walachchenei Paper Factory as a diversification project. Accordingly, the
Cabinet of Ministers has granted their consent as a policy decision to the proposal
tabled by the Minister of Industries and Supply Management for implementation
of diversification project proposed with the sub – projects of generation of electricity
within the factory complex using solar power, initiation of a bottled water factory
utilizing a portion of excess water by refining after utilizing for the activities of the
factory, cultivating suitable crops to grow within the climate zone in a land in extent
of 100 acres from the empty land of Walachchenei factory complex as well as to
establish a holiday resort with a workshop within the complex.

 

10. Procurement of island – wide telecommunication system for Sri Lanka Railway
Department.

The Asian Development Bank has granted a loan for enhancing the railway system
in Colombo suburbs and it has been planned to use a portion of that grant for
purchase the island – wide telecommunication system for Sri Lanka Railway
Department. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal tabled by
the Minister of Transport Services Management for awarding the contract for the
purpose to the JV of Ms/ Dialog Axiata PLC and Ms/ Dialog Broadband Network
(Pvt.) Ltd., subject to the recommendation of the Standing Procurement Committee
appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers .

11. Prioritizing in procurement of locally manufactured cables and conductor
categories from local manufacturers to Ceylon Electricity Board and its
affiliated bodies.

The Ceylon Electricity Board and its affiliated bodies have tend to procure more and
more foreign manufactured products due to the foreign products being lower in
price when compared to the local products as a result of the customs concession
granted upon import of goods to Ceylon Electricity Board and its affiliated bodies
leading to unfavourable waters to the local cable manufacturers. Therefore, the
proposal of the Minister of Electricity and Power was approved by the Cabinet of
Ministers for carrying out the technical evaluation considering that all the tax
amounts applicable at the time of importing such goods and equipment should be
paid by the relevant importers as an additional concession to the 20% priority
granted to the local manufacturers prevailing at present at evaluating bids, during
the procurement process carried out for procurement of electric cables, conductors,
Galvanized iron etc goods and equipment manufactured in Sri Lanka by Ceylon
Electricity Board and its affiliates, with the objective of ensuring a fair competition
to local manufacturers under the prevailing circumstances.

12. Project to assist enhancing the accountability of supplying electricity –
Package 7 Lot No. A2: Installation of a Static Var System (± 100 Mvar) in the
Biyagama Grid Sub Station.

The Asian Development Bank has granted a loan of United States Dollares 115
million under the investment programme of assisting to enhance the accountability
of supplying election in order to strengthen the transmission and distribution
network of Ceylon Electricity Board while, it has been decided to install a Static Var
Sustem (± 100 Mvar) in the Biyagama Grid Sub Station. Accordingly, the proposal
furnished by the Minister of Electricity and Power for awarding M/s Hyosung Heavy
Industries Corporation the relevant contract as per the recommendation of the

 

Standing Procurement Committee appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers was
approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

13. General Election – 2020 – Using official vehicles and official residencies for
promoting the party / candidature by the Prime Minister and other ministers
and the requirement of payment of an amount to the Government

His Excellency the President has dissolved the 08 th Parliament by now and has
declared the dates for the General Election. However, the Prime Minister and the
Cabinet Ministers are engaged in their official duties until the date of the General
Election while the Speaker as well as the Leader of the Opposition shall participate
in the official duties as the members of the Constitutional Council. However, it was
observed the appropriateness for them to pay a reasonable amount to the
Government for using their official vehicles and official residencies since they
participate in the activities of promoting their political party and candidature during
the same period. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers decided that the office bearers
mentioned above shall follow the same procedure followed during the General
Election held in 2015.
 Payment of a monthly rental of Rupees 100,000/- per vehicle if official vehicles
are used for promotion of their party and candidature.
 Bearing the amount spent for additional fuel required than the quantity of fuel
provided for the official vehicles personally by them.
 Personally, bearing all expenditure if utilizing planes or choppers for promotion
of their political party and candidature.
 Payment of a monthly rental of Rupees 100,000/- for the official residence if
used for promotion of their party and candidature.

14. Procurement of fertilizer – (April) 2020

The covering approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted for the proposal
furnished by the Minister of Mahaveli, Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural
Development for awarding the contract of procurement of the stocks of chemical
fertilizer required for the month of April 2020 to be imported for the companies of
Ceylon Fertilizer Company Limited (Lak Pohora) and Colombo Commercial
Company Limited (Commercial Fertilizer) under the purview of the Ministry of
Mahaveli, Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development to the following
establishments subject to the recommendation of the Standing Procurement
Committee appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers.
 To award the contract of importing 27,400 = 5% metric tons of Urea (Granula)
required for the companies of Ceylon Fertilizer Company Limited (Lak Pohora)
and Colombo Commercial Company Limited (Commercial Fertilizer) for a sum of

 

United States Dollars 270.74 per metric ton to Valency International Trading
Private Limited.
 To award the contract of importing 2,040 = 5% metric tons of Urea (Frilled)
required for the company of Colombo Commercial Company Limited
(Commercial Fertilizer) for a sum of United States Dollars 228.30 per metric ton
to Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Limited.
 To award the contract of importing 3,000 = 5% metric tons of Triple Super
Phosphate required for the company of Ceylon Fertilizer Company Limited (Lak
Pohora) for a sum of United States Dollars 263.00 per metric ton to Golden Bali
International Trading Private Limited.

15. Controlling the economy amidst challenges to the global economy from COVID
– 19

A drastic setback in the global economy has been experienced with the outbreak of
New Corona Virus (COVID – 19) while its preamble is visualized with the total
discrepancy in the transportation / logistics, tourism and aviation industries.
Although China, the epicentre of this epidemy has given the greenlight of controlling
and prevention of the epidemy by now due to its precautionary measures taken, the
New Corona Virus (COVID – 19) has invaded many countries including developed
countries in the world.
Under these circumstances, it is essential the government has to mediate in
supplying public health services within the country, take every possible precaution
for the prevention of the epidemy, provision of services and supplies dispersed
throughout a massive spectrum as well as controlling the damage caused to the
sectors of tourism, export, foreign employment, information technology and micro /
minor enterprises related to those sectors.
By 02 nd of March 2020, on which the Parliament was dissolved, the appreciation act
had not been tabled in the Parliament for the year 2020 whereas the Government
had to see for other precautions and remedies as a result of no ally from the
Opposition for the bill tabled by the Government for required financing due to
insufficient provisions available for procurement of medicine applicable to the year
2019, procurement of fertilizer as well as settling bills pertaining to various
constructions and above all conducting the general election in the year 2020 by the
supplementary budget approved by then.
Therefore, by virtue of the powers vested in His Excellency the President from the
Constitution of the country, the provisions to furnish the required provisions for the

 

purposes mentioned above has been empowered by now while the General
Treasury has taken the following measurements accordingly.
 Releasing Rupees 10 billion for settling the bills procured medicine in
arrears.
 Releasing Rupees 500 million for Corona eradication activities.
 Releasing Rupees 3 billion for settling the procurement bills of fertilizer.
 Releasing Rupees 5 billion for settling bills of small and medium scale
construction contractors.
 Allocation of Rupees 46 billion for the interest applicable for the senior
citizens’ deposits that had not been paid for two years.
 Supplying Rupees 08 billion required for the General Election 2020.
Considering the risk prevailing in the economy due to the slowdown
experienced in the global economy, many countries tend to look for mid term
local solutions. Accordingly, the Government have paid attention on harvesting
the precise benefits considering the trend of declining in the crude oil prices
currently existing in the global market and has planned to implement the
following resolutions taking the opinions of the experts into consideration.
 Sustaining the current market fuel price as it is with the objective of minimizing
the traffic congestion while easing the public and the private vehicle
transportation.
 Imposing an import tax so that a profit margin can be acquired by the
Government when importing crude oil.
 Establishment of a Petroleum Stabilization Fund utilizing the savings from price
deduction of fuel in the international market while collecting an amount of
Rupees 200 billion within a period of 06 months under the said fund.
 Provision of Rupees 50 billion to the Ceylon Electricity board from the
aforementioned fund so that a deduction can be made from the amount of
payables to the Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation by the Ceylon Electricity Board.
 Considering advantage of the decline of prices in crude oil in the global market,
supplying the Ceylon Electricity Board crude oil for an amount of Rupees 70/-
per liter by the Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation and settle the bank loan and its
interest by deducting more than Rupees 30 billion from the expenditure spent
for generating thermo electricity.
Whereas, considering the drought experienced in most of the areas in the
country as well as the requirement of supplying essential food rations for a fair
price under current prevailing circumstances, it has been planned to deduct the
maximum retail price of a kilo (01 kg) of red legumes / dhal to Rupees 65/-, and
the maximum retail price of 450 g of canned fish to Rupees 100/-.

 

Furthermore, it has been planned to provide the following concessionaries for
the sustainable maintenance of the fields of tourism, garments and trade too
which are affected due to the New Corona Virus.
 A concessionary period of six (06) months for pay back the loans obtained from
banks and financial establishments.
 Especially introducing a flexible working time frame for the fields of information
technology and garment while providing a concession for the payment of
overtime and for working on holidays. And;
 Providing working capital needs under an interest rate of 4%.
Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers has been granted for the proposal
submitted by His Excellency the President for the implementation of the
programme mentioned above.