DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE CABINET OF MINISTERS AT ITS MEETING HELD ON 23-08-2016 01. Strengthening the Secretariat for coordinating the reconciliation mechanism (Document No – 07) The above secretariat was established in late 2015 according to a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to productively implement decisions, programmes and processes related to reconciliation process. It is vested with the task of planning and implementing the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. It also coordinates and facilitates policy making and implementing agencies. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to provide necessary human resources and funds for this secretariat, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 02. Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference (Document No – 09) The Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference acts to affirm a good coordination in activities related to Catholics in Asian countries. The Plenary Meeting of this conference is held once in 04 years and it is scheduled to be held on 28th November to 04th December 2016 in Negombo. Eight Cardinals and more than 150 Bishops representing all countries in Asia will participate in this event. The proposal made by Hon. John Amaratunge, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, to obtain the contribution of the Sri Lankan government for holding this event in Sri Lanka, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 03. Liberalization of lubricant industry (Document No – 14) At present 13 companies including Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka Indian Oil Company are engaged in the lubricant industry. However, Sri Lanka could not gain the full benefits of the industry due to issues such as non-issuance of new licence, not amending the biannual registration fees and licence fees since 2006, and non establishment of an independent regulator. Accordingly following proposals made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, presented with the view of implementing the budget proposal in 2016 to facilitate the competition of the industry, were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. (i). Call for applications from interested investors for issuance of licence by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development. (ii). Increase the biannual fixed registration fee and licence fee from Rs. 1 million to Rs. 2 million and increase the maximum registration fee from Rs. 5 million to Rs. 6 million with immediate effect. (iii). Instruct the Sri Lanka Standards Institute to issue national level quality certificates to imported and locally blended lubricants. (iv). Authorise the Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission to act as the regulator of the lubricant industry.(v). Instruct the Consumer Affairs Authority to enact necessary legislation required to provide quality lubricant products to the public. (vi). Instruct the Sri Lanka Customs and Department of Import and Export Control to strictly impose guidelines issued by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development. 04. Liberalization of Bitumen trade (Document No – 15) Bitumen which is widely used in road and other constructions has a frequently expanding market. It has a sustainable market as it is used in construction of new roads as well as renovation of roads. As in the region and in other developing countries there is an expanding market for bitumen, liberalization of the bitumen trade will enable Sri Lanka to become the regional supplier. Accordingly following proposals made by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, presented with the view of implementing the budget proposal in 2016 to liberalize the bitumen market, were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. (i). preparation of directions and policies for liberalization of bitumen import (ii). Issuance of licence for bitumen import by listing it as an item under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act.(iii). Instruct Sri Lanka Standards Institute to introduce standards to suit international standards. (iv). Instruct Industrial Technology Institute and Road Development Authority to upgrade and accredit their laboratory facilities for issuance of quality conformity certificate.(v). Introduction of a biannual fixed registration fee of Rs. 2 million from licence holders. 05. Agreement between Sri Lanka and Georgia on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and official/service passports (Document No – 17) The proposal made by Hon. S.B. Navinna, Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, to enter into the above agreement with the view of developing the friendship between the two countries, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 06. Allocation of funds for the completion of partially completed projects (Document No – 22) Projects of construction of Battaramulla Polduwa by-pass road, drainage improvement in Imaduwa town, construction of Tangalle and Angunakolapelessa commercial complexes and Middeniya town development which are implemented by the Urban Development Authority and construction of Lunugamwehera and Walasmulla bus stands implemented by the Hambantota District Secretariat are being suspended. The proposal made by Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to provide allocations of Rs. 516.8 million to complete the above projects and to assign their construction to current contractors, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 07. Transferring of government pilgrims rest building constructed under the Matale alu vihara sacred site planning scheme to the Matale alu vihara temple (Document No – 24) The above building constructed by the government for providing accommodation for pilgrims was transferred to the Matale Alu Viharaya for 05 years from 2009. The proposal made by Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to transfer the building for further 05 years, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 08. Obtaining Indian Assistance for development activities in Hambantota District under 'Wewak samaga Gamak' programme (Document No – 25) Indian government has agreed to provide a grant of Rs. 300 million for livelihood development including fisheries in Hambantota District. Part of the grant is expected to be used for developing fisheries villages under the above programme. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, to sign an agreement between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of India on the above purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 09. Memorandum of Understanding for building cooperation in Fisheries Industry (Document No – 26) The proposal made by Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, to sign a MoU between the Fisheries Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China and the National Aquaculture Development Authority of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 10. Granting financial subsidy for tea, rubber and coconut fertilizer (Document No – 28) In terms of a decision made at the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management it has been decided to grant the fertilizer subsidy to tea, coconut and rubber smallholders who own a cultivated land in extent of one hectare or less, in proportion to the extent of land cultivated annually. A financial subsidy of Rs. 15000 for tea sector, Rs. 9000 for coconut sector and Rs. 5000 for rubber sector is granted. The proposal made by Hon. Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries, to increase the current extent of land from 01 hectare to 02 hectares with the view of benefitting more cultivators under the above subsidy scheme, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 11. Construction of proposed economic centre in Vavuniya at two places and obtaining of consultancy services (Document No – 32) Selection of a suitable place to construct the Economic Centre in Vavuniya, which is to be constructed under a budget proposal 2016, has been assign to the Vavuniya District Development Committee. It was required to complete the construction using budgetary allocations within this year. Considering the recommendations made by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management, the proposal made by Hon. P. Harrison, Minister of Rural Economic Affairs, to construct 2 Economic Centres in Mankulam of Mullaitivu District and in Mathauvaithakulam in Vavuniya District, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 12. Holding International Religious conference in November 2016 in Colombo (Document No – 40) The Cabinet has already approved to hold two international religious conferences considering the timely need for building relationship, coexistence between religions and reconciliation between nationalities. The proposal made by Hon. M.H.A. Haleem, Minister of Post, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs, to obtain funds to hold the above conference under the theme 'Role of Religion in pluralistic and democratic societies in South and South East Asia- perspective of Islam' in November 2016 in Colombo with the participation of high level local and foreign representatives including heads of states of about 16 countries, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 13. Obtaining fishnet products to be distributed among fishermen from Northsea Company (Document No – 41) The joint proposal made by Hon. D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs and Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, to purchase fishnet products on the above purpose from 100% treasury owned company Northsea Limited, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 14. Supply of Uniform and other clothing material for the Sri Lanka Army, Navy, Air Force and Civil defence Force for 2016 (Document No – 45) Clothing requirement for above purposes are being purchased from local textile manufacturers from 2005 and it has been implemented under the Domestic Textile Allocation Committee established under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defense, to purchase required textiles from domestic manufacturers as recommended by the Domestic Textile Allocation Committee on the above purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 15. Construction of roads in downstream development area under Moragahakanda – Kaluganga Development Project (Document No – 46) Development of irrigation and infrastructure in downstream area of the above project is important to resettle people affected by the project and to gain its full benefits. Accordingly, the proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to award the contracts of construction of (road surfacing) Moragahakanda – Wellawela Road (6.37 km), Medirigiriya – Kantale Road via Agbopura (8.5 km) and roads inside New Laggala town according to the recommendations made by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 16. Central Expressway Project – Construction of 3rd phase from Pothuhera to Galagedara (32.5 km) – Obtaining bids and proposals (Document No – 47) The proposal made by Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to call for bids and proposals for selection of a contractor and a consultant according to the recommendations made by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management on the above project, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 17. Infrastructure development in the Sri Lanka institute of Advanced Technological Education, Jaffna (Document No – 48) The proposal made by Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to award the contract for construction of a 04 storied building for the Institute of Advanced Technological Education, Jaffna, as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 18. Ratnapura Expressway project – Receive proposals for the procurement of civil works contracts (Document No – 50) It is proposed to construct Ratnapura Expressway (73.9 km) from Kahathuduwa interchange on the Southern Expressway to Pelmandulla. Feasibility studies, preliminary design and environmental impact assessment are being carried out at present. The EXIM bank of China has agreed to fund its civil work construction. The Expressway is to be constructed in 04 parts and the proposal made by Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to call for technical and financial proposals from companies recommended by the Government of China for the each part of the road, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 19. Construction of a new three storied building for the Haliela Divisional Secretariat (Document No – 52) Haliela Divisional Secretary Division in Badulla District is comprised of 57 Grama Niladhari Divisions and a population of over 90000 people. Currently the Divisional Secretariat is situated in old building with limited space causing various difficulties for the public. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Vajira Abeywardana, Minister of Home Affairs, to construct a new three storied building for the benefit of the public and the staff at an estimated cost of Rs. 176 million, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 20. Award of contract for construction of Habarana – Veyangoda 220 kV Transmission line (lot-b) (Document No – 55) Above project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, to award the above contract as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 21. Construction of a housing scheme for married officers of the Police Special Task Force (Document No – 56) It has become an immediate requirement to provide housing facilities for married officers in the STF engaged in various defence activities including maintaining law and order in Colombo and suburbs, control of violence, and relief operations in disaster situations. The proposal made by Hon. Sagala Ratnayake, Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development, to construct a housing complex in the Kalapaluwawa STF Camp at an estimated cost of Rs. 388 million on the above purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 22. Establishment of National Information Centre (Document No – 57) Provision of complete, reliable and accurate official information to public is a key responsibility of the government and it has been reaffirmed by the recently adopted Right to Information Act. The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to establish a National Information Centre by implementing rules of good governance, obtaining public opinion in policy making, providing official information of the government to electronic and print media and coordinating information and to act as the government's official media spokesperson, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.