Awarding tax relief as per provisions of Strategies Development Project Act No. 14 of 2008 for the projects within the special zone to be inaugurated in Punneikuda,Erravur, Batticaloa for the manufacturing fabrics.
Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted at their meeting held on the 26th October 2020 to a proposal furnished by the Minister of Industries to establish a zone in Punneikuda, Erravur, Batticaloa specific for manufacturing fabrics, and to consider it as a strategic development project. Therefore, the tariff and other releases to be granted for the projects to be established within the proposed zone under section 3 (2) of theaforementioned act have been published in the extraordinary gazette notification dated 20th April 2021. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the proposal tabled by the Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance for taking the following measures:
• To recognize and accept the proposed fabric manufacturing zone as a strategic development project under section 3 (3) of Strategy Development Projects Act
• To apply the relevant tariff and other releases to the projects to be established within that zone as per the provisions of that act
• To publish a gazette notification as per section 3 (4) of the Strategic Development Project Act pointing out the tax and other reliefs to be granted as such
• In terms of section 3 (5) of the said act, the tariff and other reliefs so granted in the gazette notification should be tabled in the Parliament for approval
02. Agreement between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on mutual cooperation and administrative assistance on customs activities
It has been agreed to enter into an accord of mutual cooperation and administrative assistance on customs activities in between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the objectives of evaluating the tariff such as customs duty and other taxes accurately, properly empowering the banning, restricting, and control actions on specific goods by customs administration, as well as precisely empowering the customs law against customs errors etc. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance to sign the proposed agreement in between the two countries.
03. Entering into a Memorandum of Understanding between the Naval and Oceanic National University of Korea and the Oceanic University of Sri Lanka.
An agreement has been made in between the the Naval and Oceanic National University of Korea and the Oceanic University of Sri Lanka to enter into an memorandum of understanding; with the encouragement of cooperative activities such as the exchange of studies, research and administrative staffs, student exchange, collective researches, lectures and seminars on educational cooperation and study information as well as the materials exchange etc. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers agreed upon the resolution furnished by the Minister of Education for signing the relevant Memorandum of Understanding.
04. Sustaining the Education of the children through indoor activities within the period the schools are closed due to COVID – 19 pandemic situations.
Measures have been taken across various options such as ‘e – thaksalawa’, ‘Guru Gedara’,television and broadcasting programmes, the You Tube channel of the National Institute of Education and other provincial as well as school level online lessons to educate students. However, practical issues have been erupted in regard to totally stimulating schools, Principals, teachers, teacher instructors and other senior officers, to maintain common standards in teaching methodologies, taking the number of student participation and evaluation of the learning performance. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to a resolution furnished by the Minister of Education to implement a programme called “Sustaining the Education of children across indoor activities” utilizing the potential of all institutions and human resources within the entire education sector to the maximum with effect from 01st August 2021.
• Standardize and consolidate activities with expected learning outputs for each grade levels.
• Regularizing and supervision of the activities by teachers
• Maintaining student performance reports by evaluating students’ performance in a weekly manner by teachers.
• Implementing indoor learning activities by the principals and the teachers of the school using parents and students
• Supervision and regularizing the performance of teachers by the teacher instructors.
• Appointment of committees comprised of senior officers to supervise the implementation and monitoring of the proposed programme at national, provincialand zone level
05. Supplying essential commodities on the mediation of Lanka Sathosa and Co –operative movement for stabilization of local market prices.
The dire need to make available the essential commodities without shortage in the local market amidst the COVID – 19 pandemic circumstances has been recognized compulsory.
It has been observed that dhal and white sugar is marketed to higher prices in the local market. Further to this, it has been observed that there is possibility of importing sugar and dhal from India and Australia as a remedy with the mediation of Lanka Sathosa and Co –operative movement and market across Lanka Sathosa and Co – operative movement network. Accordingly, the proposal forwarded by the Minister of Trade for taking necessary steps in this connection has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
06. Acceleration of acquisition of lands for recognized irrigation development projects.
The Cabinet of Ministers by their approval dated 01st February 2021 has granted the consent to apply ‘Lark’ and ‘Super Lark’ theory / methodology in regard to the relevant claimnents / owners of the lands that will be acquired for government purpose until appropriate amendments to the Land Acquisition Act is applied. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted their approval to the resolution tabled by the Minister of Irrigation for calculation and payment of the compensation to the claimnents / owners for their lands to be acquired for implementing drinking water and irrigation water supply projects recognized as pioneer projects in the Northern, North Central, Central, North Western and Eastern provinces applying ‘Lark’ and ‘Super Lark’ theory / methodology.
07. Reinstating the Kondachchi estate belong to Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation with the combined endeavour of Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation and the Department of Civil Defence.
In 1979, Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has inaugurated and maintained a cashew plantation in a land belong to the Government and in extent of 6000 acres in the village of Kondachchi in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Musali in the District of Mannar.
However, the cultivation has been sabotaged due to the conflict prevailed during that time.
By now, Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation combined with the Department of Civil Defence has taken steps to cultivate Cashew in a portion of 935 acres in the same land. A Rs. 125
million has been allocated as a provision from the budget of 2021 for reinstating the Cashew plantation of Kondachchi estate. Using these allocations, Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has planned to cultivate another 1500 acres of Cashew as a project and in the meantime the Department of Civil Defence has planned to cultivate another 500 acres of Cashew in addition to the 935 acres already been cultivated. The two government bodies have entered into an agreement to supply Cashew seedlings / shoots for planting purposes, technical assistance and training as well as the supervision by Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation while maintenance of the plantation to be carried out by the Department of Civil Defence. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution submitted by the Minister of Plantation for taking necessary measures in this connection.
08. Awarding of Contract for the Second Phase of ColomboFort Multi-Storey Car Park and Mixed Development Project.
Competitive bids have been invited for the construction of the superstructure of the the Colombo Fort Multi-Storey Car Park and Mixed Development Project phase II. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Urban Development and Housing to award the relevant contract to Thudawe Brothers Pvt. Ltd. who submitted the lowest bid as recommended by the Standing procurement Committee appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers.
09. Aranya Senasana Conservation Act
The need for a formal program has been identified for the conservation and maintenance of Aranya Senasana while protecting the identity of the monks living there in. Accordingly,the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Buddhasasan to advise a legal draftsman to prepare a Bill for that purpose.
10. Present the Gazette Notification published under the Value Added Tax Act No. 14 of 2002 in the parliament for approval
Gazette Notification No. 2228/33 dated 2021.05.20 has been issued by the Minister of Finance under the Value Added Tax Act No. 14 of 2002, mandating the completion and submission of Schedules 6 and 7, which are available on the Inland Revenue Department website, so that export values submitted by exporters can be compared with export data submitted to Sri Lanka Customs. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Finance to present that order in Parliament for approval.
11. Implementation of new tax proposals
In order to encourage entrepreneurs to disclose and investundisclosed income and assets,the 2021 budget proposes to impose legal provisions to exempt such investors from the obligation to pay taxes, penalty or interest, and to pay only a 1% “Tax on Voluntary Disclosure”, free from investigation or prosecution. Cabinet approval has been granted on 22nd February 2021 to draft the Finance Act 2021 to make the necessary arrangements for this purpose. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by thePrimeMinister in his capacity as the Minister of Finance to publish the Bill in the Government Gazette and then present it to Parliament for approval.
12. Amendment of Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 to include provisions for the establishment of special purpose universities
Cabinet approval has been given to amend the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 to include provisions required for the establishment of special purpose universities. The bill draftedbythe legislature has been cleared by the Attorney General. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Education to gazette the bill and submit for parliamentary approval.
13. Submission of Regulations issued under the Import and Export (Control) Act No. 1 of 1969 for the approval of Parliament
Measures have been taken since April 2021 to control the importation of goods in order to reduce the pressure on foreign reserves and financial markets due to the unpredictable economic situation caused by the Covid 19 epidemic. But the following steps have been taken upon recommendation of Committee appointed by the President to secure local industries and to continue to facilitate the importation of essential consumer goods.
• Permission to import the goods imported on supplier credit facilities as usual
• Maintaining restrictions on imports of certain agricultural products, plastics, ceramics, vehicles and timber products
• Permission to import oxygen and respiratory equipment only on recommendation of National Drug Regulatory Authority
• Inclusion of imported gold and face masks under the import control license system
Accordingly, the cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Finance to submit to Parliament for approval three Regulations issued under the Import and Export (Control) Act No. 1 of 1969 and published in the Gazette dated 11th June 2021.
14. Implementation of Paddy Purchase Program for the 2021 Yala Season
The estimated paddy harvest for this Yala season is 1,500,000 metric tons. The Paddy Marketing Board plans to purchase a significant portion of this. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Minister of Agriculture to implement the
Paddy purchasing Program for the 2021 Yala Season is as follows,
• Purchase of Nadu paddy from farmers at guaranteed prices of Rs. 50 per kg, Sambapaddy at Rs. 52 per kg and Kiri Samba paddy at Rs. 55 per kg.
• Payment of Rs. 1.50 / – per kilo of paddy for purchase, processing and transportation of quality paddy directly from farmers in addition to the guaranteed price
• Payment of additional Rs. 1.50 to the guaranteed price per kilo of paddy to farmer organizations for processing and transportation when purchasing paddy from farmers in remote areas through farmers’ organizations
• When purchasing paddy through Paddy Mill owners and farmers’ organizations that have paddy drying facilities, to reduce the guaranteed price by Rs. 8 per kilo for paddy with 14% – 22% moisture and to pay Rs 2 per kilo for transportation and Rs. 4 per kilo to the mill owners to dry and prepare such paddy stocks.
• Providing provisions for the purchase of harvest in 2021 Yalaseason to the Paddy Marketing Board and the District Secretaries/ Government Agents with the intervention of the General Treasury.
15. Appointment of committees to recommend compensation for damage caused by MV X-Press Pearl fire
An amount of Rs. 720 million has been approved as the first installment of the interim compensation to be paid to the parties affected by maritime damage caused by MV XPress Pearl fire. Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by. Minister of Justice to appoint a committee chaired by Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries comprising officials from other relevant institutions to make recommendations on compensation to the fishing community and to appoint a committee under the chairmanship of the secretary to the Ministry comprising secretaries to the other Ministriesto pay compensation to the affected parties other than the fisheries sector