Progress of the large – scale development projects at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

While 284 large – scale development projects exceeding rupees billion of estimated cost are being implemented under 41 Ministries rupees 692.5 billion have been allocated for the year 2021 in this connection. 53 projects out of them are projects pertaining to government’s pioneer development targets such as “Drinking Water for All” and “Development of road network of 100,000 kilometers”. The Cabinet of Ministers considered the report furnished by the Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance in regard to the progress of those projects within the first quarter of the year 2021 pointing out the necessity of immediately settling the procedural and legal issues relevant to land acquisition that directly affecting the performance of some of the projects along with the requirement of all the relevant entities to work together in order to accomplish the precise investment targets expected from those projects.

Hosting the 16th session of the UNESCO Inter – State Committee on Intangible

Cultural Heritages scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka from 13th to 18th December 2021.While acting as a stakeholder in the UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritages, Sri Lanka is acting as a member of its Inter – State Committee at present. Sri Lanka has been privileged to host the 16th session / conference of that inter – state committee in Colombo scheduled to be held from 13th to 18th December 2021. It is expected that a diplomatic group of 30 individuals from the UNESCO Secretariat will accompany the Director General of UNESCO while representatives from 195 member states and diplomatic missions will be present comprised of approximately 1000 overseas representations. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution furnished by the Minister of Education for performing further actions as per the work plan prepared for hosting this session / conference.

Inauguration of discussions for entering into a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh act as stakeholder member countries of the accords namely SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA), South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA),

Global System of trade Preference (GSTP), Asia – Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

However, trade movements between the two states lies at a minimum level despite of special provisions under the aforementioned accords. During the diplomatic tour of the Hon. Prime

Minister in Bangladesh in previous March, the leaders of the two member states had agreed upon the requirement of entering into a free trade accord for strengthening economic relationships between the two countries. Whereas, it has been agreed upon looking into the possibility of entering into a preferential trade agreement with a short list of goods as the initial step.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers agreed the proposal furnished by the Minister of Trade for holding discussions with the relevant authorities of that country with regard to entering into apreferential trade agreement with Bangladesh.

Amendment of Civil Procedure Code

It has been identified the requirement of applicably amending the provisions depicted in Chapter XVI of Civil Procedure Code for formalizing the appointment and supervision of sworn translators and supervise them as well as eliminating the ambiguity of the provisions existing at present.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution submitted by the Minister of Justice for the amendment of sections 118, 119, and 120 of Chapter XVI of the Civil Procedure Code and, direct the Legal Draftsman to formulate draft bills in regard to that.

Establishment of Courts of First Instance

It has been recognized that a planned, target access with holistic and broad reformation is required to the judiciary in order to pay attention on the issues causing delay of law and activate and empower the justice process since the delay of law in this country has reached a decisive stage.

Accordingly, the Minister of Justice has appointed a committee chaired by Dr. RuwanFernando, Justice of the Appeal Court for studying in regard to the establishment of prior case trial and Courts of First Instance. The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the resolution furnished by the Minister of Justice for acting as follows considering the recommendations furnished by the said Committee.

• Amendment of Judicature Act No. 2 of 1978 for enabling establishment of courts of first instance.

• Formulation of a draft bill to enable introduction of new laws to furnish provisions for the special procedure related to courts of first instance.

Construction of Wind Power Plant Mannar

Cabinet approval was granted on the 29th of January 2019 to add 60 MW wind power capacity to 05 Grid Substations at Trincomalee, Mannar, Madampe, Bolawatta and Kappalthurai. Under this project, international competitive bids have been invited for the construction of a wind power plant for the Mannar Grid substation and its connection to the transmission network. The Minister of Power and Energy proposed to award HirurasPower the construction contract of said wind power plant on the basis of construction ownership, operation for 20 year operation basis as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Negotiation Committee and its connection to the transmission network of the Mannar Grid Sub Station. The proposal was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Purchasing apparel needs for the government institutes from local manufactures in provincial level.

It has been identified that the local market invasions by the less quality importations which are not subjected to the quality standards and the increase in the production cost due the importation of 70% of production materials as the issues that are faced by the local manufactures engage in the Garment and Local Apparel Industry. As per the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal tabled by the Minister of Industry as recommended by the State Minister of Batik, Handloom and Local Apparel Products to purchase batik, handloom and local apparel needs for the government institutes located in each province from local manufactures in provincial level to solve the said issues and to make provisions to purchase the said apparel needs from an another province in case of inability to fulfill the said need by its own manufactures.

The Annual Report of the Ministry of Finance – 2020 (Final Budget Statement Report)

As per Section 13 of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 3 of 2003, the AnnualReport (Final Budget Report) should be submitted by the Minister of Finance to the Parliament and the public within five months subsequently to the end of the financial year. Accordingly, the Annual Report -2020 has been published on 31st May, 2021. The report provides an analysis of macroeconomic and socio-economic indices by covering the sectors as the impact of the Covid -19 pandemic and the measures taken to mitigate its impact on economic variables, including financial trends, economic development by 2020, world economic development and the real sector, domestic demand and supply, investment savings, foreign and monetary sectordevelopments and inflation. Moreover, the aforesaid report contents a detailed analysis on the final budget statement including the government revenue and expenditure, cash flowmanagement, deficit financing and the debt. Accordingly, The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal tabled by the Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance to submit the said annualreport to the parliament.


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