The Sri Lankan Cabinet of Ministers has announced plans to issue up to 1 billion US dollars worth of bonds to settle short-term debt. At the same time they have decided to negotiate for credit with the EXIM Bank of China for water supply projects in Gampha, Atthnagalle and Minuwangoda. The Cabinet has committed to a total of Rs. 1,151 million (over 1.1 billion) in spending for these projects over three years. The full text of the Cabinet press release is included below.
At a Press Conference held at the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, the Cabinet Spokesman and the Minister of Mass Media and Information Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella announced the following decisions taken at the Cabinet Meeting held yesterday (on 21.07.2010) under the chairmanship of President Mahinda Rajapakse.
1. Cabinet decided to enlist Officer Cadets to be trained as Doctors in the General Sir John Kotalawela Defence University since the Academic Year 2010 as a measure of remedy to the acute shortage of existing medical staff of the three Armed Forces. Hence, 25 Officers Cadets have been enlisted and for this purpose, the Faculty of Medicine has been initiated with the full support of the Ruhunu University.
Approval was granted by the Cabinet of Ministers to obtain the necessary funds from the Treasury to complete construction work of the Medical Faculty building of the Kotalawala Defence University in three phases during the years 2010/11 and 2012. It was noted that funds are available to commence the project in 2010. It was also decided to entrust the construction work to the Sri Lanka Army.
2. Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to sign the Grant Agreement of US$ 10.5 million with the International Development Association of the World Bank to utilize the funds provided by the Australian Agency for International Development for the implementation of part ‘B’ of the Emergency Northern Recovery Project. The objective of this grant project is to implement the work-fare programme which is under the above project. This programme is intended to provide labour employment to the detainees immediately after they have been resettled and each IDP family will be paid RS.25,000 under this progremme and funds are channeled through Banking system.
3. Cabinet granted approval to direct the Legal Draftsman to draft the required amendments to the Animals Act No.29 of 1958 to make provisions to refer to the butchers (Amendment) Act 13 of 2008when offences, in relation to the illicit slaughter of pregnant and lactating cows that are brought to the notice of the Court of Law.
4. Special National Programme for the control of Dengue – Cabinet approval was granted to declare the third week of august 2010 (August 16th- 22nd) as the Dengue Control Week.
5. Approval was granted by the Cabinet of Ministers to instruct the Legal draftsman to draft necessary legislation to implement the National Bio Technology Policy. Cabinet noted that this policy highlights (a). Creating awareness of Bio Technology among the public to enable informed decision making. (b). to position Bio Technology in our society enhancing opportunities for local industries to bio technology. (c).building human resources and establishing centers of excellence in bio technology and bio technology parks. (d). Establishing a National Bio Technology Council to plan, monitor and value of activities related to Bio Technology including facilitating and supporting bio industries while ensuring safe and ethical practices.
6. Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to accept the offer of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAEA) to establish a ‘WINDS Satellite’ data receving station in the disaster management center.
7. Approval was granted by the Cabinet of Ministers to construct the thee storied building at a cost of Rs.268 million for the Faculty of Buddhist Studies under the re-location of the Buddha Sravaka Bhikku University at Anuradhapura. Cabinet noted that this should be implemented in this year facing out within a period of two years.
8. Cabinet considered a Cabinet Memorandum submitted by the Minister of Finance and Planning on resolving the problems pertaining to institutional and service matters of the graduates recruited for priority functions of the Government in 19999, 2004 and 2005 and granted approval for making appointments, attachments and release for the above mentioned graduates over 50,000 in numbers if they have fulfilled the necessary qualifications indicated in the Schemes of Recruitments and with the concurrence of the relevant appointing authorities.
9. Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to issue International Sovereign Bonds up to United States Dollars 1000 million in the international capital market at appropriate, longer term maturity in 2010 under the supervision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Cabinet nod that the Government Expected to use the proceeds of this International Sovereign Bonds to settle the high cost short term dept in order to help to improve the government debt management and maintain interest rates stability.
10. Cabinet approval was granted to instruct the External Resources Department to negotiate with EXIM Bank of China to secure Preferential Buyer’s Credit Facility for the implementation of the Gampha, Atthnagalle and Minuwangoda Integrated water supply scheme.
11. Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft the Micro Finance Bill to set up the Microfinance Regulatory and Supervisory Authority to license/register, regulate and supervise institutions (Companies, Non-Governmental Organizations Co-operative Societies and societies which are registered under the Companies Act, Voluntary Social Service Organizations (Registration and Supervision) Act, that carry on the Microfinance business.
12. Cabinet of Ministers on the recommendation of Minister of Public Administration Home Affairs W.D.J. Senevirathna approved the setting up of Trincomalee District Secretariat at a new premise with a new building complex and the cabinet also approved construction of new buildings for Moneragala, Kegalle and Matara District Secretariat and to construct new buildings also for Matara and Weeraketiya Divisional Secretariats.
All these construction Projects which will cost Rs. 1,151 Millions will be completed within the period of 3 years.
Prof. Ariyaratne Athugala
Director General of Government Information