Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers on 02.01.2023
01. Program for Restructuring State-Owned Enterprises.
The resolution for the restructuring of state enterprises was presented to the Parliament by the Hon President in the interim budget of 2022 as well as in the budget presented for the year 2023. Accordingly, the State Enterprises Restructuring Unit has already been established under the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to facilitate the restructuring process of State Enterprises. Some of the entities targeted for restructuring are state-owned companies of which the government is the majority shareholder. Some state owned enterprises operate as corporations. Under that situation, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Hon. President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stability and National Policies to make necessary arrangements to establish a parent company affiliated to the Treasury with 100% equity ownership by the Secretary of the Treasury and to make necessary arrangements to register the State Enterprises identified for restructuring as subsidiaries of the said parent company in order to accelerate the state-owned enterprises restructuring program.
02. Accepting the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment.
The Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment established in 2001 under the auspices of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law and the International Civil Aviation Organization. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Hon. Minister of Ports, Naval and Aviation to accept the Convention and to make the necessary laws to implement the relevant provisions in Sri Lanka
03. Protocol on Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Hygiene Requirements of Marine Fisheries Aquatic Products to be Exported from Sri Lanka to China.
The General Administration of Customs of the Republic of China has approved the export of 33 Sri Lankan food products to China. Among them 29 are aquatic products and 38 Sri Lankan companies registered in the Republic of China are working as exporters of these products. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Fisheries to sign the Protocol on Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Hygiene Requirements of Marine Fisheries Aquatic Products to be Exported from Sri Lanka to China between the Customs Administration of the Republic of China and the Ministry of Fisheries of the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in order to provide the necessary support and encouragement for the export of aquatic products to China.
04. Introducing a system for the admission of students from Grade 2 to Grade 11 in schools (Except Grade 6).
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Education to introduce a new system for the admission of students from grade 2 to grade 11 (except grade 6 ) in schools by further streamlining the current circular provisions to identify groups that really need to change their schools and to create fair and equal access opportunities to admit in to intermediate grades and to keep the maximum number of students for grades 1-5 class at 40 and for grades 6-11 at 45 unchanged under the new system.
05. Establishment of a Rapid Service Unit under the Urban Development Authority.
The Urban Development Authority has identified the need to expedite development projects in urban areas. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Urban Development to establish a One-Stop-Unit by improving the current development application processing system.
06. Sale of housing units in Borella Oval View Residencies project on freehold basis.
The 24-storey Oval View Residencies housing project in Borella consisting of 608 housing units built for government employees and 5 commercial units has been completed and was handed over to the beneficiaries in the year 2020. The Proposal presented by the Minister of Urban Development and Housing to provide freehold deeds to the beneficiaries in accordance with the provisions of the Urban Development Authority Act No. 41 of 1978 was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
07. 4th cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In accordance with a resolution adopted by of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006, all member states must be subjected to a universal periodic review once every 4 years. This provides an opportunity to declare the national level steps taken by the member countries to improve the condition of human rights in the member countries and to fulfill the human rights obligations of those countries. Sri Lanka has participated in 3 review cycles so far and the next review is scheduled to be held on February 01, 2023. The Cabinet agreed on the measures taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present a self-evaluation regarding the steps taken since the previous review by the National Report of Sri Lanka to be submitted under the 4th review cycle.
08. Amendment of Sri Lanka Port Authority Act No. 51 of 1979.
Section 5 (1) of Sri Lanka Port Authority Act No. 51 of 1979 contains the provisions applicable to the appointment of members to the board of directors of Sri Lanka Port Authority. However, no provisions have been made by those provisions to appoint a representative of the subject Minister of Ports to the board of directors. Since the presence of a representative of the subject minister is appropriate when taking necessary decisions, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the resolution furnished by the Minister of Port, Shipping and Aviation to amend section 5 (1) of Sri Lanka Port Authority Act. No. 51 of 1979.
09. Fundamental activities relevant to the divestiture of crown lands to be performed only through the Divisional Secretaries.
Powers to the divestiture of lands under the Mahaveli development Scheme are reserved with the Director General of Sri Lanka Mahaweli Development Authority, while the powers to divesture of lands under the Land Reform Commission reserves under that Commission. Since the objectives under the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Scheme as well as the Land Reform Commission have been accomplished by now, there should be an appropriate procedure to perform all the fundamental activities applicable to divestiture of all crown lands including the divestiture of crown lands under the purview of the above two institutions by the Divisional Secretaries. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to issue a concurrence on the action taken by the Hon. President to appoint a committee headed by a Senior Additional Secretary to the President to prepare and submit a policy and required guidelines to divest lands including the amendments that should be introduced by studying all rules and regulations prevailing in regard to divestiture of crown lands.
10. Submission of regulations issued under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, No. 01 of 1969 to the Parliament for its approval.
The resolution furnished by the Hon. President as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to submit the following regulations issued under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, No. 01 of 1969 to the Parliament was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers:
• Imports and Exports (Control) regulations No. 23 of 2022 enacted by extraordinary gazette notification No. 2309/40 dated 09.12.2022
• Imports and Exports (Control) regulations No. 24 of 2022 enacted by extraordinary gazette notification No. 2311/08dated 19.12.2022
• Imports Control regulations No. 25 of 2022 for control of import for payment methods enacted by extraordinary gazette notification No. 2311/18 dated 21.12.2022
11. Import of eggs as a remedy to the shortage of eggs prevailing in the local market.
The Cabinet of Ministers decided to import eggs with the mediation of the Government if required it as a remedy to the inconvenience encountered by the customers due to the shortage of eggs in the local market prevailing at present and the price hike possible.