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DateLine Friday, 2 November 2007

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Cabinet decisions

Relief for consumers through wheat flour from China

The Cabinet has approved a memorandum submitted by the Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardena, to import 5,000 MT of Wheat Flour in the first month to initiate an import programme and increase this up to 20,000 MT per month subsequently at US$ 378 PMT.

The import cost per kilogram would come to Rs. 45.64 and it is expected that this move would help stabilise wheat flour prices and bring much needed relief to the consumer.

The wheat will be purchased from China Shandong International Economic And Technical Cooperation Ltd, China under the supervision of the Minister.

Wheat flour will be supplied to Lanka Sathosa Ltd under this programme and the MPCSS through the CWE, as has been done previously and to provide the Treasury Guarantee to the People’s Bank to provide credit facilities to enable the CWE to purchase the wheat flour.

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Rehabilitation assistance for election violence victims

The Cabinet has approved to a memorandum submitted by the Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, to effect payments to persons affected by election violence. Consequently, a total of Rs. 24,001,653 will be released to REPPIA (Rehabilitation of Persons, Properties and Industries Authority) in order to meet this commitment.

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Water supply schemes for Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa

The Cabinet has approved a Cabinet memorandum submitted by the Water Supply and Drainage Minister A.L.M. Athaullah, to release funds from an ADB loan to implement water supply schemes in Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa under Water Supply Scheme under the Secondary Towns and Rural Community Based Water Supply and Sanitation Project. Elevated water towers and a distribution system will be constructed under this project.

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Implementation of soil conservation programmes

The Cabinet has approved a memorandum submitted by the Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena, to implement a comprehensive national programme for soil conservation within a period of 5 years.

Rs. 150 million has been allocated for this project. The project was formulated by the Natural Resources Management Unit of the Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Ministry.

It is also planned to make amendments to the Soil Conservation Act to strengthen the legal framework.

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“Mahinda Puram” resettlement village

The Cabinet has decided to establish a model resettlement scheme in the NHDA (National Housing Development Authority) housing scheme at Navatkuly in Jaffna District following a memorandum submitted by Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda.

The NHDA will be requested to divert land and buildings comprising 168 units at Navatkuly to the GA Jaffna, who will carry out repairs and install infrastructure facilities to make these units habitable. The scheme will be named ‘Mahinda Puram’.

These units and the livelihood support (fishing gear, carpentary, masonry, tailoring and animal husbandry to the value of Rs. 30,000 (per family) will be handed over to displaced/poorest families in Jaffna.

Funds for this project will be diverted from the ‘Jayalanka Programme’ as well as other sources.

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National cultural policy

The cabinet has approved a memorandum submitted by Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to draft and implement a national cultural policy.

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