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Parliamentary schedule from August 17

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The Committee on Parliamentary Business recently decided to set aside time from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm on September 06 and 27 for 68 questions for oral answers which were unable to be asked due to various reasons, Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said.

It was also decided at the CPB chaired by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to hold four sitting days from 17th August to 20th August, the Secretary General said.

Accordingly, Parliament will convene on August 17 at 10.00 am and from 11.00 am to 4.30 pm and take up for debate Corona Virus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Temporary Provisions) Bill, Regulations under the Value Added Tax Act No. 14 of 2002, 06 Orders under the Special Commodity Levy Act No. 48 of 2007 and 05 Orders under the Ports and Airports Development Levy Act No. 18 of 2011.

On the same day time has been allotted for Questions at the Adjournment Time from 4.30 pm to 4.50 pm and Motion at the Adjournment Time moved by the government will be taken up for debate from 4.50pm to 5.30 pm.

On August 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka Bill, 03 Orders under the Excise (Special Provisions) Act, 02 Resolutions under the Section 10 of the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235) will be taken up for debate.

Thereafter, time has been allotted for Questions at the Adjournment Time from 4.30 pm to 4.50 pm and Motion at the Adjournment Time moved by the opposition will be taken up for debate from 4.50pm to 5.30 pm.

The Registrar of Electors (Amendment) Bill was scheduled to be passed without debate on August 19 from 11.00 am to 12.00 noon, the Secretary General said. Thereafter, the Adjournment motion moved by the Opposition on “Current Problems in the Field of Education in Sri Lanka” will be debated from 12.00 noon to 5.30 pm.

On the 20th the adjournment debate on the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report for the year 2021 will be held from 11.00 am to 5.30 pm on a motion moved by the Government.

The Secretary General also said that during the four sitting days, time would be allotted from 10.00 am to 11.00 am for ‘Questions for Oral Answers’ of the MPs.

Meanwhile, the Committee decided to close the time allotted for Questions for Oral Answers by 11.00 am. It was also decided to give 05 minutes to the party leader who asks questions under Standing Order 27 (2) and 05 minutes to the relevant Minister if he answers them.

The Committee on Parliamentary Business also decided to appoint a special committee chaired by the Prime Minister and consisting of five other Members of Parliament to look into matters which were not currently under the purview of any Ministry that are presented to Parliament, the Secretary General said.



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Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries

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The National Freedom Front (NFF) has requested the immediate intervention of the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to save micro, small and medium scale industries badly affected by the current economic downturn caused by the Covid-19.

The NFF parliamentary group comprises six members, including one National List.

Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa, on behalf of the SLPP constituent parties, has warned of steep increase in unemployment, drop in the contribution made by small and medium scale industries to the national economy and the further widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

Party sources told The Island that the NFF had decided to take up the urgent matter because, in spite of repeated promises, those who had been severely affected were yet to receive assistance. Minister Weerawansa has urged the Central Bank to restructure loans obtained by affected industries and also extend the moratorium.

Weerawansa has in a letter dated Oct.18, told Cabraal that according to a survey conducted by the Industrial Development Board, micro, small and medium enterprises suffered serious setbacks. However, of the loans made available through the banking sector, a substantial segment had been disbursed among major players, the Minister said, while pointing out that in other countries in the region more than 50 percent of total loans were made available to micro, small and medium industries.

Unfortunately, here in Sri Lanka they received approximately 15 percent of the total given as loans, the minister said.

Minister Weerawansa said that though industries suffered, almost all state and private banks had recorded much improved performances with significant profits.

The Minister said that following his intervention with the cabinet of ministers, the government agreed on a plan of action to deal with the situation. It would be the responsibility of the Central Bank to implement the agreed proposals, he said.

(SF)

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So far no side effects among Pfizer vaccinated 15,000 A/L students

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Over 15,000 GCE AL students had been vaccinated with Pfizer and there had not been any side effects, Colombo District Director of Health Dr. Dilip Liyanage told the media yesterday.

He said that the Ministry of Education had given them a list of 20,688 that needed to be vaccinated.

“We would like to assure parents that there is no need to worry. Over 15,000 children have been vaccinated and there have been no problems so far. Trust the health professionals and vaccinate your child at the first opportunity you get,” he said.

Dr. Liyanage added that children who missed their chance to get vaccinated on weekdays, can get vaccinated at the MOH office near their home.

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Govt. approves prohibition of cattle slaughter

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The government has approved the prohibition of cattle slaughter. The decision was announced at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Information Department yesterday (19). The government said the relevant laws and regulations, including those passed by Local Government authorities would be amended for that purpse.

The Legal Draftsman has drafted Bills to amend the following acts and ordinances.

• Authority 272 of the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance No. 9 of 1893

• Act No. 29 of 1958 Concerning Animals

• Municipal Councils Ordinance – Section 252

• Section 255 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance

• Ordinance No. 15 of the Urban Council Act of 1987

The Attorney General has certified that the said Bills do not clash with the provisions of the Constitution.

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