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2 pacts inked with India to build 10,000 houses

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The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka has signed two significant agreements for the construction of 10,000 houses in plantation areas of Sri Lanka under Phase-IV of Indian Housing Project yesterday (Nov. 28).

Separate agreements with the two Implementing Agencies namely National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) and State Engineering Corporation (SEC) are aimed at early roll out of construction of the 10,000 houses. 

Counsellor and Head of Development Cooperation Wing, Mr. Eldos Mathew Punnoose, Chairman of SEC, Mr. Rathnasiri Kalupahana, and General Manager, NHDA, Mr. Kankanamalage  Ajantha  Janaka were the signatories to the two agreements.

Phase-IV of Indian Housing Project is spread across 11 Districts and 6 provinces of Sri Lanka. It may be recalled that the overall commitment of Government of India under the Indian Housing Project currently stands at 60,000 houses. While 46,000 houses were completed in Northern and Eastern Provinces in the first two phases, the third phase for the construction of 4000 houses in plantation areas is nearing completion.

Housing receives focused attention in India’s people-centric development cooperation partnership with Sri Lanka. Beyond Indian Housing Project, 2400 houses are being built across the 25 Districts of Sri Lanka under different housing projects. India’s development cooperation portfolio stands at around USD 5 billion, with close to USD 600 million being in grants.

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Additional Health Secy. to Court

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Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Health Dr. Saman Rathnayake who was arrested and remanded over the medicine procurement scandal was escorted to the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court, to provide a confidential or In Camera statement.

Saman Ratnayake, who was interrogated for over seven hours, was arrested at the Criminal Investigation Department last Friday.

He was presented before the Maligakanda court last Saturday.

When the case was called, the magistrate remanded the suspect until March 14, considering the facts presented by the Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama.

The suspect thereafter informed court via counsel of his willingness to provide a statement In Camera.

Therefore, the magistrate ordered the suspect to appear before the court on March 4, today, to deliver the confidential statement.

(News 1st)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by News 1st has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Electricity, petroleum supply, declared essential services

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An Extraordinary Gazette has been issued declaring all activities related to the supply of electricity and petroleum products as essential services.

The relevant gazette has been issued by the Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake on Sunday (03) by order of the President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

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Fuel price revision likely tonight?

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A fuel price revision is likely to take place tonight (04), as per sources.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) stated that although the fuel price was slated to be revised at the end of February, the price revision will possibly take place today.

The CPC amends the fuel prices monthly as per the pricing formula. Accordingly, the prices were last revised on January 31, where the prices of octane 92 petrol, octane 95 petrol, super diesel and kerosene were increased.

Against this backdrop, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued an Extraordinary Gazette declaring all services connected to the supply of electricity and the supply or distribution of petroleum products and fuel as essential services with effect from 03 March 2024. 

Accordingly, the proclamation states that the services specified have been declared as Essential Public Service considering it necessary that the services provided by any Public Corporation or Government Department or Local Authority or Co-operative Society or any branch thereof being a Department or Corporation or Local Authority or Co-operative Society, which is engaged in provision of the services specified, is essential to the life of the community and is likely to be impeded or interrupted.

In the meantime, the Fuel Distributors’ Association alleges that the CPC has taken steps to incur a usage fee of 35% of the monthly rebate amount received by the fuel distributors. President of the association Shelton Fernando claimed that through this action, it will not be possible for them to even meet the daily expenses for the distribution activities.(adaderana.lk)

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