Written by Tharushan Fernando
15 Feb, 2017 | 8:19 pm
A proposal has been made to the cabinet to consider the ability of reducing the death penalty to life imprisonment. The proposal was made in the recommendations submitted by the inter-institutional task force which was tasked with the identification of prison reforms.
Minister of Justice Wijayadasa Rajapaksa and Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan, had presented the recommendations made by the inter-institutional task force appointed for the Identification of judicial and legal reasons for minimising congestion in prisons and prison reforms, to cabinet yesterday.
The proposals include considering the ability of reducing death penalty to life imprisonment, the use of community-based corrections productively and enabling the payment of fines as installments instead of imposing imprisonment for those who fail to pay fines.
It has also recommended utilising police bailing method according to provisions in Bail Act.These recommendations are to be presented to parliament in due course.
In addition the special commodity levy on a kilogram of crude coconut oil/crude palm oil will be reduced from Rs. 130 to Rs. 110 and the special commodity levy of a kilogramme of palm kernel and refined palm oil will be reduced from Rs. 150- to Rs. 130.
A sparring of words took place today at the Cabinet Media Briefing when decision on rice were being announced where Minister of Health,Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that Sathosa brought down the price from Rs 90 to Rs. 75 but if Sathosa starting selling more than five kilogramme all the wholesale traders will come and purchase all the stocks and re-sell it for Rs. 90. Therefore the five kilogramme condition has been put forward to stop such acts.
After the election the government started storing paddy at the Mattala Airport citing there was an excess of paddy and according to Dr.Senaratne the stocks were distributed as per the annual process and released to mill owners
Journalists questioned if the stocks were still available, to which the Minister of Health said that he is unaware of what happened to those stocks .
The Auditor General released a report in January citing that 7947 metric tonnes of rice had been misplaced and an inquiry will be carried out regarding the matter, according to the Dr.Senaratne
Cabinet had also granted approval for the proposal to formulate a new act for the National Lotteries Board.
The National Lotteries Board had generated an income of 17.5 billion rupees for the year 2015 and the objective of the new act is to overcome the shortcomings in the existing act.
Accordingly, the proposal made by the Minister of Finance, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a new act for the NLB, considering the present market trends, was approved by the cabinet of ministers.
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