New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced raising the disinvestment target to Rs 1,05,000 crore from FY2019-20 as against Rs 90,000 crore set in the interim budget. Presenting the first Budget of the Modi government in its second term, Sitharaman said the sovereign external debt to GDP is among the lowest globally — less than 5 per cent. She also said a new series of coins of Re 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 easily identifiable for visually challenged will be made available for public use shortly. The finance minister highlighted the need to replicate Zero Budget Farming, to go back to basics, which will help double the income of farmers. Indian Developmental Assistance Scheme will be revamped during the current financial year, she added.
The Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Ms. Monica Pinto, and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan Mendez undertook a joint visit from 29 April to 7 May 2016. The Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Ms. Rita Izsák is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from 10-20 October 2016, and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, MainaKiai, will visit in the first quarter of year 2017.Aryasinha also said that from 15- 16 November 2016, Sri Lanka will present its 5th Periodic Report under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). He said Sri Lanka receives invaluable assistance through the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund to implement some of the important steps in the areas of transitional justice, reconciliation, good governance, and resettlement and durable solutions.While constructive engagement with the Special Procedures and the UN system as a whole has already benefited Sri Lanka significantly, Sri Lanka looks forward to continuing its engagement and it also hope that the Government and people of Sri Lanka will receive the support required from the international community as a whole in capacity building and strengthening institutions, and also ensuring economic development which is essential for entrenching the reform agenda undertaken by the Government. (Colombo Gazette) The Government says it believes engagement with the UN system and the Human Rights Mechanisms is in the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka, to obtain advice and views, and also expertise and technical assistance that will benefit Sri Lanka in terms of capacity building and ensuring the strengthening of local institutions.The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha P. Aryasinha said that following the Standing Invitation extended on 17 December 2015, to all UN thematic Special Procedures Mandate Holders to visit Sri Lanka, a number of Special Rapporteurs, in consultation with the Government regarding Sri Lanka’s priorities, have already undertaken visits representing a broad range of mandates. The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff visited Sri Lanka from 30 March – 3 April 2015, 26 January – 1 February 2016 and in June 2016, in a technical advisory capacity and we look forward to continuing our engagement with him in this capacity.