Volume II
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COCONUT DEVELOPMENT ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARDS AND THEIR CONSTITUTION

2. Establishment of Boards.

2A. Working Director of a Board.

3. Members of the Board.

4. Disqualification.

5. Terms of office of members.

6. Resignation and removal of members.

7. Appointment of acting members.

8. Eligibility of members for re-appointment.

9. Quorum for meeting of the Board.

10. Procedure at meeting of the Board.

11. Who may preside at meetings

12. Vacancy among members not to invalidate the acts of the Board.

13. Remuneration of members the Board.

14. Seal of the Board.

15. Board subject to direction and control by the Authority.

16. Member to disclose interest in contract proposed to be made by the Board.

17. Members and employees of the Board deemed to be public servants.

18. Board deemed to be a scheduled institution within the meaning of the Bribery Act.

19. Delegation of functions and powers by the Board.

PART II

FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE BOARD

20. Functions of the Board.

21. No function of the Board to be enforceable in court.

22. Powers of the Board.

23. Special powers of the Board.

PART III

COCONUT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY—ITS CONSTITUTION, FUNCTIONS AND POWERS

24. Coconut Development Authority.

25. Authority to be a corporation.

26. Members of the Authority.

27. Quorum for meeting of the Authority.

28. Authority subject to direction and control by Minister.

29. Provisions of sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19 to apply.

30. Functions of the Authority.

31. Powers of the Authority.

PART IV

FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS OF THE BOARD AND THE AUTHORITY

32. Capital of the Board.

33. Coconut cess.

34. Authority to receive sums voted or authorised by Parliament.

35. Financial year.

36. Budget to be approved by Minister.

37. The Authority to make payments to the Board.

38. Incurring of expenditure.

39. Power to borrow.

40. Exemption from customs duty.

41. Accounts.

42. Audit of accounts.

43. The Auditor-General’s report.

44. The Auditor-General’s report to be transmitted to the Minister.

PART V

MANAGEMENT AND ACQUISITION

45. Management of coconut plantation by Authority or Board.

46. Expenses of management to be recovered from proprietor.

47. Prevention of or obstruction to persons acting under section 45 or section 46.

48. Acquisition of a coconut plantation.

49. Absolute title to acquired coconut plantation.

50. Provisions of Sri Lanka State Trading corporations Act to apply.

PART VI

GENERAL

51. Regulations.

52. Transfer of State property and certain contracts and liabilities to the Board or to the Authority.

53. Power to acquire land compulsorily.

54. Appointment of public officers to the staff of the Board or of the Authority.

55. Protection for action taken under this Act or on the direction of the Board or the Authority.

56. No writ to issue against person or property of a member of the Board or the Authority.

57. Offences.

58. Board to take over business of other Boards.

59. Boards which are subject to direction and control of the Authority.

60. Minister’s power to mitigate hardship.

61. This Act to have precedence over other written law.

62. Interpretation.

63. Reference to coconut to be construed as including reference to Palmyrah and certain other palms.

24 of 1975,

46 of 1971,

7 of 1986,

8 of 1986,

40 of 1987,

40 of 2003,

7 of 2019.

AN ACT to provide for the development and regulation of the coconut industry and the utilisation of land in and for coconut plantations; to establish Boards and a public authority known as the Coconut Development authority and to regulate their powers and functions; to provide for a cess on coconut products; to provide for the management and acquisition of coconut plantations, and to make provision for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 30th October, 1971]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Coconut Development Act.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARDS AND THEIR CONSTITUTION

2. Establishment of Boards.

(1) Where the Minister considers it desirable that a Board should be established for the purpose of performing any one or more, or any part, of the functions specified in section 20, the Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette:

(i) specify, subject to the provisions of section 20, the functions to which the Order relates;

(ii) declare that a Board shall be established to perform the specified functions;

(iii) assign a corporate name to the Board;

(iv) specify the initial capital of the Board which shall not exceed such amount as shall have been approved by Parliament;

(v) specify the special powers, if any, of the Board;

(vi) state the principal place of business of the Board;

(vii) fix the number of members of the Board, the number so fixed being not more than eleven;

[S 2(1)(vii) subs by s 2 of Act 40 of 2003.]

(viii) appoint, in accordance with the provisions of section 3, the members of the Board;

(ix) appoint one of the members of the Board as the Chairman of the Board;

[S 2(1)(ix) am by s 2(1) of Act 7 of 2019.]

(ixa) appoint a Working Director, in accordance with the provisions of section 2A, who shall not be a member of the Board; and

[S 2(1)(ixa) ins by s 2(2) of Act 7 of 2019.]

(x) determine the quorum for any meeting of the Board.

(2) Upon the publication of an Order under subsection (1) in the Gazette, a Board (in this Act referred to as the “Board”) consisting of the persons who are for the time being members thereof by virtue of the provisions of section 3 shall, with the corporate name specified in such Order, be deemed to have been established. The Board shall be a body corporate and shall have perpetual succession.

(3) The Minister may, from time to time, by Order published in the Gazette, amend or rescind any Order made under subsection (1).

(4) An Order made under subsection (1), as amended from time to time, is in this Act referred to as the “Incorporation Older”.

(5) The Board may sue and be sued in its corporate name.

(6) The functions of the Board shall be those specified in the Incorporation Order.

(7) The special powers of the Board shall be those specified in the Incorporation Order.

(8) The principal place of business of the Board shall be that specified in the Incorporation Order.

2A. Working Director of a Board.

(1) The Minister may appoint to any Board established under the provisions of section 2 of this Act, a Working Director from among persons who possess an agriculture degree or any other recognised qualification, and knowledge in the field of coconut development.

(2) The Working Director shall—

(a) be a full time officer;

(b) assist the Chairman in the promotion of the development of coconut cultivation and marketing; and

(c) assist the Chairman in the administration, management and operation of the affairs of the Board including the co-ordination of the activities of the Board.

(3) The Minister may remove the Working Director from office after assigning reasons therefore.

(4) The term of office of the Working Director shall be for a period of three years from the date of appointment and he shall be eligible for reappointment unless has been removed from office as referred to in subsection (3). Such reappointment shall be for not more than one further term, whether consequent or not.

(5) The office of the Working Director shall become vacant upon the death, removal from office under subsection (3) or resignation by letter in that behalf addressed to the Minister.

(6) Where the Working Director by reason of ill health, infirmity or absence from Sri Lanka is temporarily unable to perform the duties of his office, the Minister shall appoint another member of the Board to act in his place.

(7) The Working Director shall be paid such remuneration as may be specified in the relevant Public Enterprise Circulars issued by the Ministry of Finance.

[S 2A ins by s 3 of Act 7 of 2019.]

3. Members of the Board.

(1) The Board shall consist of such number of members as is fixed by the Incorporation Order and from time to time appointed by the Minister:

Provided that, on any Board that handles coconut products for foreign markets, one such member shall be nominated for appointment by the Minister in charge of the subject of Trade.

(2) The Minister shall appoint one of the members of the Board to be the Chairman of the Board.

4. Disqualification.

A Member of Parliament shall not be qualified to be a member of the Board.

5. Terms of office of members.

Every member shall hold office for a period of three years, unless he is removed from, or otherwise vacates, office earlier:

Provided that a member appointed in place of a member who is removed from, or otherwise vacates, office shall hold office for the unexpired period of the term of office of the member whom he succeeds, unless he earlier is removed from or otherwise vacates office.

6. Resignation and removal of members.

(1) A member may resign office by letter addressed to the Minister.

(2) The Minister may, if he thinks it expedient to do so, remove a member from office without assigning any reason.

7. Appointment of acting members.

Where a member is temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office on account of ill health, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause, the Minister may appoint some other person to act as member in his place.

8. Eligibility of members for re-appointment.

Any member of the Board shall be eligible for reappointment.

9. Quorum for meeting of the Board.

The quorum for any meeting of the Board shall be such number as may be determined by the Minister in the Incorporation Order.

10. Procedure at meeting of the Board.

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Board may regulate its procedure in regard to the meetings of the Board and the transaction of business at such meetings.

11. Who may preside at meetings.

(1) The Chairman of the Board shall preside at every meeting of the Board at which he is present. In the absence of the Chairman from any meeting of the Board, a member chosen by a majority of the members present shall preside at such meeting.

(2) The Chairman of any meeting of the Board shall, in addition to his own vote, have a casting vote.

12. Vacancy among members not to invalidate the acts of the Board.

Any act or proceeding of the Board shall not be deemed to be invalid by reason only of the existence of any vacancy among its members or any defect in appointment of any of its members.

13. Remuneration of members the Board.

The members of the Board may be remunerated in such manner and at such rates as the Minister may, in consultation with the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance, determine.

14. Seal of the Board.

(1) The Board shall have a common seal which shall be in the custody of such person as the Board may decide from time to time.

(2) The seal of the Board may be altered in such manner as may be determined by the Board.

(3) The seal of the Board shall not be affixed to any instrument or document except in the presence of two members of the Board, both of whom shall sign the instrument or document in token of their presence.

(4) The Board shall maintain a register of the instruments or documents to which the seal of the Board is affixed.

15. Board subject to direction and control by the Authority.

In the exercise, discharge and performance of its powers and functions, the Board shall be subject to direction and control by the Authority established by section 24.

16. Member to disclose interest in contract proposed to be made by the Board.

A member who is directly or indirectly interested in a contract proposed to be made by the Board shall disclose the nature of his interest at a meeting of the Board. The disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board, and that member shall not take part in any deliberation or decision of the Board with respect to such contract.

17. Members and employees of the Board deemed to be public servants.

All members and employees of the Board shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning and for the purposes of the Penal Code.

18. Board deemed to be a scheduled institution within the meaning of the Bribery Act.

The Board shall be deemed to be a scheduled institution within the meaning of the Bribery Act and the provisions of that Act shall be construed accordingly.

19. Delegation of functions and powers by the Board.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the supervision, control and administration of the affairs and business of the Board shall be vested in the Board.

(2) The Board may delegate to any member of the Board or to any employee of the Board any of its powers or functions.

(2a) Where the powers referred to in paragraph (h) of subsection (1) of section 23 in respect of the export of any coconut product, are assigned to the Board, the Board may, with the approval of the Minister, delegate to any commercial bank the power to issue licenses for the export of that coconut product in accordance with the qualifications, terms and conditions and procedure for the issue of such licenses as may return mind by the Board.

[S 19(2a) ins by s 2(a) of Act 8 of 1986.]

(3) Every delegate appointed under subsection (2) or Subsection (2a) shall exercise or perform the power or function delegated to him subject to direction and control by the Board.

[S 19(3) am by s 2(b) of Act 8 of 1986.]

PART II

FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE BOARD

20. Functions of the Board.

(1) The Minister may, in the Incorporation Order, assign to the Board any one or more, or any part, of the following functions, namely—

(a) the development and assistance in the development of the productivity of land in coconut plantations;

(b) the cultivation and assistance in and promotion and regulation of the cultivation of land with coconut;

(c) the identification of land in coconut plantations suitable for inter-planting with other crops (including pasture) and the promotion, direction, carrying out and assistance in the carrying out of inter-planting programmes on such land;

(d) the promotion and regulation of, assistance to, and engagement in, animal husbandry on land in coconut plantations;

(e) the specification, popularisation, promotion and direction of proper cultivation practices in respect of the growing of coconut and other crops in coconut plantations;

(f) the manufacture, and assistance in and promotion and regulation of the manufacture, of coconut products;

(g) the promotion of new techniques in the processing of coconut products;

(h) the promotion and direction of the modernisation, and assistance in increasing the efficiency, of establishments manufacturing coconut products;

(i) the prescription and maintenance of standards of quality of coconut products manufactured in or exported from Sri Lanka;

(j) the purchase and sale, and the regulation of the purchase and sale, of coconut products, and the formulation and implementation, or assistance in the formulation and implementation, of minimum and maximum price schemes and price stabilisation schemes for coconut products in general, and for small holders’ coconut products in particular;

(k) the export and import, and the regulation of the export and import and of the export price and import price, of coconut products;

(l) the maintenance, promotion and creation of demand for coconut products, both within and outside Sri Lanka, by advertising, by initiating, financing, supporting and supervising promotional work, by establishing, managing, supervising and supporting sales rooms and agencies, by organising, assisting and participating in, exhibitions and fairs, and by any other means necessary for the purpose;

(m) the conducting of market research into all aspects of the transport and marketing of coconut products within and outside Sri Lanka;

(n) the conducting and furthering of scientific research in respect of, the growth and cultivation of coconut palms, the growing of other crops and the engagement in animal husbandry in coconut plantations and the prevention and cure of diseases and pests;

(o) the establishment and maintenance of research institutes, experimental stations and nurseries;

(p) the conducting and furthering of scientific research in connection with the processing and utilisation of coconut products;

(q) the establishment and maintenance of pilot plants for the processing of coconut products, and the fabrication of experimental processing equipment;

(r) the training of advisory and extension workers to assist the coconut industry;

(s) the guiding and advising of the coconut industry on all matters of a technical nature;

(t) the promotion of co-operative and collective forms of management and ownership of coconut plantations and of establishments manufacturing or trading in coconut products.

(2) The Minister may, in the Incorporation Order, limit the scope of any one or more, or any part, of the functions assigned to the Board, to a region or to a coconut product or to a class or size of coconut plantation, or in any other way specified in a manner determined by the Minister.

21. No function of the Board to be enforceable in court.

Nothing in section 20 shall be construed as imposing on the Board, either directly or indirectly, any form of duty or liability enforceable by proceedings before any court or tribunal to which the Board would not otherwise be subject.

22. Powers of the Board.

(1) The Board shall have the power to do all such acts and take all such steps as may be necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of its functions.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (1), the Board shall have the power:

(a) to acquire in any manner whatsoever and hold, take or give on lease or hire, mortgage, pledge, sell or otherwise dispose of, any movable or immovable property;

(b) to enter into and perform or carry out, whether directly or through any officer or agent authorised in that behalf by the Board, all such contracts or agreements as may be necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions and the exercise of the powers of the Board;

(c) to construct, manufacture, purchase, maintain and repair anything necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions of the Board;

(d) to purchase, transport, store and supply any commodity, equipment or machinery necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions of the Board;

(e) to train, or assist financially the training of, persons to do work necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions of the Board;

(f) to provide services of any kind that may be necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions of the Board;

(g) to levy fees or other charges for services performed, or facilities or equipment provided, by the Board;

(h) to provide assistance, including financial assistance through loans, guaranteeing of loans, subsidies and grants, to any co-operative society, union of co-operative societies, local authority, State-Sponsored Corporation or Government Department or any person or body of persons (whether corporate or not) engaged in the cultivation of coconut or of other crops in coconut plantations, animal husbandry on land in coconut plantations, manufacturing or trading in coconut products, or in the provision of any service, facility, commodity or equipment, or in the doing of any act or thing necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions and the exercise of the powers of the Board;

(i) to own or manage, or participate in the ownership or management of, or assist in or supervise the management of, any land, property, undertaking, or activity connected with the cultivation of coconut or other crops in coconut plantations, animal husbandry in coconut plantations, or the manufacture of or trading in coconut products;

(j) to appoint, employ, remunerate and control such officers, servants and agents as may be necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions and the exercise of the powers of the Board;

(k) to establish and maintain provident funds, gratuity schemes and pension funds, and provide financial assistance, welfare and recreational facilities, houses, hostels and other like accommodation, for the persons employed by or serving the Board;

(l) subject to the provisions of this Act, to make rules in respect of the administration of the affairs of the Board; and

(m) —

(i) to require any person to maintain true and accurate records, in a form and containing the particulars specified by the Board, relating to any matter as may be necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions or the exercise of the powers of the Board;

(ii) to require any person to furnish, within a specified period of time, all such returns, information and explanations as are within the knowledge of that person relating to any matter as may be necessary for, or conducive or incidental to, the performance of the functions or the exercise of the powers of the Board;

(iii) to require any person to produce or cause to be produced before a specified date such documentary or other evidence as the Board may require for the purpose of verifying any facts, entered in any record maintained under sub-paragraph (i), or stated in any return, information or explanation furnished under sub-paragraph (ii);

(iv) to enter and inspect, at any reasonable time, any land, building, office, store, factory, shed or premises for the purpose of examining and verifying any records or for the purpose of verifying any particulars furnished in any return made or information or explanation given to the Board under sub-paragraphs (i) and (ii); and

(v) to enter at any reasonable time any land, building, office, store, factory, shed or premises for the purpose of inspecting and checking stocks of any coconut products.

(3) Any person who fails, without reasonable cause to comply with the provisions of sub-paragraph (i) or sub-paragraph (ii) or sub-paragraph (iii) of paragraph (m) of subsection (2), or who knowingly maintains false records or furnishes false returns, information, explanations, or documentary or other evidence, or who obstructs the Board in the exercise of the powers conferred on it by sub-paragraph (iv) or sub-paragraph (v) of paragraph (m) of subsection (2), shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

(4) Any particulars obtained by the Board under the provisions of sub-paragraphs (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) of paragraph (m) of subsection (2) shall be treated as confidential by the Board and by every member, officer or servant thereof, except where the person furnishing such particulars otherwise agrees, or when the disclosing or publishing of such particulars is necessary for the purposes of this Act or of any legal proceedings thereunder; and any person who knowingly discloses or publishes any such particulars shall be guilty of an offence:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to prohibit the disclosure or publication for statistical purposes of facts and figures which make no reference to any particular individual or business.

23. Special powers of the Board.

(1) The Minister may, in the incorporation Order, assign to the Board any one or more, or any part, of the following special powers, namely the power—

(a) to register—

(i) coconut plantations and the proprietors of such plantations,

(ii) millers and other manufacturers of coconut products,

(iii) auctioneers and brokers engaged in the purchase and sale of coconut products, and

(iv) dealers in and shippers of coconut products;

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