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Citizen-centric digital governance will make public services faster & easier: President

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said today that the fostering of citizen-centric digital governance would ensure that services such as obtaining National Identity Cards, Passports, Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Driving Licenses and Land Deeds are faster and more convenient to the public.

Addressing the inaugural session of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2020 hosted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on a virtual platform, President Rajapaksa said the digitisation of the National Persons’ Registry in particular will enable a more streamlined and secure process for identity verification.

“This will in turn build the foundation for improved online service delivery in many other areas, including financial services and e-commerce. It will also greatly enhance the Government’s ability to effectively widen the tax base, which will be one of the key factors in improving our fiscal position,” he said.

He said he strongly encourages the development of new business models, adoption of new technologies and platforms, and improvement of infrastructure needed to support productivity enhancing transformation.

“Investment is also needed in human resource development to enable our workers to make the most of these changes. It must be admitted, however, that some Government institutions may lag behind in this regard at the moment. This is due to legacy problems including lack of infrastructure, process engineering, and training. Changing this is one of my key priorities.

“The very recent establishment of a separate Ministry of Technology under my direct purview is an important step in our overall drive towards digitization. Fostering the creation of a “Technology Based Society” that improves services available to citizens whilst enabling our industries to compete globally is a key pillar of the Vision I articulated before my election as President.

“By converging four prominent technologies—social, mobile, analytics, and cloud—we have the potential to transform the way governance works. The recent introduction of the Staysafe.gov.lk website to ease COVID19 contact tracing is a case in point,” President Rajapaksa said.