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New governance structure will make President and Cabinet accountable to Parliament: PM

10 months ago

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The new governance structure proposed by the government will make the President and Cabinet of Ministers accountable to Parliament, according to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. "Now we need to change the structure of Parliament and create a new system by combining the existing system of Parliament or the Westminster system and the system of State Councils. In those cases Parliament can participate in governing the country," he said in a special statement today (29). "First of all, the existing laws need to be strengthened in order to give those powers to Parliament in the exercise of monetary powers. Following the example of countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and India, we are proposing a stronger and more powerful law," the Prime Minister explained. He went on to state that at present there are three Committees on Government Finance - the Public Finance Committee, the Accounts Committee and the Committee on Public Enterprises. Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena has made several proposals to strengthen the powers of these three Committees. "In addition, we are bringing recommendations forward." Wickremasinghe further stated, "We are working to establish two new Committees on Monetary Affairs. We will appoint a Legal and Methodological Committee to look into the matter. Secondly, the main problem we face is the financial condition of the banks and financial institutions. There are a number of issues that have been weakened. "Under our Standing Order 111 we can appoint oversight committees. No oversight committees have been appointed before. Therefore, we propose to appoint ten oversight committees. They also report to Parliament on policies. Parliament should act on that." The Premiere also noted that the chairpersons of these five Finance Committees and the Ten Supervisory Committees are appointed by backbenchers and will not be appointed by Ministers. "Therefore, we have the opportunity to work out a methodology that is independent of the Cabinet of Ministers and works with both the Minister and the Parliament. The youth are calling for a change in the existing system. They also want to know the current issues. Therefore, I propose to appoint four youth representatives to each of these 15 committees. One of them will be appointed by the Youth Parliament. The other three will be from the protesting groups and other activist groups. The methodology used to chose these individuals can be decided by the youth organizations themselves," Wickremesinghe explained. "We also propose a National Council. A committee consisting of the Speaker, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the leaders of the major parties is called the National Council. It should be said that the National Council is very important. The National Council can talk about the policies of the country. It can also talk about the decisions of the Cabinet. It can also talk about the reorganization of the Parliament of this country. If so, it can be called a political body," he added. According to the Prime Minister, the National Council has the right to summon the Cabinet of Ministers and the Chairmen of Committees. "According to the new system we have proposed, the President will be held accountable to the Parliament. The Cabinet of Ministers is also accountable to Parliament. The National Council is also accountable to Parliament. Fifteen Committees and Oversight Committees are accountable to Parliament," Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.

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