In keeping with Govt’s development drive:
Amendments soon to seek maximum from LG bodies
The Local Government and Provincial Council Ministry is now in the
process of making three legal enactments governing the local authorities
to get the maximum contribution from the local authorities in the
country for the massive development drive launched by the Government,
Secretary to the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils,
Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka told the Sunday Observer.
The Municipal Council Ordinance (No.16, enacted in 1947), Urban
Council Ordinance (No 61, enacted in 1939) and the Pradeshiya Sabha Act
(No. 15, enacted in 1987) will be amended soon to get the maxium
contribution for infrastructure development in the country.
“The Ministry is takaing steps to amend them as the three legal
enactments governing the Local Government bodies are in a primitive
stage and do not cater to the current needs of the country.”
“Hence we are bringing in amendments to these legal enactments,” Dr.
Jayathilaka said. The aim of these amendments is to get all Local
Authorities to fall in line with the development drive in the country in
a more efficient manner, he said.
The Local Authorities are empowered with the regulation, control and
administration of all matters pertaining to public health, public
utility, services and public thoroughfares and generally with the
protection and comfort, convenience and welfare of the people and all
amenities within such area and their contribution is vital for the
development drive of the country.
The new amendments will also identify the backward local authorities
and improve infrastructure in those local authorities.
“It is now with the Legal Draftsman’s Department, he said.
Meanwhile, it has been decided at the party leaders’ meeting to
debate the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill in Parliament,
on April 5 with certain amendments.
“With the new Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill passed in
Parliament the Government is contemplating to hold elections for the
remaining local authorities under the new electoral system which is a
combination of the first-past-the-post system and the proportional
representation system,” he said.
Along with the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment Bill), a Local
Authorities Special Provision Bill will also be passed in Parliament to
effect changes in the Local Authorities Act to fall in line with the new
Local Authorities Elections system.
In order to hold elections under the new system, a national and
district level delimitation commission has to be appointed to demarcate
specific divisions in the respective local authority areas to enable the
voters to elect members, he said.
The Bill to establish the proposed Colombo Metropolitan Corporation
amalgamating the administration of the Colombo Municipal Council,
Dehiwala -Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte
Municipal Council, Kolonnawa Urban Council and Kotikawatta Mulleriyawa
Pradeshiya Sabha will be presented in Parliament soon.