Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Dr. Harsha de Silva pointed out the differences between the draft bill formulated by the previous good governance government and the draft bill by the current Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) government regarding the Port City, speaking to a press briefing held recently.
"What does the 2019 draft bill say? To make laws and regulations and amend them, the approval of the Supreme Parliament is mandatory. But what has been tabled now is completely different, that a gazette has been issued to Parliament having it tabled only for knowledge.
The first draft bill tabled by this government speaks of the same thing which we raised in our draft bill in 2019. It says that only those who are officially in positions of power in the country should be appointed to this commission. It says that there should be 10 members in the commission including the chairperson, but the chairperson and seven more members have to be holding positions in the government. Or, they have to be ex-officials, as it says. But the main difference between that and the current draft bill is that the President is capable of appointing any seven members as he desires. That is why this is being questioned whether these persons are citizens of this country, those of foreign countries, or relatives, or else? A big difference.
The other main difference we see would be the regulation. The previous draft bills speak of - for an example, the regulations should be formulated through the relevant regulatory authority. Then they have to be tabled in Parliament for approval. But what does it say now? The President alone can formulate this regulation," the MP noted.