Proposal regarding the reforms to be carried out in the public administration sector to facilitate investments in the country – Parliamentary Select Committee informs the Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association


The Select Committee of Parliament to study the practical problems and difficulties that have arisen in relation to enhancing the rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index in Sri Lanka and make its proposals and recommendations, informed the Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association (SLASA) recently to submit a proposal regarding the measures that can be taken in relation to increasing the productivity and efficiency of the public administration sector, including divisional secretariats, when starting businesses and investments in Sri Lanka.

A group of officials representing Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association, Sri Lanka Accountancy Services Association, Sri Lanka Planning Services Association were summoned to this committee which met recently under the chairmanship of Member of Parliament Hon. Madhura Vithanage. Thus, increasing the efficiency of the public administration sector and process in starting new businesses and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka was discussed at length.

The committee pointed out that many investment and business opportunities are lost to the country as the process to be carried out to start investment or business in the current administrative structure is not efficient. The committee emphasized that the management principles of the administrative sector including district secretariats and divisional secretariats should be changed accordingly.

Thus, the need to formulate new and permanent policies in this regard was emphasized in the formulation of public policies.

It was discussed that there are currently 332 divisional secretariats in Sri Lanka and the lack of a proper system to monitor their functioning is a major shortcoming. For the convenience of the investors, it was proposed to establish a separate ‘Investment Cell’ for each district secretariat to facilitate investors and provide prompt service. The need for proper training programs for those public officials was also discussed here.

Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association pointed out the need to carry out reforms in the state administrative sector, and it was also suggested to take steps to establish a separate ministry for administrative reforms in the future. It was also suggested to call all the divisional secretaries and hold an awareness program for them.

It was also discussed about the difficulty in obtaining land required for investments through the Divisional Secretariats. It was discussed that land irregularities are taking place on a large scale especially in the northern and eastern provinces and the need for immediate intervention.

Also, the Sri Lanka Accountancy Services Association pointed out the need to focus on the investments that should be given priority and to identify the potentials in the investment sectors in this country.

Members of Parliament Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Hon. Mohammed Mussammil, Hon. Kokila Gunawardena, Hon. Sanjeeva Edirimanna and Hon. Lalith Varna Kumara were also present at this committee meeting.