polls also need reforms
House Leader W.J.M. Lokubandara has moved a motion that Provincial
Council elections should also be included in the terms of reference
of a parliamentary select committee appointed to consider reforms
to the current systems of Parliamentary and Local Authority elections.
motion moved in August did not include the Provincial Councils.
PA Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardene heads the select committee
that will make recommendations in respect of changes considered
necessary to the Constitution and election laws.
has been given time till January 31, 2004 to submit its report.
to open water decentralisation flow
Legislation to enable the National Water Supply and Drainage Board
(NWSDB) to enter into agreements with local councils and community-based
authorities to decentralise the water and sewerage services is under
Plantation Infrastructure Minister Arumugam Thondaman presented
the NWSDB (Amendment) Bill in parliament last week, seeking amendments
to the NWSDB Law No.2 of 1974.
The Bill provides
for approved water service agreements or the promotion or facilitation
of schemes to establish joint venture partnerships to develop, rehabilitate,
operate and maintain water services for any geographical area or
areas with the approval of the Minister.
The Bill empowers
the Minister to make order for the transfer of any NWSDB scheme
within the area of any local authority, to such local authority
or any community based organization established under the law.
Once a water
service agreement has been signed, the maintenance and control of
equipment and assets of the Board in respect of such a scheme will
be handed over to the operator.
The Bill also
includes a clause ensuring continued employment for all employees
of the Board by the local authority or operator or community based
organization but also gives an employee the option to retire. On
making such a decision an employee will be, in addition to the retirement
benefits, granted compensation of an amount determined by the Minister
in concurrence with the Finance Minister.
The new piece
of legislation would also enable the Board to fix rates and charges
for the supply of water and sewerage services with the approval
of the Public Utilities Commission.
orders probe on gate clash
Speaker Joseph Michael Perera has directed the Parliamentary Secretary
General to investigate a clash between a senior official and a police
officer at the Parliamentary complex gate.
sources said an incident over the parliamentary official's vehicle
blocking the police officer's vehicle at the gate sparked the clash.
They said the situation got out of hand when the driver of the police
officer allegedly made a derogatory remark at the parliamentary