President appoints De-Regulation Commission to simplify existing laws

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed 18-member De-Regulation Commission for the Simplification of the Existing Laws and Regulations in the interest of the people.

The Commission is co-chaired by former Secretary to the President and Principal Advisor to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga and Chairman of John Keells Group Mr. Krishan Balendra, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said today.

Other members of the Commission are the following:

1. Mr. S.D.A.B. Boralessa – Secretary, State Ministry of Land Management, State Enterprises Land and Property Development
2. Mr. M.M.C. Ferdinando – Retired Ministry Secretary, Power sector
3. Mr. Suresh de Mel – Chairman, Export Development Board
4. Ms. C. Weligamage – Director-General, Department of Public Finance
5. Mr. Chandana Kumarasinghe – Director-General of Establishments, Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government
6. Dr. Harsha Cabral – Company Law expert
7. Dr. Nihal Jayawardana – President’s Counsel
8. Mr. Thishan Subashinghe – Chartered Accountant of Sri Lanka
9. Mr. Ranjith Gunathilake – Chief Executive Officer, Sanken Constructions (Private) Limited
10. Ms. Renuka Weerakoon – Executive Director, Board of Investments of Sri Lanka
11. Mr. Gerard Ondaatjie – Board of Director, Mercantile Investments and Finance PLC
12. Mr. Arjun Fernando – Non-Executive Director, Nations Trust Bank
13. Mr. S.P. Liyanarachchi- SME Construction Sector
14. Mr. Anslem Perera – Managing Director, Mlesna Tea
15. Mr. Nissanka Wijeratna – Secretary General/ Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Construction Industry
16. Mr. Chandra Wickremasinghe – Chairman/ Director General, Theme Resorts and Spas

The tasks of the Commission cover the following.

1. Review all laws, regulations and circular instructions pertaining to Government finance, revenue laws and circular instructions, licensing and permit arrangements, investments, approvals and building permits etc., and how those regulations and circular instructions have evolved and circumstances influencing such regulations.

2. Assess as to whether the issuance of regulations and circular instructions has resulted in over-regulation and deviated from the scope and objectives of original legislations.

3. Assess the relevance of them in the context of global standards and applicability of them in the Sri Lankan context to identify new rooms to adopt to make the most effective modern regulatory systems.

4. Assess the cost of enforcement to the state, compliance cost to the people and potentials for corruption and irregular practices associated with complex and over regulatory systems.

5. Identify areas where simplifications and rationalization could be made to existing regulations and circular instructions and issue directions to do away, modify if required and simplify all such regulations.

6. Study if there is a repetition occurs due to issuing various approvals, permits and licenses through the national level, Provincial Councils and local authorities and take necessary measures to amend such processes appropriately.

The Commission is given 90 days period to fulfil this task and issue instructions to relevant agencies as required for the purpose of executing the task entrusted.

Mr. G.S. Vithanage, retired Ministry Secretary has been appointed as Secretary to the Commission.