• Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed an 18-member De-Regulation Commission for the Simplification of the Existing Laws and Regulations to spur the growth of the COVID-19 battered economy.

The Commission is co-chaired by former Secretary to the President and Principal Advisor to the President, Lalith Weeratunga and John Keells Group, Chairman, Krishan Balendra.

Other members of the Commission are the following:

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

The tasks of the Commission consist of reviewing all laws, regulations, and circular instructions pertaining to state 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

It is also tasked with assessing whether the issuance of regulations and circular instructions has resulted in over-regulation and deviated from the scope and objectives of original legislations

Further, the Commission is also expected to 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.

In addition, it will also 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.

The Commission is also empowered with identifying 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.

Moreover, it will also study if there is a repetition that 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 fulfill these tasks and to issue instructions to relevant agencies as required for the purpose of executing the task entrusted.

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

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