Provincial council and local government laws should change on par with the time - Prime Minister

The Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that Provincial Council and local government laws should change on par with the time. He said this today (2023.09.14) while attending the progress review of the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government.

Speaking on this occasion the Prime Minister stated that –

There is a strong objection from the people that solid waste management is not being done properly in the Western Province, especially in Gampaha and Colombo districts a vast amount of garbage is accumulated daily. The garbage problem in the Western Province has been identified in the Mega Polis Plan. Meethotamulla garbage dump collapsed. Still no proper measures have been taken for waste management. If a sudden flood occurs, the entire Colombo district will be submerged. Even Gampaha district will be submerged. These issues should be concerned from the public perspective.

We are trying to solve the problems regarding the permanence of appointments of employees in the next budget. There is still no report regarding the officials to whom the priority should be given. Assessment on collection of house tax and land taxes is still not done properly in the Colombo district. The Western Province which includes the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara is the richest province in Sri Lanka. If the assessment collection is not done properly in the richest province, allegations will be levelled against the Ministry.

There are no crematoriums in remote villages. The treasury cannot deny funds for such a project. Even though certain municipalities have two or three crematoriums, only one of them is functioning properly. Special attention should be paid to the cost and method of cremation.

It is necessary to move to a new approach by bringing together the financial institutions that support and affiliated to us, the provincial council, and the local government institutions. That is why we have to discuss and pay special attention to the need of taking steps in using digital technology by further utilization of renewable energy. The field of waste disposal also should use new technology. How many things can be done if we take into consideration Municipal Councils Ordinance in urban areas. But how many things have been evaded. The officials should conduct a special conference to settle these issues. Majority of the officials in the councils do not even read this ordinance.

Our local government bodies have come into existence to provide facilities and satisfaction to the people in our areas. Even if they are forced to pay taxes, they pay taxes while expecting something in return. It includes many matters such as services, safety, development of children, good environment etc. In the absence of provincial councils, the governors have been entrusted with a certain amount of power. This ministry has the possibility to intervene or give directions to implement these powers. There are nine provincial councils. As officials, constant discussions must be conducted with the provincial councils. We receive grants to serve the low income people. One part of the aid is to be directed to the most needed. There should be a particular procedure for that. Various rules and regulations prevailing in the provincial councils and local government should undergo changes.

State Minister Janaka Wakkumbura and government officials participated in this event.

Prime Minister’s Media