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Lack of transparency in governance brought by 20A will deter investment – Harsha

ECONOMYNEXT- The Opposition is charging that provisions in the proposed 20th Amendment will affect development negatively because it will reduce the transparency of government accounts.

Dr Harsha de Silva, a Member of Parliament from the main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) told reporters that the government is trying to develop an opinion in the country that provisions in the 19A directly affects development.

He said that abolishing the National Procurement Commission and the Audit Service Commission, granting the President immunity and preventing the Auditor-General’s department from auditing the offices of the President and the Prime Minister are taking the country in the wrong direction.

De Silva said that this will reduce the transparency and good governance practices that both foreign and local investors seek.

“When foreign and local investors come to Sri Lanka they need the assurance of good governance in the country for them to invest with confidence”

“In matters such as whether things are audited properly and the powers to act independently will affect their decisions,” he said.

Quoting an article in Bloomberg where the State Minister of Finance, Capital Markets and Public Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal has said that Sri Lanka considers offering hedging options to foreigners, de Silva questioned how is the government going to do that by closing the doors to audits.

“Haven’t we learn lessons from the past, we strongly asked the government to reconsider the 20A,” he added.

Also, he said that the government cannot prove their argument that 19A negatively affects the development of the country. (Colombo/Sept11/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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