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Sri Lanka military eyes driving license production business

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s military is planning to get into the business of producing driving licenses from next year amid a controversy over the costs and extension of the current contract with a private party, the ministry of transport.

Minister of Transport and Energy Mahinda Amaraweera has had a discussion with Defence Secretary Major General Kamal Guneratne, Army Chief Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and Ministry Secretary Gamini Seneviratne.

While saving large amounts of money the move would enable “our information system which is with a private company to be kept with the Sri Lanka Army,” Minister Amaraweera had said.

The contract had been with the private firm from 2009 and had been renewed since then, the statement said.

Major General Kamal Guneratne had said it was a crime to pay 1,340 for a driving license when it could be issued for a much lower sum.

General Shavendra Silva had said that there is nothing that the army cannot do and it will produce the driving licenses.

Minister Amaraweera had decided to set up a joint committee with the Ministry of Defence and Sri Lanka Army go into the issue.

Military business (milibus) makes up a large share of economies of some countries. Pakistan’s milibus was estimated to be about 7 percent of gross domestic product at one time. (Colombo/July15/2020)