Sri Lanka’s public administration sector, including divisional secretariats, is set to accept the challenge of becoming more efficient and productive and efficient, willingly enhancing businesses and investments in the island.
The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that looks into enhancing the ease of doing business has asked the Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association (SLASA) recently to submit a proposal towards this end.
Public administration sector including divisional secretariats has been directed to increase productivity and efficiency, when starting businesses and investments in Sri Lanka.
A group of officials representing Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association, Sri Lanka Accountancy Services Association, Sri Lanka Planning Services Association were summoned to the Select Committee of Parliament to study the practical problems and difficulties.
These issues have arisen in relation to enhancing the rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index in Sri Lanka and public officials make its proposals and recommendations when they met recently under the chairmanship of Member of Parliament Madhura Withanage.
Increasing the efficiency of the public administration sector and process in starting new businesses and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka was discussed at length at the meeting.
The committee pointed out that many investment and business opportunities are lost to the country as the process to be carried out to start investment or business in the current administrative structure is not efficient.
The committee emphasized that the management principles of the administrative sector including district secretariats and divisional secretariats should be changed accordingly.
Thus, the need to formulate new and permanent policies in this regard was emphasized in the formulation of public policies.
It was discussed that there are currently 332 divisional secretariats in Sri Lanka and the lack of a proper system to monitor their functioning is a major shortcoming.
For the convenience of the investors, it was proposed to establish a separate ‘Investment Cell’ for each district secretariat to facilitate investors and provide prompt service. The need for proper training programs for those public officials was also discussed here.
Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association pointed out the need to carry out reforms in the state administrative sector, and it was also suggested to take steps to establish a separate ministry for administrative reforms in the future.
It was also suggested to call all the divisional secretaries and hold an awareness program for them.
It was also discussed about the difficulty in obtaining land required for investments through the Divisional Secretariats.
It was discussed that land irregularities are taking place on a large scale especially in the northern and eastern provinces and the need for immediate intervention.