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* Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader says parliament powers are being diluted by the government
Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 01:56 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 22, Colombo: Opposition Leader of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremasinghe says that powers vested with parliament have been diluted by the government by approving Stand Alone Proposals and Unsolicited Proposals related to projects termed as Development Projects.

Wickremasinghe has made a special statement in parliament stating that in the last few years the media have frequently carried reports of the government approving Stand Alone Proposals and Unsolicited Proposals relating to projects termed as Development Projects.

"At the beginning these Stand Alone or Unsolicited Projects were private investment initiatives either requiring state land or preferential treatment on the local markets. The Public Sector Development Projects were either awarded on Open Competitive Tender Bids or limited Competitive Tender Bids. Today, a large number of these projects are either Public Sector Development Proposals to be financed on Credit terms or Private Public Partnership (PPP), Build Own Operate (BOO), Build Own Transfer (BOT) and other partnership arrangements with the government agencies," he noted.

Wickremasinghe explained that a new guideline on Tender Procedure was issued in 1998 and under these guidelines, a deviation was allowed only in exceptional circumstances with an additional set of guidelines being issued in 2011.

However, the Opposition Leader has pointed out that the large increase in the volume of Unsolicited and Stand-Alone proposals without a proper monitoring mechanism by parliament has diluted parliament power of scrutinizing government including the control of public finance.

He added that an initial step would be to ensure that all the relevant information is available to parliament.

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