Divinegama Bill needs two third majority in Parliament & Clause 8 needs referendum
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Divineguma Bill has to be passed with two third majority in Parliament and Clause 8 has to be approved at a referendum and also two third majority in Parliament, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announced in Parliament.
Divineguma Bill have been challenged in the Supreme Court and its verdict was presented to Parliament by the Speaker when the Parliament met this afternoon. The Speaker reading out the SC ruling said that certain clauses of the Bill should be approved by a special majority of 2/3rd in Parliament.
Accordingly - Clause 8 Sub Heading: Minister to establish administrative Zones
8. (1) The Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette establish, for the purpose of ensuring the effective and proper implementation of the provisions of this Act, administrative zones integrating administrative activities of two or more districts, covering the entire island.
(2) There shall be appointed to each such zone a Head, of a similar standing to that of a Head of a Department, to be in charge of each such zone.
Following the Speaker's announcement in Parliament of the Supreme Court ruling on the Divineguma Bill the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa presented the Bill for second reading.
The Minister making his lengthy presentation of the Bill said Divineguma aimed at alleviation of poverty in the country with the community participation is the only Bill in the history of Sri Lanka which has been subjected to scrutiny twice by the Supreme Court.
When this Bill was originally challenged, SC had ruled that since it has areas coming under Provincial Councils, the approval of the Provincial Councils be sought first before presenting it in Parliament. Later the Bill was re-submitted before SC accompanied by the approval by all nine Provincial Councils in the country for its determination of the constitutionality of the Bill.
Minister Basil Rajapaksa previously commenting on the future of the Bill had said that the government is ready to act according to the decision of the Supreme Court, even for a referendum if it is necessary.
The government expects to improve local agricultural produce through Divineguma project to usher in a poverty free Sri Lanka. The main objective of the project inter-alia is to give a commercial value to home gardens through micro financing introduced under the proposed Divineguma Department.
- Asian Tribune -