Kanchana proposes Opposition headed PC

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Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara yesterday proposed the formation of a Parliamentary Committee (PC) on fuel and coal procurement and the appointment of an Opposition MP to chair the committee.

He said since President Ranil Wickremesinghe has noted that more committees should be formed, a committee on fuel and coal procurement should also be formed, adding that the Opposition should chair such a committee.

“Certain SJB MPs, including a former Power and Energy Minister, have stated that fuel can be obtained and sold at very low prices. As Minister of Power and Energy, I will fully support the formation of such a committee and request that the Opposition chair it,” he said.

Wijesekara said that a procurement committee chaired by an Opposition parliamentarian would be appropriate, as there is some discussion in society that certain businessmen, with an interest in fuel and coal, are using various MPs to sling mud.

Dr. Harsha de Silva, Opposition MP and Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance, said that his committee is already authorised to investigate fuel and coal procurement.

Dr. de Silva noted that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution would result in the appointment of independent commissions on government procurement, and that the amendment should be reinstated.

BY Methmalie Dissanayake and Thameenah Razeek