Divineguma Bill Challenged In Supreme Court
The constitutionality of the Divineguma Bill is being challenged by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). It filed a petition on Friday in the Supreme Court.
The CPA expressed its concerns for democracy, devolution and good governance if the bill is enacted. The statement highlighted the increased power given to the Minister of Economic Development in regulating and deciding on a wide range of issues including those which would fall under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Councils.
It also claims that if the bill is enacted it would reduce the range of oversight mechanisms in the areas of financial control and accountability.
The Divineguma Bill was presented to Parliament by Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa. The aim is to establish the Department of Divineguma Development through the combination of the Samurdhi Authority, Southern Development Authority and the Udarata Development Authority.
The main focus of the Divineguma department is to mobilise the people for “a national development process at the community level.” The objects of the department is to promote social equality, alleviate poverty, ensure food security and empower people to speed up the national development.