System to be set up to grant pensions on time

The committee meeting in progress.

Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said that a system will be implemented immediately to pay pensions on time.

He was responding to a question raised by Parliamentarian Chandima Weerakkody at the first meeting of the Consultative Committee on the Local Government and Provincial Councils of the first session of the Ninth Parliament on Monday.

The Committee directed the Department of Pensions to collect data on the number of public servants retiring within a month. The need to review facts affecting the loss of pensions was also discussed at the Committee meeting.

The Committee focused on the reinstatement of officers retiring from the public service. State Minister Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sarath Weerasekera informed the Committee that the Prime Minister has been consulted regarding the Provincial Council Election .The Prime Minister has been consulted on whether the election would be held on the proportional representation or mixed proportional representation.

Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said that steps will be taken to complete the delimitation expeditiously and that a separate commission will be set up under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

The Committee discussed appointing members to local authorities on constituency basis and was of the view that the new electoral system should also be reviewed. Unnecessary maintenance of Pradeshiya Sabha members has become a problem. Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said that steps will be taken to remove the shortcomings of the local authorities election system. The Minister said that discussions are held to give the opportunity to government officials to enter the local authorities system.

MP Shantha Bandara raised the need to fill the teacher vacancies in provincial schools. Parliamentarian Diana Gamage said that it would be effective if appointments were made in the areas where the relevant graduates live while filling teacher vacancies.

Considering the appeals of the graduates who lost their appointments due to their membership in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees Trust Fund (ETF) have been concluded and the appointments will be made soon, Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry Secretary J. .J Ratnasiri said in response to a question raised by the Committee.

The Secretary said that the delay in awarding degree certificates of the University of Kelaniya is a problem in granting appointments to other graduates as well. The Secretary further said that attention has been drawn to confirm 14,500 graduate appointments given by the previous regime.

Parliamentarian Madura Vithanage said that vacancies in Local Government Authorities should be filled up expeditiously. The need to recruit internal auditors for these authorities was also discussed.

It was revealed that Proposals have been made to establish 83 new Local Government Authorities and District Committees have also been appointed for this purpose. Over 30 Ministers and Members of Parliament and government officials were present.


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