The main opposition United National Party (UNP) today charged that the proposed new laws to acquire underperforming or unutilized enterprises and assets was a violation of the country’s Constitution.
UNP parliamentarian and economist Harsha De Silva said Article 157 of the Constitution clearly stated that the government should not acquire any business enterprise. He said the new Bill intended to take over any enterprise in an unscrupulous manner.
Dr. De Silva told a news conference that concerns had arisen with regard to the manner in which the Govt. was trying to introduce the Bill and said the government was trying to introduce this legislation as an urgent Bill which was clearly unnecessary.
“This is not a matter of life and death for the government to be in such a hurry to introduce the Bill,” he said.
He also charged that the enterprises that have been listed for acquisition had not been given adequate time to present their cases while no time had been given to raise objections on the Bill in the Supreme courts.
A Kalutara District UNP parliamentarian said owners of enterprises that would be taken over had not been given the right to negotiate on the matter of compensation. He said the compensation tribunal that is to be set up could only look into the matters pertaining to the law.
“This tribunal therefore could not be used by an enterprise owner to appeal against any deficiencies in the compensation,” he added. (Yohan Perera)