Some powerful persons in the government were preventing laws being enacted to take legal action against those who had failed to submit their asset declarations, MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said today.
He told a news conference that amendments to the existing laws to enable legal action against those had failed to do so had been approved by the Cabinet some one and half years ago.
“The laws introduced during the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Government in 1972 are outdated now. The laws had excluded some officials and people's representatives such as provincial councillors, governors, ambassadors and even the President. I proposed some amendments to include them as well. But the government did not agree,” the MP said.
He said Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala presented an amended act in parliament with regard to the matter about one and half years ago and added that he had also made some proposals which were approved by the Cabinet.
“Only a fine of Rs.1,000 can be imposed if found guilty of not submitting their asset declarations under the old laws. We proposed amendments to increase it to Rs.100,000, but some powerful persons are preventing the new act being put into law," the MP said.
He said he had submitted his asset declarations from 1997 but most of the MPs had failed to do so. (Ajith Siriwardana)