The parliamentary consultative committee meetings had not been conducted by the Ministries to discuss issues confronting the country for years though the Standing Orders stipulates the conducting of such meetings at least once a month, Parliament was informed yesterday.
The subject ministers are required to convene consultative committee meetings of their respective ministries to discuss matters coming under their purview. The representatives of the opposition are also required to attend these meetings. The duty of such committees is to discuss functions such as the drafting of bills and presentation of supplementary estimates.
UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa raised the issue in the House yesterday, and said that the opposition had been denied the right to discuss numerous issues.
“According to the Standing Order 111, at least once a month, such meetings have to be conducted. However, the government has failed to do it. For 2010, the Environment Ministry conducted its consultative committee meetings only twice, and last year only once,” he said.
Mr. Premadasa said, “Today, 4,300,000 school children have not received their uniforms. Farmers have not been paid their pensions. The Samurdhi allowance has not been given to needy families for three months. We cannot raise any of these issues because the consultative committee meetings are not conducted.”
The UNP Deputy Leader asked Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkodi who was chairing at the time to give a ruling in this regard.
Mr. Weerakkodi said that he would bring the matter to the notice of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to act in this respect as soon as possible. (Kelum Bandara)