Referring to recent media reports on the delay to appoint heads of semi-government institutions, President Maithripala Sirisena told yesterday's Cabinet meeting that there was no delay on his part and that those nominated by the Prime Minister’s office were screened and approved, a minister said.
“I am not responsible for any delays in appointing heads to semi government institutions. The media reports are incorrect,” the President is reported to have said.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that according to the President said, the names of the nominees were referred to the five-member committee for screening and had been returned to the Prime Minister’s office.
The President appointed a 5-member committee chaired by presidential secretary Udaya R. Seneviratne to look into the qualifications of the appointees to statutory bodies and instructed all secretaries to submit the names of the nominees to the committee.
The minister said the Cabinet also drew attention to media reports that there was a major drug shortage in the country because of administrative lapses.
“I told the Cabinet that there was no drug shortage and in case there were, we airlifted the essential drugs to replenish the available stocks,” he said and added that a weekend English newspaper carried a canard on drug shortages. The minister said some 200 varieties of drugs were airlifted recently to prevent a drug shortage in State hospitals.
Meanwhile, he said he was unable to serve as the Cabinet spokesman because it was more important to meet his voters from Beruwala on Wednesdays and try to solve their problems.
The minister said the weekly cabinet news briefing is also held on Wednesdays.