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Steps to establish a National Policy Commission in Sri Lanka

 Proposals to establish the National Policy Commission by way of a constitutionally established mechanism.

A discussion pertaining to the concept paper related to the proposed establishment of the National Policy Commission for the purpose of planning, implementing, monitoring and reviewing national policies and strategies aimed at transforming Sri Lanka into a sustainably developed nation by 2048 was held recently (07).

This discussion was held at the Sub Committee on Identifying the Priorities in Formulation of Short-, Medium- & Long-Term National Policies of the National Council chaired by Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament.

The working committee for the establishment of the National Policy Commission chaired by the Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake has been established based on the recommendations of the National Council sub-committee. Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake and Secretary to the Prime Minister Mr. Anura Dissanayake presented the concept paper related to the commission to the sub-committee.

According to the concept paper, it is proposed to be established through a constitutional amendment as the highest-level official mechanism established to determine the country’s public policies. The functions of the Commission include policy formulation and policy guidance along with proper analysis, formulation of the National Development Policy Framework 2023 – 2048 through short-term, medium-term and long-term development planning, facilitating development planning and efficient allocation of resources by identifying the capacities and potentials of the public and private sectors, implementation of projects by identifying development areas based on current national priorities, implementation of regular regulatory and evaluation processes along with implementation of development plans, strengthening the implementation of inter-coordination processes between the institutional systems implemented at the national and provincial levels were discussed at the committee in length.

Accordingly, it is proposed to establish a commission bureau to fulfill the functions of the commission, and a steering committee is also to be established to fulfill its objectives. Moreover, The National Policy Commission is to act as a constitutionally established mechanism to provide necessary technical guidance and facilities to parliamentarians to enable Parliament to exercise its powers under Articles 04, 27 and 148 of the Constitution.

Furthermore, the Commission’s long-term policy plans include national policy and national infrastructure provision from 2023 – 2048 and medium-term policy plans for the following years and
annual budget and annual provincial budget plans under state investment plans and sectoral development plans as well as short-term policy plans. Chairman of the Committee Hon. Namal Rajapaksa addressing the Committee said that he hopes to present this concept paper to the National Council very soon and take steps for the necessary future process.

Hon. Wajira Abeywardana, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to the Prime Minister Mr. Anura Dissanayake, Professor Sampath Amaratunge, Professor Shirantha Heenkenda, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne were present at the Committee meeting held.

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