Friday, April 19, 2024

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MP Harsha’s COPF a joke for the Public Servants

By: Adolf

Finance Ministry officials have told the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) led by the publicity seeking MP Harsha de Silva  that the revenue loss incurred from the initial ‘sugar scam’ should be classified as tax foregone, instead of a tax loss. What an insult to COPF? Shows the callous disregard for the committee.

This  was mentioned when the Finance Ministry officials were summoned before the COPF on Tuesday (22). For many of the public servants who go to the committee the public finance committee has become a big fat joke according several public servants. The COPF is now a media circus and mudslinging exercise said a public servant  to LNW. Another-remarked this is a kin to a monkey being given a razor blade. Everything is done for the camera and the Chair even runs the committee with no quorum he remarked. How valid are those decisions? A government MP told LNW, Harsha MP needs attention and has nothing much to do .

So this is is his big opportunity to get into the media by sensationalizing issues to be relevant. He lacks the maturity to manage a committee of this importance. A more balanced person like MP Rauf Hakeem is required. The Committee on Public Finance(COPF) is one of the three parliamentary legislative committees that evaluates external audit reports and other public finance information. According to the Colombo Gazette of June 7, 2023 President Ranil Wickremesinghe today intervened to appoint Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Dr. Harsha De Silva as the new Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) , because the SLPP did not want him re appointed.

The role of COPF is expected to make recommendations in regard to bills and other matters to such persons in the appropriate Ministry not to humiliate officers and the minister and secretary in charge of the institution . A constitutional lawyer told LNW that the Chairman of the COPF needs to be given a briefing on his role as chairman and faulted the other MPs in the committee for allowing the chairman to have his side show to build his image using the committee at their expense . Public funds are used to run these parliamentary committees. The public is burdened with high taxes. The COPE has already lost its credibility and Reputation. COPF has become political circus for MPs for their reelection bid. No wonder the public is loosing their faith in parliament and the people who sit in those chairs. Sri Lanka will do better minus all these parliamentary committees.

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