A scorecard on government’s promises – did they pass or fail?

A scorecard on government’s promises – did they pass or fail?

Written by Lahiru Fernando

01 Nov, 2017 | 2:07 am

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tends to boast about the current UNP lead National Unity Government’s achievements.

But…., what about the promises made to the people before this government came into office during the run up to the 2015 General Election?

We at News 1st decided to piece together a ‘progress report’ on the government’s performance regarding those promises.

How many promises did they make?

We have 77 tasks listed down as promises given by the United National Front for Good Governance led by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the current Prime Minister.

Two and a half years later, how many have they completed? – half? a quarter at least?

11 completed, another 11 in progress.

Just 11 completed out of 11. Are they of ‘national importance’?

  • Reformed the fisheries governance system and got the EU fisheries export ban lifted -ensured that Sri Lanka is eligible for GSP+ tax concessions.
  • Extended the benefits of Agrahara public officials insurance scheme to retired civil servants.
  • Introduced new legislation to increase the salary of private sector employees.
  • Re-establishing a Christian Affairs Ministry
  • Established a Sports Campus that complied with International standards
  • Established an Independent Commission to replace the present Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption.

Yes, a commission was established –But are they doing their job properly?

According to sources, there are several cases at the Bribery Commission that are not even being looked into. Progress – Ultra Slow, at best.

  • Established 20 Oversight Committees in Parliament to supervise the work of the government institutions and public expenditure. What is the point? What are they for? What are they doing?

Promises the government has failed to do

  • Establish an ‘Unemployment Insurance Benefit Scheme’ for recently unemployed workers.
  • Providing loan facilities up to Rs. 500,000/- to small scale investors interested in investing in the stock exchange.
  • Providing financial assistance to preschool teachers through a fund established by World Bank Aid.
  • Enact a new Police Act to replace the Police Ordinance of 1865.
  • Establish a University for Police and Criminal Justice.
  • Adopt Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament – Slow progress
  • Establishment of the Audit Act.

The Audit Act was a key promise made by the government. Transparency was promised. Good Governance was promised.

But where is the audit act now?

The bill was debated. It looked like it is progressing. But will it ever come to life?

According to the Auditor General, his draft has been amended a whopping 23 times.

However, the introduction of a new constitution is on track.

In other words, things that are easy to do and matters that are ‘beneficial’ to the government – has been completed.

Days since the government came into power – 809

FINAL SCORE = 28%

Anyone who sat for an exam know what that means.

FAIL

If the people of Sri Lanka were ‘Asian Parents’ and Government the ‘child’, the parents would be very disappointed!

Oh wait….

 

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