Written by Staff Writer
05 Jul, 2018 | 6:59 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The draft of the National Audit Bill was passed in Parliament with amendments on Thursday (July 5th). The draft bill was passed without a vote. The National Audit Bill was a key pledge of the Good Governance government and was to be adopted within the first 100 days of this government coming into power.
PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing parliament on Thursday (July 5th) stated that one of the big areas of concern was the power of audit and secondly are the duties of the Chief Accounting Officer as Secretary and of the accounting officers. The premier noted that amendments continued to come in from public bodies even after the audit bill was tabled in Parliament in April. He noted that all requests have been accommodated and hoped that this is a satisfactory bill.
JVP Parliamentarian, Sunil Handunnetti joining the debate questioned if the Government is attempting to make the Auditor General and officials of the Department empty scarecrows by removing their bones, blood, flesh, and veins to publicize something called the National Audit Bill. The parliamentarian noted that the JVP proposes 16 amendments to the draft bill which would bring it back to life. Handunetti continued to state that the draft bill which was presented would never inspire any fear from thieves, fraudsters, abusers of state finances, criminals and Central Bank thieves.
The JVP Parliamentarian noted that an amendment has been made to reduce the maximum fine imposed through the bill from 100,000 rupees to 5,000 rupees. He explained that anyone found to be guilty of stealing money from the Central Bank or the CEB or any other state institution would only be 5000 rupees.
Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe called on the JVP parliamentarian not to undermine the act as the Criminal Law is still applicable to issues of this nature. This sparked a lengthy back and forth debate on a number of issues regarding the draft Audit bill between the two parliamentarians.
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