Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Do Away with Provinces in the New Constitution – District Level only

If we did not allow the Sirisena family to destroy the bounty of Polonnaruwa, if the District was able to run itself, they would have a GDP per head of US$5,000 today, and contribute to the National Budget NOT TAKE MONEY FROM IT!

However promising the new (1 year old) President is, he is tainted with a family that was involved in the most serious destruction of a District. Members of the family ran the place like their fiefdom, and were no better than the Robber Barons of the Wild West. So it was so ironical that the President was castigating the behavior of the Enrique concert, when the Polonnaruwa District has some of the worst levels of INCEST and child sexual abuse in Sri Lanka, which when compared with what the Pres was referring to pales in comparison to our worst “asheelarachara” customs! Enough said except to expose a HYPOCRITE!

Provinces DO NOT SERVE any purpose in our society. They are an excuse for poor governance, and over politicization. I would divide the Country into 4 administrative regions, with the Northern, and Western Provinces as they are now as two and the rest of the Country broken into just two. The main revenue raising must be done at District Levels. It is NOT a question of Central Govt. allocating funds to the Local Govt. but the District will collect revenues on behalf of them, and remit part of it to the National Govt. to carry out its own affairs. For example only at District level do we know the people who must be earning over 2.5M a year, and who should be on the Tax roll and are not! Now the tax inspectors are just bribed and a Car Dealer who has a minimum income of over Rs20M a year escapes by not even having a tax file, and so feels he should not even keep any records of purchase and sales of cars, increasing the value of his stock by over Rs30M a year! And still no record.  

When districts govern themselves there will not be  Govt. servants living in Polonnaruwa being sent to Badulla to work! This will  make the Govt. service more accountable and less inefficient. Decentralized Revenue raising and expenditure will mean accountability at the local levels, and a clear sense of belonging and control over one’s destiny, currently not possible.

There will then only be elections for National Govt. and District Govt. and nothing else. Each village will be run on GN division (11,000 in the Country), with the GN as the administrative head, with a village elected Council that will have some powers of decision making in that village only and a budget to spend on village specific projects from the District.

Ultimately a change in Administrative Capitol from Western Province MUST be made to happen within 20 years, for which planning can begin now. This will enable the needed shift out of the Megapolis, which can be left to run themselves as an Economic Powerhouse with little political interference.

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