Opposition and civil activists have questioned the base on establishing an institution named the Agency for Development and making appointments to it.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made an announcement to Parliament that an Agency for Development would be established and a new program will be introduced with regard to several subjects, including investments.
The legal provisions for the establishment of this institution were included in to the Development Special Provisions Bill.
The Development Special Provisions Bill has already been rejected by eight provincial councils while the Eastern Provincial Council postponed the discussion on the bill following a promise made by the Central Government to make amendments to the bill.
However, allegations were raised that the Bill would pave way for the appointment of two ministers with super powers and also a certain class of officials.
Nevertheless , on Thursday January 26 it was proven that the Agency For Development is operating at the premises of Ministry of Development Strategies at the Colombo World Trade Centre.
Mangala Yapa operates as the Director General.
When inquired, a senior official at the Ministry of Development Strategies said that the office is in operation at a premises obtained on rent by the Ministry.
JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa speaking in this regard said that a Cabinet paper or any other bill for the establishment of this institution has not been presented to parliament but they have been informed of the establishment of this institution and there is a Director General who is in operation.
He added ”Yet, establishing this institution , recruiting staff and making appointments is in-fact illegal because this has not been approved by Parliament…”
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Front Venerable Ulapane Sumangala Thero noted that the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of the current government is misusing the law in an arbitrary manner and one example is that Arjuna Mahendran who does not hold any positions, has been directly appointed to matters in the Central Bank.
The Thero added that an institution that is only in the mind of Ranil Wickremesinghe has been established without legalising and appointed Mangala Yapa as its head adding that it is an institution proposed under the Development Special Provisions Bill.