By Varatharaja Perumal –
To the Public Representation Committee on Constitutional Reform;
I, A. Varatharaja Perumal, former Chief Minister of the North-East Province of Sri Lanka, humbly submit this note of my Suggestions, before the Honourable Public Representation Committee, with an honest intention of presenting it to the consideration of the makers of the new Constitution of United Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
- Supremacy of the Constitution
- Basic Principles to be Entranced in the PREAMBLE
- Judiciary and the Administration of the Justice
- Structure of the Central and the Provincial States
- Electoral Reform
- Territorial Demarcation of the Devolution units
- Basis for Devolution of Powers
- Formation of the Central and the Provincial governments
- System of Exercising of Legislative Powers
- List of Executive Powers Instead of Lists of Legislative Powers
- During Emergency and Under the Public Security
- Public Administration Bureaucratic Structure (PABS)
- Provincial Police Administration
- Lists and System of Levying Taxes, Duties, Fees and other Revenue of and to the Provincial Administration
- DEVOLUTION COMMISSION
- Equality among the National Communities
- The Constitutional Provisions to Ensure Equality in the Employment of All the State Establishments and Educational Opportunities.
- National Planning and Financial Commission (HPFC) and Provincial Planning Commissions (PPC)
- Protocol Status, Rights, Privileges of the PECC Ministers, the PLAA Members and the Provincial Administrative Officers
- Status of Pre-Constitution laws including ordinances
- Interpretation of important terms and phrases
1. Supremacy of the Constitution
a) Constitution is Supreme which Provides / Devolves the Powers to the President, Parliament, the Central (Government) Executive Council (CEC), Governors, Provincial Legislative Assemblies (PLA), Provincial (Government) Executive Councils (PEC), Grama Rajya Sabhas (GRS), Judiciary, etc.;
b) To Ensure and Establish the Supremacy of the Constitution
- The President should Uphold and be abide by the Supremacy;
- Judiciary should Protect and Preserve the Supremacy;
- All Laws at all time should Comply with the Constitution;
- Every Executive Act of the State Organs should Comply with the Constitution;
- Supreme Court only shall have the final authority to Interpret the Constitution; and
- Every citizen, Constitutional or Legal Institution and Registered Civil Organizations are entitled to legally act in Preservation and Protection of the Supremacy of the Constitution.
2. Basic Principles to be Entranced in the PREAMBLE
- Defends Freedom, Equality and Justice to the People;
- Protects Internationally Recognized Human and Fundamental Civil, Political, Economical, Cultural and Religious Rights of the Citizens and the Social, Economic and Religious Sections;
- Provides Necessary Special Rights to the Representative of the People, Judges and Public Servants; and
- Ensures uphold Maintains Unitary Status of the State while Ensuring Irretrievably An Extension of Devolution of Powers to the Provincial Councils and Grama Rajya Sabhas.
Characters of the State
- It vests the Sovereignty with the People of Sri Lanka;
- It is a Constitutional Democratic Socialist Republic;
- It is a United Republic Recognizing Diversity and Plurality;
- Its Unitary nature espouses the Extension of Devolution of Powers;
- Its Sovereign Authorities shall be exercised by the President, Parliament, Provincial Legislative Assemblies and by the People at Referendum;
- It espouses Social, Political and Economic Justice;
- Its Rule of Law is entranced on Democracy, Liberty and Equality;
- It Establishes Independence of Judiciary Guaranteed Constitutionally and Institutionally;
- It is a Secular State Protecting Different Faiths and Beliefs while Promoting Dhamma Preachings.
- The Constitution should recognize that in Sri Lanka, there are mainly four National Communities:
- Muslims and
- Up-Country Tamils ( or Indian Origin Tamils)
- The new Constitution is for building this country towards One Nation Formation. The Term “National” comprises all including Provincial Councils and the institutions functioning under the Provincial Councils. Therefore the Central Government or the institutions functioning under the Central Government should not be termed by the word “National”.
- Similarly, the term “Republic” denotes entire country including the Provinces. So, vesting the State Lands with the “Republic” gives a confused meaning. Therefore the State Lands, which are neither in use of the Central Administration nor Provincial administration or not absolutely alienated to any Citizen, should be vested with the President. However, the executive functions like protecting, preserving, administering such lands should be distributed to Central administration as well as to the Provincial administration.
3. Judiciary and the Administration of the Justice
- The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka should be unlimitedly empowered with the Judicial Review Power to decide the Constitutional validity of any Law made by the Parliament or PLA, especially with regard to the legislative and executive powers of the Provinces and decide Constitutionality of any executive action committed by any Public Servant or State institution, including that of Central Administration, Provincial Administrations or Grama Rajya Administrations;
- The Supreme Court should mainly function as the Constitutional Court, except granting leave to extra ordinary appeals
- All the High courts should be empowered to entertain Writ Petition / Application in respect of any Fundamental and Human Rights Question.
- Appeal Court is to decide only the appeals against the decision / order / judgment of the High Court,
- Provincial Councils should be given the Power to Establish, Constitute and Administer the Arbitration and Conciliation Tribunals and the Grama Nyayalayas within the jurisdiction limitations determined by the Supreme Court or Parliament.
4. Structure of the Central and the Provincial States
1. At the Centre:-
a) President & Vice-President
b) National Legislative Assembly (Parliament) including 2nd Chamber
c) Central Executive Council (CEC) i.e. Central government by the Cabinet of Ministers
d) Central Public Administration
2. Second Chamber ( House of National Communities)
a) It should consists (1) 2 Members elected by each PLA members, (2) one Member from each district elected by the members of the local councils, (3) a few members of qualified professionals nominated by the President after consultation with the Parties in the Parliament, and so on.
b) It should have at least 40 percent of its members from Minority National Communities
c) It should protect the interests of all the national Communities
The Vice President should be the Chairman of this House
All Bills placed before the Parliament should go through this House too.
3. At the Provinces
b) Provincial Council (PC)
* Provincial legislative Assembly (PLA) including the Sub-Councils for minority nationalities in the Provinces;
* Provincial Executive Council (PEC) of Ministers
c) Provincial Public Administrations (PPA)
4. At the Village Level:-
a) There should be a Village / Grama Rajya Sabha (GRS) for each cluster of five or six villagers.
b) Each GRS shall be headed by a person elected by the voters directly and who shall function as the Executive Head of the Sabha.
c) Rights and Authorities and Duties and Responsibilities of the GRS and its members should be defined and the Financial Resources to the GRS should be provided by the Constitution.
d) Law should be provided by the Parliament.
e) PLA in Compliance with such law/ s shall make rules and regulations to be applied to and adopted by the GRS
f) The Executive Powers to Direct, Regulate and Control the GRS should be vested with the PEC
g) More Functions and Funds in addition to those provided by the Constitution, may be vested with the GRS by the Parliament or PLA. However, CEC shall not interfere in the functions of the GRS.
5. Electoral Reform
a) Determine the numbers of seats to be elected by FPP and the proportional system on a rational basis;
b) Establish Reserved number of seats in the Parliament and the PLA in order to provide adequate representations to minority nationalities;
c) Re-demarcate the territories of Parliamentary and Provincial Constituencies accordingly, if necessary, with Special Constituencies to ensure No. 1) and 2) by Multi–Members Constituencies, Constituencies asymmetrical territorial and population sizes or so on.
d) Ensure the Fusion of the both so that the Representations are nearly maintained as to the proportion of votes polled to each party whereas the Minor Parties are given adequate chances to represent the people and to be part of the mainstream;
e) The new electoral reform should not weaken the number of representation of any Minority National Community in the Parliament or Provincial Councils or in the Grama Rajya Sabhas. So, the proposed Electoral Reform should maintain the norms that:
- Each minority nationalities of this country should enjoy with their due proportionate representations in the Parliament as well as in the Provincial Councils.
- The territories of Local Councils should be delimited so that each minority nationalities of this country shall have adequate number of local councils under their control and such numbers of Local Councils are nearly to the proportion of their population in this country.
6. Territorial Demarcation of the Devolution units
a) Re-demarcation of Districts, Maha Nagar, Nagar and Grama Rajya territories so that no national community shall feel that their socio-political identity and socio-economic security are under threat;
b) Formation of New Provinces with Newly Demarcated Districts;
c) Merged North-East Province with solutions to the Muslim Community – either by creating South-Eastern Province or by Non-Contiguous Provinces or by Provincial Sub-Councils;
d) Establishing Provincial Sub-Councils in each Province to take care of the interests of the Minority National Communities living in such Province.
7. Basis for Devolution of Powers:-
a) Constitutionally Devolved Powers and functions to each Constitutional Institution should be clear and specific without leaving any ambiguity and Such Powers and Functions should not and cannot be taken away or interfered by any other Constitutional or Non-Constitutional Institution in any manner for any reason, except for such reason/s as to which the Constitution specifically requires otherwise;
b) Board of Ministers of the Provinces should be clearly empowered in so much as the Executive Powers are practically vested with them and not with the Governors. The Discretionary Power/s, if any, to the Governor, should be clearly specified in the Constitution and by no other way or mean the Governor cannot be so empowered;
c) In case the Executive Powers are to be formally vested with the Governor as it is in the 13th Amendment, then such powers should be exercised by the Decision/s of the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers of the Provinces. However, the Constitution must ensure that practically, the Directive, Regulatory and Controlling Authority to exercise the Executive Actions to implement the functions relevant and incidental to the Executive Powers devolved by the Constitution through the LISTS in the —- th Schedule of the Constitution. The Terms “ on the advise” or “ in accordance with the advice” should not be repeated since the word “advice” gives different meaning in the Tamil Translation and may be same in Sinhala;
d) Governor should not be given the power to decide arbitrarily as to which power is at his discretion and which is not. The Governor may have exclusive right to receive anyone’s advice in exercising his discretionary executive Power/s, if any, specifically devolved by the Constitution.
8. Formation of The Central and The Provincial governments
a) Vesting Executive Powers with the Governor should be Formal;
b) Executive Powers shall be exercised by the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers in compliance with Statutes and Rules of the PLA;
c) Chief Minister and other Ministers shall exercise the Executive Powers allocated to them through the officers of the Provincial Administration, by their orders;
d) Executive Powers may be delegated to the Provincial Secretaries, Directors and the Commissioners and other Authorities in compliance with the relevant Statutes and Rules passed by the PLA and also with the Directions and Regulations of the Board Ministers.
e) All Executive Decisions of the Board of Ministers shall be sent to the Governor in writing. As long as the Governor does not request to hold it or oppose it with adequate reasons in writing on the ground of Constitutional Validity, the Decisions shall have immediate legal validity. When the Question of validity is raised by the Governor then the Supreme Court only can make an injunction within a week working days.
9. Lists of Executive Powers Instead of Lists of Legislative Powers
a) Lists of the Legislative Powers scheduled in the 13th Amendment (13th A) gave way for the Centre to intervene into and grab / take away mainly the Executive powers devolved to the Provinces, since the Centre has the enormous financial powers and resources in addition to the legal loopholes in the 13th A;
b) There, therefore, should be Lists of Executive Powers in place of Lists of Legislative Powers;
c) In case the Legislative and Executive Residual Powers are vested with the PLA and PEC respectively then there should be Central Lists. However, Since it is generally supposed that the Residual Legislative and Executive Powers should be vested with Parliament and the Central Government, the LISTS should be reserved for the Provinces as titled below;
The LISTS are:
- Reserved List No. 1:
Subjects and related functions on which the PEC shall have exclusive executive powers and the PLA has exclusive Legislative powers;
- Reserved List No. 2:
List of Exclusive Executive Powers reserved for the PEC, which should exercise such executive powers in accordance with the Acts and Rules of the PLA. Such Acts of the PLA should not be in contravention with the relevant laws of the Parliament.
- Reserved List No. 3:
List of Exclusive Executive Powers reserved for the PEC, which should exercise such powers in accordance with the Acts and Rules made by the Parliament and also with the General Directive Regulations made by the CEC in compliance with relevant Laws of the Parliament.
10. System of Exercising of Legislative Powers
1. There is Parliament at National level and Provincial Legislative Assemblies at Provincial level to enact legislations as follows:-
- Parliament shall have the exclusive Legislative powers on all the subjects not reserved by the List No. 1 and List No.2
- The PLAA shall have the legislative powers to enact Legislations and Rules on the subjects and functions reserved in the List No. 2 whereas the Parliament also may enact the legislations on any subjects in the same List after reasonable consultation with the PECC. The PECC shall make necessary Regulations in concurrence with such legislations of the PLAA and the Parliament so that the PECC would enable themselves to effectively exercise their executive powers in implementing the functions related and incidental to the subjects reserved in the List No. 2.
- Parliament shall have only the exclusive Legislative powers to enact Statutes and Rules on the subjects and related functions Reserved in the List No. 3
2. No legislation of the Parliament, in relation to the subjects and functions Reserved in the Lists (Nos. 1, 2 and 3) for PECC to exercise their Executive Powers, shall provide any executive power to any Minister of the CEC or any Authority or any part of the Central Administration.
3. Each Bill for the legislation of the PLAA except the Financial Bill (Budget) should be determined by the PECC after reasonable consultation with the Governor, who shall be given at least a week time for him to make his opinion.
4. The Financial Bill of the Provinces should be determined by the Relevant Provincial Minister in concurrence with the Chief Minister
5. Once a Bill is passed by the PLAA should be sent to the Governor, the Governor should endorse his assent to it within a week time. If the Governor, in his opinion, finds any violation of the Constitution in such Statute then he has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court within a month time and the Supreme Court should determine the matter within maximum three months time and if it is a Financial Bill then the Supreme Court should determine the matter within a month.
11. During Emergency and Under the Public Security
1. 13th Amendment was not successful because of another important reason that the President is empowered to have every power to take over the powers and functions of the Provincial Councils, As the President is the Head of Executive, He controlled all the executive powers of the Provinces
2. In fact, even under a situation of Emergency Declaration and when there is no elected PLA and PEC, the Parliament shall have only the legislative powers whereas the Executive powers of the Provinces should be exercised only by the Governor and not in any way by the Central Ministers.
3. When there is the elected PLA and PEC, under any circumstances, , the President or Parliament should not arbitrarily withhold any power or function devolved to the Provinces.
4. The new Constitution should ensure:
- As long as the Provincial Public Administrative system exists constitutionally, all the executive powers of the PEC should be exercised through the officers of the Provincial administration only, Under the President’s Rule, when the elected PLA and the PEC are dissolved and dismissed, the executive powers of the PECC should be exercised by the Governor through the officers of the Provincial administration only and definitely not by the Central Ministers or through the Central Administration, which shall undermine the basic structure of the Constitution and the existence of the Provincial system.
- When there is elected PLA and PEC, under the emergency, the President may take over some functions which are only essential to the National security and integrity of the country. However, here too, exercising executive power on such functions should be vested with the Governor.
- When there is elected PLA and PEC, if any extra-ordinary situation wants, the President may direct the PEC in the functions which are essential to the Public Security.
- However, in any circumstance, the Central Ministers should have right or authority to interfere in or take over, by any manner, any function reserved to the executive powers of the PEC.
12. Public Administration Bureaucratic Structure (PABS):
a) There should be a separate PABS functioning under the PEC, not only the Provincial Ministerial and Departmental Secretariats, but also from District Heads to Grama Sevakas;
b) The Central Government also may empower the same PABS for implementing the functions of its subjects without duplicating the same type for its own. Since the Centre has enormous power and resources, the argument cannot be as to use otherwise. For efficient use of PABS, the experience of Indian system may be followed appropriately;
c) However, the Constitution should have clear cut provisions with regard to the Provincial Public Administrative system and the Center Public Administrative System and the relationship between them;
d) Provincial Public Service Commission (PPSC)
- The PPSC shall be constituted by the by the PEC, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Statutes of the PLAA, since the PPSC is a supportive body to the PEC apart from its quasi judicial role to provide justice to the public servants of the Provincial Administration;
- It shall conduct examinations for the recruitment of persons to be appointed to any service of the Provincial administration except the All Sri Lanka Administrative Service ((ASLAS) personnel;
- Appointments to such persons to the services of the Provincial administration shall be made by the PEC from the list of persons selected by the PPSC and in concurrence with the guidelines of the PPSC;
- PEC only has power of Posting and Transferring of the persons serving in the Provincial administration and temporarily Suspending such person/s from duties with reasons;
- PPSC shall function as a Tribunal to decide any dispute raised by any person serving in the Provincial administration, against the PEC or any part of the Provincial administration;
- Promotion and Dismissal of a Provincial Public Service person shall be determined only by the PPSC, whereas the Promotion and dismissal of an ASLAS person shall be determined only by the CPSC;
- Decision of the PPSC may be challenged before the relevant High Court.
- ASLAC person shall be recruited, awarded and trained by the CPSC. Once the ALSAS person is allotted to the provincial administration, such person shall become a cadre of the particular Provincial administration and such person may be seconded or obtain deputation to the Central administration.
- The CEC or any officer of the Central Administration should not be given opportunity by any way or mean to interfere / threaten, directly or indirectly. the public servants serving in the Provincial Administration
13. Provincial Police Administration
1. Denying to devolve the Police Powers and Administration is not right way of Democracy. Such denial tries to advocate that the Authorities at the Centre are very responsible and public service lovers, whereas the authorities at the Provincial level are not. It is a wrong notion or malicious attitude.
2. Devolution of Police Administration in fact shall strengthen the check and balance between the Centre and the Provinces in utilizing the Police Powers. In understanding the Police Administration too, learning Indian system may be useful and appropriately applied in Sri Lanka.
3. With regard to the functioning of Provincial Police Service, Provincial Police Commission and inclusion of All Sri Lanka Police Service (ASLPS) personnel in the Provincial Police Administration should be made almost similar to that of Provincial Public Service, PPSE and the Provincial Civil Administration.
14. Lists and System of Levying Taxes, Duties, Fees and other Revenue of and to the Provincial Administration ( Provincial Financial List/s)
1. Revenue of the Provincial administration should be to the extent that it shall have adequate fund by its own income at least to manage its own recurrent expenditure and minimum 30 to 40 percent more for its Development Capital Expenditure.
2. Financial allotments, to be made by the Center mandatorily, should be granted without specifying any programme or project which should be decided by the PLA and PEC
3. The Financial grants allotted by the Centre to the Provinces from the Income assigned to Central Consolidated fund may be transferred on the basis of specific programmes or projects.
4. The Revenue Departments presently functioning under the CEC should be devolved or shared to the Provincial Administration in accordance with the Taxations and other Revenues reserved in the Provincial Financial Lists.
5. There should be Lists providing Financial Resources to the Provine cial administration, in consideration of the following aspects:
- Taxations and Revenue sources to be determined exclusively by the PLAA and collected by the Provincial Revenue Authorities constituted by the PECC;
- Taxations and Other Revenue Resources assigned to the Provincial Consolidated Fund / Treasury but determined and collected by the Central Revenue Authorities;
- Mandatory proportional share of the Central Taxes to be assigned mandatorily to the Revenue of the Provincial Councils;
- Grants allotted by the CEC through the Central Budget in accordance with the recommendations of the National Planning and Financial Commission which is an independent Constitutional Institution;
- Receiving Grant from the Non-Resident Sri Lankan individuals or society, in accordance with the Foreign Exchange act and the rules and regulations of the Central Bank;
- Receiving Grant or loans from any foreign Country or any foreign institutions, after the concurrence of the Central Finance Ministry. However, the PEC should have the right to negotiate for such grants and loans;
6. PLAA should have authority to establish Chief Minister Fund, Emergency Fund, Disaster Management Fund, Provincial Development Fund, Social Security Fund and so on;
7. Devolution of Revenue Powers:-
a) All kinds of Taxes on Sales of Goods and Services including the taxes collected in the form of VAT, GST, Total Business Turn Over Tax, etc, on Wholesale and Retail sales of Goods and Services;
Past Experience of Revenue from BTT as per 13th A:
When 13th Amendment was enacted, the Business Turn Over Tax was about one third of the whole revenue by Taxation of the Government. 13th A clearly said as,
“36:1 Turnover taxes on wholesale and retail sales within such limits and subject to such exemptions as may be prescribed by law made by Parliament ;”
So, the entire taxes on wholesale and Retail sales of all goods and services were devolved. Parliament can declare only such commodities which are to be exempted by prescribing in its Budget, the Parliament may provide only the maximum and minimum limit to such tax. So, the Central Government has no tax revenue from whole sale or retail sale. But, it was never devolved.
Instead, by using the following Provisions in the List Reserved for the Centre:
Finance in relation to national revenue, monetary policy and external resources ; customs.
(n) Turnover taxes and stamp duties, except to the extent specified in List I
(o) Any other tax or fee not specified in List I.
The BTT was unconstitutionally sucked gradually and poured into the taxes called VAT and GST. In fact, neither the VAT nor the GST is not a new tax but a modern formation of the Sales Tax only. Further, a new tax should be created by new revenue, but here an old Tax revenue devolved to the provinces were converted into new name and not from any new source.
It is therefore necessary to include the Taxes on Sales of Goods and Services be it in any form VAT or GST, into the Revenue of the Provinces.
b) All Revenues on or from Licenses and Taxes and other levies for manufacturing, possessing and transporting , for holding wholesales and retail outlets and for selling in Retail of all kinds of Alcohols, including Toddies, Arracks, Beers, Wines, Whiskies, Rums, Vodkas and so on;
c) Taxes and duties for Transfer of Properties, both movable and immovable, located or registered within the Province, except the kinds of properties declared, for exemption, by the Central Annual Budget;
d) License fees to the sales / distributions of Lotteries within the Province and the Taxes and levies on sales of all lotteries to be sold within the Province;
e) Entry taxes and other levies on all vehicles entering with goods into the Province;
f) Levies to make each kind of registration to be made in the offices of the Provincial Administration and to receive the copies of such registered Records from such offices;
g) All other Revenues listed in the Provincial List of the 13th Amendment;
8. All the Budgetary allocation by the Parliament towards any of the matter related or incidental to the subjects and functions reserved for Provincial Administration by the Lists in —— th Schedule of the Constitution should be assigned to the Provincial Consolidated Fund.
15. DEVOLUTION COMMISSION
a) There should be a “Devolution Commission” appointed by the Constitutional Council;
b) It should have independence to function as a quasi judiciary institution between the Center and the Provinces to resolve the Conflicting opinion or interpretation regarding powers devolved to the provinces;
c) It has to functions as a Clearing House between the Provinces whenever any conflicting issue is raised by any Provincial Administration against any other Provincial Administration;
d) This Commission is essential to resolve the conflicts between the Center and the provincial administrations and between the Provinces within the four walls before going to the Supreme Court that would bring the matters to public sentiments and the forum of open political disputes and debates.
16. Equality among the National Communities
1. The ethnic based discriminations and alienations should be ended. The Constitution must ensure necessary time-bound corrective measures to remove existing unequal status resulted due to such discriminatory and alienating acts committed in the past. The new Constitutional provisions should satisfy the Minority National Communities as the present government is consciously taking measures to remove the wrongs committed by the successive governments in the past.
2. The the famous clause 2 of the Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution, which is said to have then given the protection from all discriminatory acts of the State of Sri Lanka against any person on the basis of language, religion, caste, creed or any other, should be included in the New Constitution. Inclusion of such provision in the New Constitution may be viewed that it shall not give much effect to the present situation. However, inclusion of the said section 29(2) of the Soulbury Constitution shall definitely make the people belong to the Minority National Communities at large to feel satisfactorily as the President and the Prime Minister are serious enough in taking care of the basic aspirations and interest of them.
17. The Constitutional Provisions to Ensure Equality in the Employment of All the State Establishments and Educational Opportunities
1. Merit should be the primary basis for all opportunities in the field of Educations and Employments and the Promotions therein, whereas, priorities be given to eradicate discriminations as had been committed in the past as to the adequate representations of the national communities to their population size in each services.
2. Since early sixties, the Sri Lankan Armed Forces were converted to become Pan-Sinhala Armed Forces, which is one of the major reason that isolated Sri Lankan Minority National Communities from the mainstream progress of the country and thereby the growth of Sri Lankan Nation Formation was sabotaged. Now is the time to transform and build true Sri Lankan Peoples Armed Forces. There should be a time bound programme to effectively ensure such transformation so that the Sri Lankan Armed forces shall adequately consist the personnel from the Tamils, Muslims and Up-country / Indian Origin Tamils communities.
3. Almost a similar alienation took place by the discriminations in the field of recruitment and employment of the personnel to the Civil administrations and the Police administrations, Therefore, the constitution should ensure the provisions to stop such discriminations in the future and to make sure the government to take an immediate time bound action programme towards making the Civil and the Police Administrations to consist adequate representations of each minority national community.
4. The Constitutions must provide concessions to the women, Disabled persons with alternative skills, Youths with the skills in Sports and in other performances, so that each such category of them shall be given adequate employment and educational opportunities.
5. Similarly, the Constitution must provide reasonable concessions to the persons from the poor and backward families so that such category of families shall be given adequate educational facilities and opportunities and also sufficient employment opportunities in order to upgrade them to advance towards gaining equal competitiveness and compatibility to fit themselves with dignity in the socio-economic environment where they have to live..
6. The Constitution must remove all kinds of discrimination by the name of castes and direct the State institutions to remove the disparities based on the castes
18. National Planning and Financial Commission (HPFC) and Provincial Planning Commissions (PPC)
1. At National level there should be the NPFC as a Constitutional Institution appointed by the President on the advice of the Constitutional Council. The Vice President should be the Ex-Officio Chairman of the NPFC, if not, the Prime Minister. However, there should be a Deputy Chairman, with the Status of a Cabinet Minister, for practically giving day to day leadership to each function of the NPFC. The Deputy Chairman should not be an MP or a person holding any elected post or any executive post in any private concern, but an Expert on Economic Development Affairs
2. There should be a PPC in every Province headed by the Chief Minister and the PPC should have Five or Three different Development Expert Committees. The PPC should comprise not more than fifteen members in total including the Chief Minister and all the Provincial Ministers, at least one representative to each national community, and all Heads of Development Expert Committees.
3. Each new government should constitute the NPFC so that it could make its recommendations for the Five Year National Development Plan at the earliest in order to facilitate the CEC of the new government could in turn get it, within six month of its formation, passed by the Parliament as the Central Policy of National Economic Development Planning of the new government.
4. Similarly Each Chief Minster should appoint the PPC so that it could make its recommendations, in consultation with the Deputy Chairman of the NPFC, for the Five Year Provincial Development Plan at the earliest in order to facilitate the PEC of the new government could in turn get it early, and passed by the PLA within one year of its formation, as the Provincial Economic Development Planning of the new provincial government, in line with the General Policy of the National Economic Development Planning;
5. Each PPC should make the Annual Economic Planning with the specific programmes and projects and the budgetary estimations thereof, in order to give effect to their respective Provincial Five Year Development Planning.
6. Such Provincial Annual Planning should be coordinated by the NPFC and make recommendations to the CEC to make the adequate Financial Assistants to the Provincial administrations to ensure the planned programmes and projects are implemented effectively in time.
7. The NPFC and PPCC shall have Socio-Economic Statistics Survey Departments respectively under their administration
19. Protocol Status, Rights, Privileges of the PECC Ministers, the PLAA Members and the Provincial Administrative Officer
1. Governor should have the status between the Prime Minister and the Cabinet ministers.
2. Chief Minister should be equivalent to a Cabinet Minister,
3. The Provincial Ministers should be equivalent to the Deputy Ministers of the Center
4. The Parliament should be free to give more rights, privileges and immunities to the Governor and the Chief Minister than what are ensured by the Constitution.
5. Chief Secretary should be equivalent to the Secretaries to the Cabinet Ministers
6. The Secretaries of the Provincial Ministries should be equivalent to the Additional Secretaries of the Central Administration
7. Provincial Legislators also should have the Diplomatic Status as given to the parliament members, if necessary, with certain reasonable conditions and restrictions
8. Accordingly, the rights, privileges and immunities to the above persons should be ensured.
20. Status of Pre-Constitution laws including ordinances
1. All the provisions of existing Acts, Ordinances and laws should be in compliance with the provisions of the New Constitutions. In case any provision of existing any Act or Ordinance or any other law is found ultra virus at any time in the future to any provision of the New Constitution, then it should be deemed to be null and void ab initio as to the particular provision or in entirety of such Act.
2. All the Pre-New Constitution Acts, Ordinances and other laws and Statutes, as long as those are in compliance with the Constitution should have the same force as the effect of any Post Constitution act or Ordinance or any other law until those are replaced or amended by new Acts or Ordinances in accordance with the provisions of the New Constitution.
21. Interpretation of Important Terms and Phrases
1. Failure of the 13th Amendment was mainly because of many ambiguous terms and phrases and undefined general terms and phrases, which easily facilitated the Heads of Central government to misinterpret or maliciously interpret in order to withhold and undermine the powers and functions of the Provincial executives. It is therefore very necessary to make sufficient interpretation clauses to avoid the repetition of such bad experiences;
2. When the Constitution is “Unitary” the Court is bound to be in favour to the Center. Therefore, the term Unitary should be somewhere and in some way combined with “Extension of Devolution” so that one main pillar of the basic Structures of the Constitution is not simply “Unitary” but “Unitary with Extension of Devolution of Powers” as Prof. Laksiri Fernando recommends correctly.
3. However, the Interpretation Chapter in the Constitution should be given due importance to ensure the Goals and Objectives enshrined in the Preamble of the New Constitution.
4. The phrases “shall exercise ………” or “shall alienate …….”, “on the advice of the Chief Minister” should mean that the advice of the Chief Minister is mandatory to such exercise or such alienation as it is not a consultative process but a compulsory process.
5. The phrase “ discretionary Power to the Governor” should be defined as such power could be vested only by the Constitution specifically and explicitly. The confusion created by the paragraph 2 of the Article 154F with regard to the “discretionary power” of the Governor, should not be repeated. The Constitution must ensure that no law of the Parliament other than the Constitution shall provide any discretionary power to the Governor.
6. The terms / phrases such as
(1) “prescribed …. / declared….. / to the extent permitted by or under the law made by Parliament”,
(2) “National Policy”, “National Importance” , “Inter Provincial …………… “, “National Institutions”, “prejudicial to National Security”, “to be expedient in the public interest”, “National Schools”, “Special Schools”, “State Schools” and so on should be defined clearly in the New Constitution so that the new constitution should not give chance for any confusion or ambiguity or way for wrong interpretation in the future.
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