The government is looking to amend key pieces of legislation related to local government bodies.

Speaking to Nation, State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Priyankara Jayaratne stated that the government hopes to amend the Municipal Councils Ordinance, Urban Councils Ordinance and the Pradeshiya Sabha Act within this year.

A meeting of senior officials of the ministry will be held on January 26 to discuss amending these Acts, the minister said. These discussions are expected to continue and once amendments are drafted, they will have to be approved by Cabinet before being presented to Parliament.

Jayaratne described the acts governing local government institutions as outdated, and stressed there was an urgent need to update them to suit the present situation.

“However, we will first wait until all issues pertaining to the Delimitation Commission’s report is sorted out and the demarcation of boundaries of local wards are finalized,” he added, noting any amendments to the Acts would likely be made after the Local Government election scheduled to be held in June.
Jayaratne said the main focus at present was introducing electoral reforms and ensuring that the next Local Government election is held under a mixed electoral system.