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Sri Lanka minister in bid to fast track building starts

Nov 02, 2011 (LBO ) - Sri Lanka's economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa urged state agencies to drop archaic rules and procedures that were delaying construction starts, and the ease of doing business in the country. Analysts point out that in many laws enacted in Sri Lanka after independence, a clause relating to 'minister's concurrence' has been inserted.

This indicated that a citizen having fulfilled all needed criteria had to be arbitrarily subject to the whims and fancies of rulers in getting a state service resulting in a loss of their freedoms and liberties and opening them to injustice.

In an incisive series of questions to cut down red tape Rajapaksa, who is widely regarded as an efficient minister, questioned why a certificate was needed from the Ceylon Electricity Board to get a building permit from the municipality or Urban Development Authority (UDA).

"Isn't Sri Lanka now fully electrified? Can't we do away with this requirement at least in urban areas?
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" he asked.

Officials agreed that it should be done. Rajapaksa said the same could be done for the water board.
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A UDA official said a committee had been established which will sit every two weeks to examine whether building plans

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