Colombo (Sri Lanka), May 19: Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers on Tuesday agreed to amend the Port City Economic Commission Bill in line with the recommendations by a Supreme Court ruling.
Minister of Mass Media and cabinet spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government "is in full agreement" with a Supreme Court ruling which says that the bill can be passed with a simple majority if certain clauses are amended to further conform with the country's constitution.
Necessary amendments include provisions to ensure that the majority of seats in the commission governing the Port City Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will be given to citizens of Sri Lanka. Other amendments entail strengthening parliamentary oversight and the independence of regulatory authorities.
The Port City Economic Commission Bill was tabled in Parliament on April 8, after which 19 petitions were filed to the Supreme Court. A parliament debate on the bill will be held on May 19 and 20.
The Port City Colombo is a joint venture between Sri Lanka and China to develop a world-class city out of 269 hectares of land reclaimed from the sea and annexed to Sri Lanka's commercial capital Colombo. The bill seeks to establish a special President-appointed commission that will govern the city as a services-oriented SEZ.