In a recent post I have suggested that Sri Lanka should reform how the ministries operate in here.
In that post I have suggested that the number of ministries and the subject matters under the ministry would have to be fixed within the constitution.
Why we need to fix the list of ministries
This is required to ensure
- The president will not use the posts within ministry as a way to reward his political supporters
- if a parliamentary committee process is addressed , parliamentary committees and the ministries are aligned.
- The country is able to sustain a coherent strategic and governance framework in the long term without changing the tack each time a cabinet shuffle is done
Following ministries are proposed to be created and will be a fixed set of ministries. There will be no secondary level ministries (such as state ministries)
- Ministry of Defense (include all military establishments)
- Ministry of Trade and Finance (includes Customs)
- Ministry of Health and Well-being
- Ministry of Science and Education
- Ministry of Industry and Agriculture
- Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Ministry of Foreign affairs
- Ministry of internal security (Police, Civil defense, Coast guard, Disaster management)
- Ministry of Public Utilities (water, electricity, Power)
- Ministry of Transport (Public transport, shipping, aviation, road infrastructure)
- Ministry of Land and Land utilization (includes urban planning, Survey department etc, irrigation)
- Ministry of Media, Communication and Technology (includes telecoms, TV, Radio, internet etc)
- Ministry of Sports
- Ministry of Demographics and Social Development (issues related to demographics ex, youth, womens, children, Cultural, religious etc)
- Ministry of Environment
While we recognize that this list of ministries needs to be limited, we also have to recognize that each president will be elected based on different mandates from people. in most cases the president must select the ministers that can drive such mandates. However there maybe some situations where consolidation of subjects needed. In such situations the president may appoint “Project Ministers”. Number of such project ministers should not be more than 4. These ministers may get separate budget allocations to drive the specific initiative. However they will have to operate through the respective ministries. Any regulatory or legislative compromises (example: Change of EIA process for faster implementation) needed to operate such projects would have to be introduced as a temporary legislation and obtain parliamentary approval. However such approvals cannot compromise the basic fundamentals of specific legislations in such situations legislation itself would have to be changes in the parliament.