Merge Western, Central, Wayamba, Southern, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces into One Province
Posted on July 30th, 2023

Dilrook Kannangara

Provincial Councils are again in the news. These useless, money-guzzling and inefficient white elephants must be put to rest to reduce governance costs, corruption and bring Sri Lanka out of bankruptcy. However, India and Indian minorities want provincial councils to continue so that the island nation will be economically doomed forever.

Instead of one, Sri Lanka has 10 health ministers, education ministers, etc. That is 10 times the administrative cost of education, healthcare, etc. On top of that, it is 10 times corruption, waste and salaries for staff. Approvals have to go through an additional layer of governance which costs more money and time. Even if the 225 MPs are not corrupt, there is nothing to ensure the 450 provincial councilors shun corruption. Fair to say that corruption increased 10-fold since the introduction of provincial councils.

This partly explains why Sri Lanka had a real annual GDP growth rate of 4.49% before provincial councils (before 1988) and after provincial councils it fell to 4.34%. Over a number of years the impact of this drop is tremendous.

If India and Indian minorities in Sri Lanka want power devolution it can be achieved by devolving power to the northern province and eastern province. There is no requirement to create seven other provinces. The other seven provinces can be merged into one province. The current structure of 9 provinces divides the majority into 7 parts and weakens it.

Administrative costs, corruption and waste can be reduced by a third.

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