A dispute is brewing over the of chairmanship of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF).

Dr. Harsha de Silva has been proposed as its head by chief opposition whip Lakshman Kiriella, while some government MP have named MP Patali Champika Ranawaka for the position.

Although the ruling MPs did not give names, they said yesterday (22) that two opposition members have been named to chair COPF.

Some media later revealed the two to be de Silva and Ranawaka.

According to parliament sources, the matter has been referred to the committee of selection.


Harsha & Patali discuss matter


The two nominees have discussed it when they met at the parliamentary complex.

Ranawaka has said that he did not want either the COPF chairmanship or a contest with de Silva over it, but conceded that he would favourably consider if the committee itself is in agreement to give him the position.

Being an MP for more than 20 years, with around 13 of them as a minister, Ranawaka said, he has done maximum justice to the country through his vast understanding of state fiscal laws.

The COPF chairmanship should go to an opposition MP as per standing orders, but there were exceptions at times, like when Anura Priyadarshana Yapa headed it during the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime.

Following the passing of the 22nd amendment to the constitution, de Silva had become the COPF chairman, but ruling MPs had charged him of delaying government acts.

With the prorogation of parliament, he lost the position.

In the meantime, Ranawaka has been dropped from membership of the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE).


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