PARLIAMENT

OF SRI LANKA

SinhalaSriLankaTamil-SriLanka

Government Bills


The Government Bills may be classified as follows:-

  • Ordinary Bills
  • Constitutional Amendment Bills - Bills to amend, repeal and replace the Constitution in terms of Article 82, 83 and 84 of the Constitution.
  • Appropriation Bill

 

Procedure in Parliament

First Reading

After 14 days from the publication in the gazette in terms of Article 78 of the Constitution and on the request of a Cabinet Minister or a Deputy Minister, a Bill is placed in the Order Paper for First Reading in terms of Standing Order No. 45.

However, if the subject matter of the Bill comes under the Provincial Council list, the President shall refer such Bill to all Provincial Councils for the expression of their views, before being placed on the Order Paper for First Reading.

After the First Reading is moved, the Bill is ordered to be printed by the Parliament.

 

Second Reading

The Bill shall be placed in the Order Paper for Second Reading, after seven days from the date of first reading, in terms of Standing Orders 45 and 50(1).  The date for Second Reading of a Bill shall be decided by the Committee on Parliamentary Business.

However, in the following instances, the Second Reading may not take place after seven days from the date of first reading:-

a) Where a Petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against a Bill under Article 121 of the Constitution, such a Bill is fixed for Second Reading after the determination of the Supreme Court is announced in Parliament in terms of Standing Order 50(2).
b) When Bills in respect of matters in List III of the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution (Concurrent List) under Article 154G (5)(a) are presented to Parliament, such Bills are referred to all Provincial Councils for their views in terms of Standing Order 46A (2)(a). After their views are announced in Parliament, the Bill is fixed for Second Reading in terms of Standing Order 46A (2)(b).


On a Second Reading of a Bill, a debate on the Bill shall take place as per Standing Order 51. At the end of the Second Reading, the Bill shall be passed by a Vote (voice vote/ by row/ by name).  If a Bill is passed by the House, the Bill (other than an Appropriation Bill) is referred to the Committee of the Whole Parliament or upon a motion made by a Minister or a Deputy Minister, is referred to a Select Committee or to a Standing Committee in terms of Standing Order 52.

 

Committee Stage of the Bill

When a Bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole Parliament in terms of Standing Order 52, the proceedings of the Committee is conducted in terms of Standing Orders 86 to 93. At the Committee stage, all the Clauses of the Bill are discussed in the Committee and new amendments may be moved to the Clauses of the Bill in terms of Standing Orders 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60. When New Clauses and New Schedules are proposed to the Bill they shall be read a Second Time and thereafter Preamble and Title of the Bill shall be considered in terms of Standing Order 61.

The nature of amendments is laid down in Standing Orders 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41. All amendments must be in writing and handed over to the Secretary-General of Parliament in terms of Standing Order 38(1).

 

Consideration at Standing Committee/at Select Committee

When the Bill has been referred to a Select Committee or to a Standing Committee no further proceeding is taken until the Committee has reported to Parliament in terms of Standing Order 53.

The Report of the Committee shall be presented to Parliament in terms of Standing Orders 63, 64, 65.

The proceedings of the Standing Committee are conducted in terms of Standing Orders 116 to 120.

The proceedings of the Select Committee are conducted in terms of Standing Orders 94 to 103.

 

Third Reading

When the Committee of the Whole Parliament has completed the consideration of the Bill, the Chairman shall report the Bill with or without the amendment to the Parliament in terms of Standing Order 62.

If the Bill is considered in a Standing Committee or in a Select Committee, the report of the Committee be considered in the House and thereafter, the Bill is read a Third Time and passed in terms of Standing Orders 66 and 67.  At the Third Reading also a vote is taken (voice vote/ by row/ by name).

Certificate of the Speaker

A Bill shall become an Act upon the endorsement of the Speaker on the Bill (Assent), under Article 79 or 80 of the Constitution in terms of Standing Order 69.

 

Constitutional Amendment Bills

It has to be expressly specified in the long title of a Constitutional Amendment Bill that the Bill is for the amendment to the Constitution. The other procedures are same as the procedure of ordinary Bills, except the Bill has to be passed with a majority of two-thirds or both a majority of 2/3 and the approval at a referendum.

 

Last Updated on 04-11-2015

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