Missing National Drug Policy draft Bill resurfaces after one year

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The National Drug Policy Draft Bill, which had gone missing for nearly one year, has finally resurfaced. It has now arrived at the Health Ministry.

Dr. Palith Abeykoon, a member of the Ministry appointed Draft Bill Preparation Committee, told The Island that he had received the file with the Draft Bill from the former Chief Legal Draftsman at long last.

He said that the Draft Bill was now with Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s advisor Dr. A. Indrasiri for final insertions, observations and omissions, if any.

Former legal draftsman Ms K. Perera could not be contacted at the time of going to press.

Dr. Abeykoon said that the pre-final copy would be re-scrutinised by the Committee. The Secretary to the Health Ministry would send it to the current Chief Legal Draftsman Ms. A. Samarasinghe for finalisation.

When contacted, Ms. Samarasinghe said that she had told Minister Sirisena to send it to her soon so that she would be able to do her part to finalise the Bill. She would make her observations with the inclusion of some legal points, she said. "It is an achievement to get the file back after one year. I will send a preliminary copy to the Attorney-General and one copy to the Health Ministry. Then, it is the responsibility of Minister Sirisena to submit the Draft Bill to the Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament."

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