Indian MEA criticized on Lanka

An Indian parliamentary panel has criticized the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) over its “slow progress” in the resettlement work in Sri Lanka.

The Standing Committee on External Affairs, which presented its report on demands for grants of the ministry for 2012-13 in parliament on Tuesday, observed that the Indian government was spending a substantial amount on rehabilitation of internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka by way of constructing houses, schools, hospitals, roads etc.

However the committee said it has been asking the ministry that all proposed projects including building of 50,000 houses should be completed within a specific timeline.

“The Committee, however, has observed that no timeline is being followed in any of the proposed projects perhaps due to bureaucratic delays and lack of cooperation.”

It said the government must strive and expedite the construction of remaining houses in a time-bound manner.

The report also said the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) University is yet to have its own campus, hostel and a standardized curriculum in place, library and books for issuance to students and urged the ministry to expeditiously work upon the construction so that the university can shift to its own campus.

It recommended more funds for Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and expressed concern over “poor planning and slow progress” of the Nalanda University project.