It was disclosed at the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) held in Parliament on 07th December that the revenue outstanding to be collected by the Excise Department for the period of 5 years is Rs. 2376.2 million by December 2019.
The total amount of tax arrears due to the Excise Department for more than 05 years is Rs. 479.9 million, by 31 December 2019 and its delay charge alone was Rs. 1896.3 million.
The Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Prof. Tissa Vitarana stressed that prompt action should be taken to recover the arrears. The Commissioner General of Excise and other officials informed the committee that legal action has been taken to recover the arrears.
The Committee also noted that the Excise Department had conducted 224737 raids during the last 05 years, out of which 53848 raids were carried out in 2017, 49278 raids in 2018 and 47391 raids in 2019 and that legal action has been taken against those criminals.
The Chairman drew attention to the fact that the relevant disciplinary inquiries regarding 48 officers, who were suspended due to various reasons in the Excise Department as at 31st December 2019, have not been completed properly even though 01 to 03 years have elapsed. It was also identified that some of the officers had been suspended due to non-participation in the District Coordinating Committees.
The Chairman of the Committee instructed that the legal proceedings be completed expeditiously and the activities of the Excise Department be maintained efficiently. The Chairman further emphasized that necessary steps should be taken to fill the vacancies of senior and tertiary level posts in a proper manner which directly affect the mission of the Department and to submit a report on the current progress of these matters.
The Committee also paid special attention to the fact that the security sticker management process with a procurement cost of Rs. 1,597,559 by November 2020 was limited to imported foreign liquor which was only 0.28% of the total revenue of the Excise Department. The Committee stressed that it is an essential program for the standardization of local liquor as well.
The Committee was chaired by Prof. Tissa Vitarana and State Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekara , Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Shehan Semasinghe, and Members Tissa Attanayake, Dr. Upul Galappaththi, Prof. Ranjith Bandara , Secretary to the Treasury and Ministry of Finance S.R Attygalle, Commissioner General of Excise A. Bodaragama and other officials were present.
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