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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Nihal blasts Govt. on revenue administration mismanagement

Nihal blasts Govt. on revenue administration mismanagement

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Rizmi

Rizmi
Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics
Whilst taxes and levies are being imposed on the people burdening them, in a clearly worded Motion filed in the Court of Appeal in CA Appeal No. 1661/2003 by public interest activist, Nihal Sri Ameresekere through his lawyers has revealed the appalling mismanagement and non-enforcement of the statutory provisions vis-à-vis revenue collection and administration.
He has also exposed the total indifference of public authorities, including successive Attorney Generals, who are expected to uphold and enforce the rule of law; whilst the public are burdened with regular ad hoc imposition of taxes and levies.
Nihal..The Motion discloses that notwithstanding stipulations in the Statutes enacted by Parliament, the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue had deliberately failed and neglected and had been stubbornly unwilling, feigning incompetence, to refer instances of Customs offences, Exchange Control offences and bribery to the relevant law enforcement authorities, as specifically mandated by Statute enacted by Parliament.
It had been further pointed out that there is the requirement to communicate the turnovers to the Provincial Commissioners for the correct collection of Turnover Taxes at the Provincial levels.
The Motion further discloses that the VAT fraud had been raised in a query by the Auditor General in June 2005. Then Commissioner General of Inland Revenue had intimated that he feared for his life, when Ameresekere had suggested that at that time the matter be referred to the CID or the Presidential Investigation Unit, which he had been assisting at that time. Instead the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue had gone on to appoint an Internal Committee, giving ample time and space for the destruction of relevant documents.
It is also disclosed in the Motion that the Controller of Exchange had written three letters requesting information of foreign assets and/or income and/or cash declared, with the amnesty granted during the UNF Government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe having been subsequently repealed by the People’s Alliance Government in October 2004.
The Commissioner General of Inland Revenue had deliberately failed and neglected to afford such information, even though the Statute mandated directing him to do so. This had been notwithstanding also the Convention of the Suppression of Terrorist Financing Act No. 25 of 2005, which had come into force at that time. There had been an instance of a deposit of US$ 2 million by one individual to a certain bank.
In the shocking circumstances revealed in the Motion, Ameresekere had decided not to waste his valuable professional time and efforts on this matter anymore, since the Government is indifferent to combat fraud and corruption in society, and had moved the Court of Appeal to withdraw his Application, with the passage of 43 days over six-and-a-half years of futile effort.

http://www.ft.lk/2012/06/29/nihal-blasts-govt-on-revenue-administration-mismanagement/

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