ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) made recommendations to the Excise Department on Thursday (21) to fast-track a computer database system project to streamline the calculation of excise revenue by linking the Excise Department, Customs Department and Revenue Department.
A statement released by the State Department of Information indicates that this recommendation was made to the Excise Department during a meeting of COPA chaired by Congressman Tissa Vitarana on Tuesday (19) to investigate the report. of the Auditor General for the year 2020 and his current performance.
“The Commissioner General of Excise, MJ Gunasiri, told the committee that preliminary work on the IT system had already started and would be completed by January 2023,” the statement said.
The committee instructed the Commissioner General of Excise to issue a tender to the University of Moratuwa and the University of Colombo and to make the appropriate arrangements.
The statement said the committee stressed that it would enable officials to perform the functions of the Excise Department, one of the country’s main sources of income, more efficiently and increase its revenue significantly.
“Committee members also pointed out that it is regrettable that even though some government agencies have been tasked for many years with setting up an IT system and streamlining their activities, they have not yet received a positive response” , he added.
The committee focused on the progress made in maintaining a secure sticker management system for alcohol bottles and alcohol-related products to increase government revenue, according to the statement.
“It has been revealed that with the introduction of this stamp management system, revenue for the Excise Department increased by 17% in the first three months of last year alone,” the statement said citing the committee .
It also focused on management shortcomings including the failure to document and retain information on the reduction of excise duties on alcohol exports and ordered that appropriate measures be taken to address them. as soon as possible, he added. (Colombo/April 21, 2022)