Inland Revenue CG: Vacant post causes massive revenue loss | Sunday Observer

Inland Revenue CG: Vacant post causes massive revenue loss

Continuous failure of the Ministry of Finance in appointing a permanent Commissioner General (CG) to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) may end upstaging a loss of over Rs. 50 billion to the General Treasury, sources at the IRD told the Sunday Observer.
“There are court cases on hold due to the absence of a CG. The cases have been filed against the IRD by tax payers who claimed that tax estimates are incorrect. If the IRD had a CG, we could finish those cases and receive the due revenue, which amounts to billions of rupees,” a source within the IRD told the Sunday Observer yesterday on the condition of anonymity.

The CG post at the IRD has been vacant since October last year. When the Government appointed former deputy governor of the Central Bank C.J.P. Siriwardana as the CG in October last year, IRD employees protested against it claiming, it is a violation of the IRD Act No. 24 of 2017.

According to the IRD Act and the court order on a case filed contesting the appointment, outsiders cannot be appointed as the CG, said trade unionists of the IRD. General Secretary of the IRD staff officers’ union, A.T. Chandana told the Sunday Observer yesterday that the absence of a CG had created an issue in terms of collecting revenues. “The Ministry of Finance had taken the issue lightly. We have informed the Minister and have even gone before the courts. But we can’t understand as why the government delays the appointment of a CG,” he said. As said by Secretary, Inland Revenue General Employees Union, Ajith Pushpa Kumara, there are 31 special grade officers who are eligible to the post. “The CG can only be selected from the special grade officers of the IRD. There are nine deputy Commissioners and 22 Senior Commissioners in the special grade,” Ajith said.

“We can achieve out revenue targets only if we have a permanent CG. Because an acting CG can perform only day-to-day activities,” he said.

When asked State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne told the Sunday Observer that Finance Minister wouldn’t hesitate to appoint a permanent person to the position. “The Minister has set up key performance criteria. If somebody meets those criteria, the Minister will appoint a permanent Commissioner General to the department,” he said.