New Customs Act won’t be introduced without consultations -PM

Customs call off work to rule campaign


By Ajith Alahakoon and Kushan Subasinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday assured that discussions would be held with all stakeholders before adopting the proposed Customs Bill.

The assurance was given amidst Customs resorting to trade union action against the move to overhaul revenue collection agencies in a bid to boost dwindling revenue.Responding to a query by UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena, Premier Wickremesinghe emphasized that the government had no intention of secretly introducing a new Customs Bill.

The Prime Minister strongly stressed the need to improve the existing laws to suit the times.

MEP leader Gunawardena said that recalling retired Customs officers would aggravate the problem. Gunawardena urged the government to adopt a transparent process.

In the wake of Premier’s assurance, the trade union action launched by unions at the Sri Lanka Customs Department against the proposed Custom Ordinance has been called off.

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Sri Lanka Customs (SLC), and the Excise Department (ED) are opposed to the government move. They have repeatedly alleged that the government is planning to privatise revenue collection operations.

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