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News


Inland Revenue Chief to go before Public Services Commission

The government is very likely to refer the interim report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to the Public Services Commission for necessary disciplinary action against the Commissioner General of Income Tax.
Highly placed government sources told The Nation that they are thinking of going through the correct procedure as to what should be done in the matter relating to Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, A.A. Wijepala, since there could be complications arising from the PAC report.

On Thursday, the PAC revealed that the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had entertained VAT declaration from two bogus companies in 2004. The taxable supplies declared in the two documents amounted to Rs. 1324 billion, which constituted to 73.5% of the GDP of that year.

In addition to these two companies, 18 more companies had applied for VAT refunds fraudulently.
The PAC in its report also recommended that for a complete examination, the incumbent chief of the IRD should be suspended.
However, sources noted that the government was reluctant to take ad hoc measures and was planning to refer the matter to the Attorney General and thereafter, to the Public Services Commission.

On Friday, Colombo District Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake, referring to the PAC report had queried as to why the PAC had failed to probe the two main economic hit men in Sri Lanka. He also moved to name them as Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera and Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal.
In response PAC Chairman Rauff Hakeem said, “We are still looking into the matter and only part of the probe has been reported.” Meanwhile, it is learnt that of the two officers from the IRD, who are already in remand, one continues to receive his full salary, while the other is receiving full pension.
The government is also likely to have a debate on the PAC report shortly.

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