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News


PB, Charitha give evidence in camera

By Stanley Samarasinghe
Presidential Commission appointed to probe VAT fraud has recorded evidence of 99 witnesses in 131 sittings so far.

Deputy Finance and Planning Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Former Secretaries to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and Charitha Ratwatte gave evidence in camera this week.
Rs. 3.8 billion in public funds collected by way of Value Added Tax (VAT) was cheated by a few persons with the help of some officers of the Inland Revenue Department.

The Commission is probing among other things:
1. Whether VAT refunds have in fact been made to any companies not entitled to VAT refunds;
2. If such VAT refunds have in fact been made, have they been made in contravention of any applicable statute and/or guidelines of the Inland Revenue Department;
3. Whether the companies, who have received VAT refunds while being not entitled, were legally in existence during the period within which such VAT refunds have been made;
4. If any irregularities have in fact taken place in relation to such VAT refunds, identify the officers and other persons who are responsible for the same;
5. Whether the officers so responsible have followed proper systems and procedures to ensure that their supervisory responsibilities have been duly fulfilled;
6. Based on the findings of the inquiry, make recommendations on measures that could be taken to prevent the possible occurrence of similar incidents in the future.