• Last Update 2021-08-01 13:36:00

Large revenue loss due to non-updating of policies by Govt. institutions - COPA

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The Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), Prof. Tissa Vitarana stated that the government and the country lose a huge amount of money annually due to the policies not being updated and the irregularities in many government institutions.

Prof. Vitarana stated this while presenting the first report of the COPA for the first session of the 9th Parliament.

Prof. Vitharana said that this report submitted by COPA is a comprehensive report and it has made recommendations on the steps that should be taken to recover the lost revenue.

He pointed out that the country loses a huge amount of money due to non-updating of certain policies in the country and the annual expenditure on human-elephant conflict is one of the best examples of this.

“According to the existing policies, the annual budget allocates a large amount of money every year for activities including the construction of elephant fences. What is done here is to confine the elephants to a single confined area and fence them around. What often happens here is that the baby elephant and the female elephant are herded into the area. Giant elephants will not be herded there. Then after some time, when there was a shortage of food in that confined area, the animals were starving and dyeing. At the same time trouble making huge elephants are attacking villages, So obviously the policy was wrong” he said.

Therefore, this policy should be changed and the proposals for that have been included in the report, said Prof. Vitharana. He further said that elephant fences should be made not only around the area where the people live but also around the farm lands and an environment should be created for the elephants in the rest of the area to roam freely. This method has been tested in Anuradhapura and Galgamuwa areas by Dr. Preethiviraj Fernando and has obtained very high results, COPA chairman added.

Prof. Vitharana said that he had visited these areas and held discussions with the villagers and they approved this methodology and by now the conflict between humans and elephants has naturally subsided. Due to this, a comprehensive report has been submitted to revise the policies, he said.

The COPA chairman further said that a  number of powerful companies in the country which have a good auditing and accounting systems, have not paid their  taxes to the Department of Inland Revenue for a period of five to six years and the amount of tax lost due to this is huge.

He pointed out that the reason for this is that these companies have been given the opportunity to appeal three times regarding the taxes due.

The same institution should not be allowed to file appeals three times and due to this not only the delay in payment of taxes but also the subsequent court action against it has taken a long time to pay taxes, he said.

He also said that six months have been given for appeals and recommended that the number of opportunities for appeals be reduced to one.

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