Treasury Secy wants Customs tasks widened to border management

Wednesday, 6 January 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


With the economic growth of the country, Sri Lanka Customs should try and engage more in cross border management activities rather than just being a revenue collection agency for the Government, Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said.

He went on to say that in developed countries larger amounts of Government revenue are collected by inland agencies and not at the border level institutions.

The newGovernmenthas assigned many agencies to collect revenue and new instruments are now put in place to make the collection of revenue more efficient, he added.

Noting that the Customs Department is one of the oldest and the most important revenue collection institutions in the country, Dr. Samaratunga said it has a long way to go in terms of engaging in cross border level management.

“In future, we want Sri Lanka Customs to actively engaging in border management principles to foster cooperation and to coordinate their respective regulatory activities, besides having to efficiently manage the clearance and ensure the security of international movements of goods and conveyances. However, to reach that level we have to travel a lot into the future,” he stressed.

In addition Dr. Samaratunga stated that people undergo many difficulties in implementing programs in Sri Lanka as the process of getting approvals are complicated and time consuming.

Pointing out the bitter truth of the process in Sri Lanka he asserted that implementation of various programs in this country is ‘sticky’.

“When we interact with various Government agencies and even with the private sector, you all will experience the stickiness of the implementation. 

The implementation of new initiatives is pretty slow in Sri Lanka,” he noted.

Dr.Samaratunga said innovations are done in other countries and emphasized that in order to be integrated with the rest of the world it is important to keep adopting and inventing new systems to maintain growth momentum.

“Be mindful that innovations and technologies are evolving at all times, thus it is vital to keep a close tab on those developments for us to be competitive and to be on par with the rest of the world,” he stressed.

However Dr.Samaratunga commended the Customs officials for completing the given task within a short span of time like three months.