Minister of Roads and Highways, Ports and Shipping Johnston Fernando advised higher level officials of the Merchant Shipping Secretariat to innovate an online mechanism soon to execute transactions to ensure an efficient service for customers and other external parties dealing with the institution.
Minister Fernando gave these instructions during an inspection visit paid to Merchant Shipping Secretariat on 20 January. Fernando said it was compulsory to establish a new mechanism to avoid wastage of time leading to a more efficient service.
“External parties who have been working closely with this institution had made several complaints before regarding slow going services provides by this centre. Therefore the Secretary of the ministry and I as the Minister came here to look into the lapses in the system and we had a successful study regarding this matter. We have observed several weaknesses in the existing mechanism and have instructed relevant officials here to carry out needed corrections in the mechanism and to innovate a new system, capable of providing an efficient service.
“Accordingly we proposed that they establish a new system which will allow customers to have online transactions and transactions via banks. We proposed some changes to the procedure of granting medical certificates. I think we will be able to overcome most of the issues following those conversions to be carried out. We have strongly advised those officials to carry out proposed changes in the system within a week,” Fernando said.
Merchant Shipping Secretariat is the only institution which has the authority to regulate commercial shipping activities in Sri Lanka. This institution is responsible for monitoring maritime operations, securing lives and property, maritime education, trainings, examination and certification, registration of ships under the Sri Lankan flag, licensing shipping agents, container depot operators, container terminal operators, container freight stations, freight forwarders or a non-vessel operating common carriers and implementing provisions of all applicable international maritime conventions and national regulations.
Minister Johnston Fernando and Ministry Secretary M.M.P.K. Mayadunne led this inspection visit to ensure efficiency of those services.