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Customs in favour of lifting the ban on vehicle imports

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Sri Lanka Customs has claimed that restrictions imposed on the import of goods including the suspension of vehicle imports are an impediment for it to achieve the revenue targets set out in the annual budget.

Sri Lanka Customs officials made this claim while appearing before the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Economic and Physical Plans.

The Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Economic and Physical Plans met under the chairmanship of Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage to discuss the contribution of Sri Lanka Customs in order to increase the revenue of the government.

The Chairman of the Committee, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage has said that a sum of Rs. 1,226 billion is expected as income of Sri Lanka Customs in this year’s budget and only Rs. 330 billion have been received during the first five months.

He had pointed out that Customs will face difficulties in achieving the target when considering the figures for the first five months.

The Department of Communications of Parliament said during the meeting Customs official had said the expected income cannot be reached until the import restrictions including the ban on the import of vehicles are in place.

Under the said situation, they predict that the income that can be obtained this year is Rs. 783 billion.

Officials had pointed out that the Ministry of Finance has also been informed about this.

Moreover, they had statistically pointed out that about 20 per cent of the revenue received by Customs is from the taxes imposed on the import of vehicles and until the restrictions on the import of vehicles are in place, this expected revenue cannot be reached.

Furthermore, officials had claimed that the highest tax revenue from 2014 to 2022 was collected in the year 2018 and it was Rs. 923 billion.

They had indicated that 2018 tax revenue includes a sum of Rs. 194 billion generated through taxes imposed on the import of vehicles.

According to Customs officials, if the ban on vehicle imports is lifted this month, within the next six months, they will be able to collect Rs. 150 billion in taxes.

Officials have also pointed out the possibility of importing vehicles under a credit line system with another country and that it is the best way to increase the customs revenue.

The Chair of the Committee had said that since discussions have already started on this matter, the government is working to take an urgent decision regarding the import of vehicles.

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Wijedasa requests Speaker to summon key officials of JSA

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Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has formally requested the Speaker to summon key officials of the Judicial Service Association (JSA) to the Committee on Privileges. 
This follows a JSA statement, which the Minister alleges, has breached his parliamentary privileges.

In a letter addressed to the Speaker, Minister Rajapakshe highlighted his concerns regarding the recent statement made by the Chairman and Secretary of the JSA.

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Five-member judge bench appointed to hear ex-Navy chief’s writ

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The Court of Appeal has decided for the writ petition filed by former Sri Lanka Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda over the alleged abduction of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009, to be taken up for hearing before a five-member judge bench.

The former Navy Chief has filed the relevant petition seeking an order preventing the hearing of a case filed before the Colombo High Court against him and several others, related to the alleged abduction of 11 youths in Colombo and its suburbs in the 2008 and 2009.

Accordingly, the petition will be taken up for hearing before a five-member judge bench comprising Justices Menaka Wijesundera, Sampath B. Abeykoon, Mayadunne Corea and Chamath Morais on September 25, 2024.

The petitioner’s attorney has alleged through this petition that despite the investigations into the case stretching out for 10 years and statements being recorded from over 150 persons, the police had failed to uncover evidence to prove his client guilty of abducting and killing the said 11 youths.

(adaderana.lk)

 (This story, originally published by adaderana.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Rulers can’t decide whether country isn’t bankrupt anymore – Sajith

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Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has slammed the government, saying that rulers themselves cannot decide if the country is bankrupt any longer.

He said that making the relevant  decision is up to international rating agencies, and they are yet to find the country eligible to be so.

“When the debt repayment system is prepared, the international rating companies such as Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s, will use the financial data to declare whether our country is bankrupt or not because our country has entered into a debt repayment system,” he pointed out. 

“One of the reasons for the decline of this country is the deception, desperation and trickery of the people. The people of a bankrupt country should pay attention to the information and data provided by international financial rating agencies which decide whether the country is bankrupt or not,” he added.

Mr. Premadasa was speaking after donating smart classroom equipment to St. John’s College, Kalutara yesterday (June 24).

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