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Pact with Singapore firm handling RAMIS, extended

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Cabinet approval has been granted to extend the agreement with the Singaporean company handling the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS), says Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis – MP Gamini Waleboda.

Accordingly, the pact, which was in place for the last 10 years and was set to expire on Jan. 31, 2024, is to be extended for a period of 03 years.

MP Waleboda had told the media that they were compelled to extend the pact as no alternative choice existed.

Although Rs. 16,000 million have been paid for the RAMIS so far, the IRD has not been able to get complete control of the system. That is said to be because the relevant agreement includes a non-disclosure clause to third parties.

However, past media reports had revealed of how hidden mediators who had paved the way for this agreement, had earned high commissions.

It was also previously reported that the Department of Inland Revenue had failed to collect a tax revenue arrears, fines and interest income amounting to Rs. 201,400 million from state institutions.

Not collecting arrears tax revenue under both RAMIS and Legacy systems was also discussed at the COPA last year.

According to a Parliament statement last year, it had also been disclosed that the internal capacity including the human resources required for the IRD to take over the RAMIS system has not been developed.

In this backdrop, during a meeting of the Ways and Means Committee in July last year, MP Patali Champika Ranawaka had recommended that the IRD submit a report in this regard. 

He has also stated that the report should include a structured proposal for updating the system to adopt the RAMIS system.

Meanwhile, the non-inclusion of large companies such as the Dedigama Group in Maharagama to the RAMIS, had also sparked controversy.

Related News :

Rs. 904 bn. arrears amount due to IRD – COPA

How was Dedigama Group excluded from RAMIS?

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Anton’s TU life celebrated in Kusal’s ‘Humanist Without Borders’

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A book celebrating fifty years of Mr. Anton Marcus as a Trade Unionist will be held in Colombo next week.

Mr. Marcus is currently the Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and Public Employees’ Union.

The book entitled ‘Humanist Without Borders’ alongside its Sinhala version, will be launched on June 17, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo from 3.30pm.

The books are penned by political columnist and analyst – Kusal Perera.

Emeritus Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda and the former president and general secretary of New Zealand’s ‘First Union’, Mr. Robert Reed, will deliver guest lectures.
Speaking to ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ in this regard, Mr. Kusal Perera said:

“My effort in profiling Anton in this book that traverses the fifty years of his trade union life is in the context of Sri Lankan politics. It’s because he himself is a political creature. Therefore my reading said, despite all rights, decency, dignity enshrined in the Constitution, in International law and for all that Anton fought for, it was no easy task in a world of the filthy rich whatever honourable labels one would tag them with.”

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Modi expected to visit SL?

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A high level delegation headed by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya is scheduled to visit Russia to arrange for the repatriation of Sri Lankan ex-military personnel deployed in Russia for military purposes and the related discussions will be held on June 26 and 27, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry.
The Minister also noted that a team of officials has been tasked with reviewing the Cabinet paper submitted to decide on Sri Lanka’s potential membership in the BRICS organization. Their report is anticipated later this month.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry, highlighted this during his participation in today’s (June 14) Press conference at the Presidential Media Centre, focusing on the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’.

The minister elaborated further, stating that they are also anticipating a visit from the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs – S. Jaishankar followed by a visit by the Indian PM himself.

“President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited India to take part in the swearing-in ceremony of Sri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.  Consequently, we anticipate a visit from the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Sri Lanka later this month, with the Prime Minister of India expected to follow suit shortly,” Minister Sabry has said.

He further noted : 
Recently, I attended the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Russia, representing Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a Cabinet paper to explore the possibility of Sri Lanka joining the BRICS organization. A team comprising officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Treasury, Ministry of Finance, and Central Bank has been tasked with studying this proposal. The Cabinet is expected to receive their report later this month.

Furthermore, discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov focused on resolving the issue of Sri Lankan ex-military personnel serving in the Russian army. To address this, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, and a delegation including secretary to the Defence Ministry will visit Russia. These discussions are scheduled for June 26th and 27th. Concurrently, efforts have commenced to facilitate the safe return of Sri Lankans currently stranded in Myanmar.

(Excerpts : President’s Media Division) 

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Keheliya & 7 others further remanded

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Former Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella and 07 others have been further remanded until June 28 by the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin vials.

This order was issued when the case was taken up before the Maligakanda Magistrate today (June 14).

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Department today informed the Supreme Court that it will not appear on behalf of former Health Minister Kehiliya Rambukwella and arrested NMRA officials over the case of purchasing medicines from two allegedly unregistered companies.

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