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Retired IRD boss opens up tax advice shop

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A group of retired officials of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has launched a consultancy service to help several tax payers they made friends with while still working at IRD to further reduce the tax amount to be paid ultimately depriving the country of a considerable amount in tax revenue, Sri Lanka Mirror learnt.

The consultancy service has been launched by IRD official N.M.M. Mifly retired on July 21.

After retiring from the IRD, he started a tax consultancy service called MIFA in Bambalapitiya.

Mifly has sent detailed messages and e-mails to several taxpayers who are close friends about his new tax consultancy firm.

More focus on money launderers

It was reported that Mifly, while in the IRD, has handled the duties of tax policy formulation and international taxation.

It was also revealed that he has taken the lead in collecting a 1% small tax for undisclosed incomes according to the tax reforms introduced in 2021.

IRD trade union sources said that businessmen who benefitted from the tax exemption to launder black money were able to carry out their work easily with Mifly’s support.

Though it is necessary to inform the tax officials about the taxpayers who have disclosed their income in order to execute tax audits efficiently in the coming years, it was reported Mifly and the current Commissioner General have not released the necessary information so far.  

A trade union leader told us that Mifly, who was hoping to open up a tax consultancy firm after retirement, has issued a circular for internal tax audits to IRD officials through the Commissioner General in favour of these moves.

Due to this circular, the tax audit process which has been conducted so far according to the Act has been disrupted and a conflict has been created between the upper administration and the lower officials.

Rukdevi misses out on Oscar due to overacting

Meanwhile, it was reported that an officer named Rukdevi Fernando who was vying for Mifly’s post has pretended to explain the circular to the officials in a hurry on the day of Mifly’s retirement, in order to get rid of the issues she may have to face in the future. However, she had not been able to provide proper answers to the officials regarding the circular.

Internal sources said that due to this document, tax audit activities have been hampered and that it would make an impact on the overall tax revenue of the country.

It was rumoured that IRD Commissioner General Ranjith Hapuarachchi, who is about to retire in a few days, is also willing to join ‘MIFA’.

Commenting on this, a former IRD Commissioner General said that it is not ethical for the retiring officers to work together with the taxpayers externally.

Accordingly, he said that a retired officer should be prevented from engaging in work-related matters at least for three years upon retirement.

He also said that such situations should be rectified immediately in order to create a transparent tax system and to increase the confidence of the taxpayer.

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Presidential poll will be held first as scheduled: President affirms

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed that the Presidential election will be held as scheduled with the General Elections anticipated to be held early next year, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

The President gave this assurance during a meeting with the representatives of the United Republic Front headed by by its leader Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka at Sirikotha today.

The United Republic Front presented a proposal titled “A United Step for the Country” to President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (24), at ‘Srikotha’, the United National Party headquarters in Colombo.

After engaging in discussions with the President, the leader of the United Republic Front, Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka, along with his delegation, presented this proposal to the President.

Speaking at the event, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, highlighted the government’s concerted efforts over the past two years to stabilize the country’s economy, which had faced significant challenges. 

Stressing the government’s commitment to steering the economy towards recovery through strategic reforms, the President expressed his determination to continue these initiatives with the collective support of everyone.

Recalling his open invitation to all political parties to unite under a common agenda on behalf of the country, regardless of political differences, the President reiterated his willingness to embrace constructive proposals from all political parties as part of the nation-building efforts.

The President responded positively to the request made by MP Patali Champika Ranawaka to allow other political parties to participate in the upcoming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month concerning the restructuring of foreign debts.

United National Party Deputy Leader and President’s Senior Adviser on Climate Change, Ruwan Wijewardena, along with Secretary General of the United National Party Palitha Range Bandara were also in attendance at the event. 

Representing the United Republic Front were Karu Paranavithana, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe and Attorney-at-Law, Shiral Lakthilaka.

(dailymirror.lk)

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Dedicated SLBFE office to be established in Kegalle district

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In response to a joint request from the Kegalle Migrant Workers Committee and the Kegalle District political authority, Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara has assured the establishment of a dedicated Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) office in Kegalle District.

The request was presented during the Jayagamu Sri Lanka program organized by the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment in Kegalle. 

The Committee emphasized the need for an SLBFE office in the district, which has the highest number of migrant workers in Sabaragamuwa Province.

Commending the Minister for his prompt action in establishing a new SLBFE office in Nuwara Eliya District following a similar request, the Committee expressed confidence in his swift response to their current appeal. 

Minister Nanayakkara pledged immediate steps to open an SLBFE office in Kegalle and instructed officials from the Ministry and SLBFE to take the necessary actions for its swift establishment. 

This move aims to enhance support and services for migrant workers in the district.

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Parliamentary committee demands CBSL report on salary hike amid criticism

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Amidst growing criticism over the substantial salary hike for Central Bank employees, a key parliamentary committee has taken action, demanding a report from the Central Bank regarding the legal basis for such an increment without parliamentary approval.

Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis, MP Gamini Waleboda, disclosed that the issue was raised during a committee meeting where Central Bank officials were present.

The Central Bank is now expected to submit a comprehensive report on the salary increment in the coming week. Following the submission, the Sectoral Oversight Committee intends to summon the Central Bank and its Monetary Board for further examination.

MP Waleboda highlighted that the committee expressed strong criticism of the 70% salary increase for Central Bank employees, especially given the ongoing economic crisis, deeming it an immoral act.

“We instructed the Central Bank to provide a report by next week to justify the salary increase. They will need to provide the legal provisions that empower them to effect such an increment. We will summon the Central Bank and its Monetary Board after receiving the report,” stated MP Waleboda.

Both government and opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) have voiced objections to the Central Bank’s decision to raise the salary scales by 70%, with Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella asserting that the Central Bank Act lacks provisions for such salary increases without parliamentary approval, deeming it illegal.

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