Discussion between Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera and IRD trade unions in progress at the Finance Ministry
Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera during a discussion with representatives of trade unions of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) stated that the main objective of the new Inland Revenue Bill was to simplify the tax system in the country in order to create an investor-friendly environment to attract investments.
The government has been taking a lot of flak over the new revenue bill which was tabled in parliament last week. The key allegation is that it was prepared in consultation with the International Monetary Fund to slap higher tax on the people.
The minister said that the present tax system in place is complicated and that investors find it difficult to understand. Therefore, he said that the new Inland Revenue Bill will broad-base the tax system and incorporate globally accepted new tax principles to deal with international cross border relations.
Minister Samaraweera met representatives of the IRD trade unions at the Finance Ministry this week and held discussions on matters relating to functional activities that come under the purview of the IRD.
Samaraweera invited the employees of the IRD to submit their proposals and to discuss any other issues faced by them. He further stated that he was prepared to consider the trade unions’ concerns in order to enhance the tax revenue of the government.
The trade union representatives briefed Samaraweera on certain administrative and technical issues in the department.
The representatives cited the lack of local and foreign training opportunities for IRD officers and apprised the minister on issues faced by them with regard to the payment of incentives.
They also stressed on the need for a new building for the IRD head office.
Although tax revenue has decreased since 2011, the government has been able to increase national revenue via increased tax collection to reach an all-time high in the recent past due to new policies adopted by the government.
Deputy Secretaries to the Treasury, G.D.C. Ekanayake and S.R. Attygalle, Director General of Fiscal Policy A.K Senevirathne, Director General of the Inland Revenue Department Ivan Dissanayake along with officials from the Finance Ministry and the IRD were also present.