Taxman delays paying dues

By Bandula Sirimanna

Sri Lanka’s main tax collector, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) which has rented space at the Access Building in Colombo for its PAYE Unit, owe the owners Rs 23.3 million in delayed monthly rentals to date, a senior official of the Access Management told the Sunday Times.

The IRD rental issue transpired following the action taken by the Ceylon Electricity Board to disconnect the power supply at the IRD PAYE unit on Monday morning.

When contacted IRD commissioner D.B. Jayasekera who is authorized to speak to the media said that the amount may be correct but he cannot confirm it without contacting the accountant. The IRD recently appointed a seven member media committee which is authorised to speak to the media.

The electricity bill for seven months amounting to Rs.1.69 million rupees has not been paid by the Access management as the IRD had not settled the rental of the building. Mr. Jayasekera told the Sunday Times that the power supply has been restored later in the day on Monday itself, following their action to settle the dues.

The IRD had sent a cheque amounting to Rs.1.4 million to settle the electricity bill, other IRD officials said. Mr. Jayasekera said that they were building a unit at Navam Mawatha, Colombo so that its PAYE Department could move over there once the unit was completed.

Asked why the IRD could not house the PAYE unit at its head-office building in Colombo as was the case previously, he said that that this was due to inadequate space as several new units are now housed at the head office.

IRD moved out from its premises after an LTTE light aircraft crashed into its head-office building in early 2009, in the final stages of the war against terrorism.

Election Complaints Centre for LG polls on July 23

An Election Complaints Centre has been set up to address the grievances of voters, candidates and civil organisations in relation to the Local Council elections scheduled for July 23, according to a statement by the Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya.

Complaints based on actual facts or incidents can be filed by phone, fax or with the respective District Returning Officers or secretaries and deputy, senior assistant or assistant commissioners of elections in the respective areas of elections.

The telephone numbers of the centre are 011 – 2 877 611, 2 868 444 (direct) and 2 868 441-3, extensions – 201, 202 and 207. Complaints may also be faxed to 011 – 2 877 612-3, 2 868 445, 2 868 367 and 1868368.

Informants should specify their names, addresses and contact numbers. Complainants who wish to remain anonymous, will also be entertained, said the statement.

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