ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday February 24, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 39
Financial Times  

Inland Revenue workers on work to rule

By Bandula Sirimanna

Trade unions of Inland Revenue Department are launching a work to rule campaign from tomorrow against what they call ‘unilateral and unfair actions’ by the management headed by Commissioner General of Inland Revenue A.A. Wijepala, who is due to retire on March 8 when he reaches 60 years.

The employees have also decided to desist from all field duties to win their demand. A spokesman of the Joint Committee of Trade Unions of the Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Service told The Sunday Times FT that there is a move to extend the service of the Commissioner General or to appoint another official without considering the seniority, merit and the ability to handle functions as the head of the department.

The Joint Committee of Trade Unions of the Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Service has brought this matter to the notice of the President in a letter signed by four trade unions.

The signatories are Inland Revenue Deputy Commissioners Association, Inland Revenue Staff Officers Union, Inland Revenue Executive Officers Union and Inland Revenue Service Union. He said that promotions, transfers and allocation of duties to the officers of the Inland Revenue Department have been made by the tax chief in an arbitrary manner.

Trade unions say there is no proper HR plan with regard allocation of duties even though the modernization programme was introduced spending considerable amount of money.

Senior officials and trade unions allege that Wijepala is making valiant attempt to gain his service extension or to persuade the Finance Ministry authorities to appoint one of his friendly junior officers to the post of Commissioner General of Inland Revenue in order to safe guard his own future in view of allegations against him for his involvement in various corrupt and irregular practices in the department including the VAT fraud amounting to Rs.3.57 billion.

The Sunday Times reliably learns that the Tax Chief has resorted to long arm tactics against employees who have pointed out his inefficiency in the implementation of the plan to catch tax and VAT defaulters. Unions allege that Wijepala had recently visited a divisional Inland Revenue office and threatened its employees.

This issue was brought to the notice of the Minister of State Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Secretary to the Finance Ministry Dr. P. B. Jayasundara by senior officers, other staff members and representatives of all trade unions at two separate meetings held recently. Wijepala was unavailable for comment.


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