The Customs-Trade Unions Alliance today launched a strike over the appointment of a retired navy officer as the Customs Director General, a spokesman from the Union said.
The Director Generals to the customs department had been appointed so far from the customs service and added that the new DG was not in the customs or in the administrative service.
He said according to the rules and regulations of the department, the DG should have held a special grade in the customs service or in any state administrative service but not in military service. He also said the import section of the customs will be affected as the result of the strike which was launched since yesterday evening.
“The import division of the customs is still operational with the clearing of received items since this morning. After clearing the stocks, no more action will be taken to clear new arrivals. But we do not cause any harm to the export division,” he said.
If the actions continue, it would affect the airport and cargo clearing units, the spokesman said.
While sending a letter to the President, the union said that they were not prepared to work under the new customs DG whatsoever.
“We have received information about an appointment of a retired Navy officer for the post. We do not need a person with a security forces background. This is the first time in the history of Customs such an appointment has been made,” he said.
“Every Customs DG is remover within a year. We do not know why it happens. This is the time that the present Customs DG is planning to develop the customs department. Once the appointment has been made, he/she needs to study the customs regulations thoroughly. By the time he completes his study, he will be sent on transfer,” he lamented.
We are in the process of conducting several programmes to curb frauds and had launched investigations on many incidents, he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)