The government has lost Rs.3,000 million by way of taxes in the importation of 407 Prado vehicles in 2016, the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) revealed in its report presented to Parliament yesterday.
The report presented by COPA Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna said tax revenue was lost because of the constant changes in the assessment process for the purpose of charging customs duty. However, Customs officers had said there were no losses incurred by the government and that an investigation was being carried out by a special presidential committee.
In addition the government has lost Rs 7.7 million by way of revenue because of the undervaluing of two BMW vehicles imported last year and investigations are being carried out on this matter as well, the report stated.
It was revealed that files on 597 registered motor vehicles at the Department of Motor Traffic have been misplaced and that COPA would complain to the President and the Prime Minister on this matter if there was no positive outcome.
The report had also focused on the progress made in the exploration and recovery of oil and gas in the Mannar Basin said to have the potential to recover five billion barrels of oil and nine trillion cubic feet of natural gas. COPA had stressed the need to move the project to the development stage from the exploration stage.
COPA has also called for a report from the Department of Coast Conservation Coastal Resource Management on the steps taken to minimize sea erosion caused by the Port City Project. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)