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New Customs Ordinance detrimental to country: TU

22 June 2016 10:35 pm - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The new Customs Ordinance, if implemented, would reduce the powers of Customs Officers, allow more room for criminals to operate and bring the control of the entire Customs Department under a single individual, the Customs Trade Union Alliance charged today.

“Amending the 200-year-old Customs Ordinance and bringing in a new one would pave the way for those engaged in smuggling to escape from law enforcement officers, at the same time reducing the powers of Customs Officials,” Deputy Superintendent of Customs Lal Weerakoon told the media today.

“The new Customs Ordinance was implemented with the support of three persons, who were paid handsomely by the Finance Ministry,” he charged. “These individuals were initially paid about Rs.9 million by the ministry, while another monthly allowance, including transport, amounting to Rs.13.5 million, was also included in the package offered to them. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake should tell the truth to the people in this regard,” Weerakoon said.

He said the proposed Customs Ordinance was only reformed for the protecting the culprits and to take action against the Customs officers and the final objective would be taking the whole Customs control in to someone’s hand.

“Because of that as Customs Trade Union Alliance, we had taken a decision to stand against bringing the new Customs Ordinance. If anything needs to be amended in the Customs Ordinance that is presently in force, we are ready to give our ideas on that,” Weerakoon said.

“During the examination of the new Customs Ordinance, it was clear that 68 per cent of the Ordinance had been taken from Customs Ordinance of other countries like Malaysia, Singapore, India, Canada and New Zealand. Then it had been changed according to the Sri Lanka Customs Ordinance,” he said.

The present Customs Ordinance was introduced in 1861 and 50 amendments have been made since its enactment.

The Ministry earlier said that the aim of the Government was to amend the Customs Ordinance was to absorb the modern industrial trends in the global market and other relevant technologies to reap maximum benefits for the country and to enable the country to update the import mechanism and minimise trade irregularities.

“If this Ordinance was implemented, it would effect national security and the National Income of the country while also threaten the campaigns carried out against narcotics, biodiversity, and genetic resources of the country,” he said. (Chaturanga Pradeep)

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  Comments - 12

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  • Sam Thursday, 23 June 2016 04:19 PM

    Saying stuff without evidence is easy and Sri Lankas are pretty good at pointing fingers. The same people who call Customs officers to be thieves beg to release their liqueur and other restrictions at the airport. Pointless allegations are made just due to the jealousy of not been able to enter the service.Just because a law is old, there is no must that it should be changed. Changing a complicated piece of law like Customs ordinance needs proper approach and years of research, where as the proposal for the new Act was drafted within less than three months with out following any due procedure. Messing with such sensitive laws will ruin the entire economic system.There are so many so called old laws in domestic legal system which function well. Just wonder whether the "Brainy" commenters here have at least seen the current ordinance and compared it with the proposed one. Pathetic ....

    Sam Thursday, 23 June 2016 04:21 PM

    Really.. SO why didnt you complain in one such occasion even ?? U could have easily gone to an uncorrected institution and complain. Dont let the bad to continue ;)

    carlos Thursday, 23 June 2016 05:22 PM

    Very simply get all customs officers to declare their assets,in fact all govt servants in sensitive services should be compelled to do so

    carlos Thursday, 23 June 2016 05:25 PM

    Sam obviously you have some vested interest here

    Sam Thursday, 23 June 2016 07:35 PM

    *Uncorrupted

    Sam Thursday, 23 June 2016 07:37 PM

    I could say the same about you Carlos. But rather than an interest I think its the lack of knowledge on the subject you are commenting.

    Tiron Thursday, 23 June 2016 07:53 PM

    Get your facts correct before posting comments like a a know -it-all. Customs Officers already declare their assets every annually, unlike the super clean politicians u voted for. :D

    Teacher Thursday, 23 June 2016 12:51 PM

    Customs officers are the most corrupt bunch of rogues in this country!!! They misuse their power often!!

    Rayan Thursday, 23 June 2016 02:10 PM

    Is it not a known fact how much the custom officers earn via DM Android App

    Wesko Thursday, 23 June 2016 02:15 PM

    Well said.. ...

    Dumbo Thursday, 23 June 2016 02:17 PM

    If the present customs ordinance is 200 years old, then isn't it common sense that it needs to be changed? Why are these officers trying to hang on to an old piece of legislature and bringing in even a threat to 'National Security' into it? Is JO or MR behind them?

    Hitapag Machan Thursday, 23 June 2016 04:50 AM

    open secret biggest corrupted department in Sri Lanka via DM iOS App


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