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We are struggling with severe shortage of staff: Excise Chief

17 April 2024 11:23 pm - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, April 17 (Daily Mirror) - The Excise Department of Sri Lanka, one of the three main revenue generating arms of the country’s Ministry of Finance is struggling with a severe dearth of staff even to perform day-to-day duties, as the 17 top rung positions are vacant for months now, the Daily Mirror learns.

The Daily Mirror broke the story on January 3 this year under the heading ‘Excise Department on the brink of collapse,’ as its entire top rung officials are to retire in the coming few months has not seen any solution to the matter but the situation is getting otherwise worse.

Several remaining senior concerned officers on the account of anonymity said even carrying out daily routine duties has become a fresh challenge as the remaining officials have to cover the work of 17 other officers. Most of these officers are compelled to dispose the lunch they bring from home as they hardly get any time to consume their meals.

It is learnt that except for the post of the departmental head the Excise Commissioner General, the following positions of an Additional Excise Commissioner General, five Excise Commissioners, seven Deputy Excise Commissioners and several Assistant Excise Commissioners are vacant to date.

When contacted, the incumbent Excise Commissioner General M.J. Gunasiri told the Daily Mirror that they were handling duties with extreme difficulty as the stipulated amount of officials for the senior most positions are vacant.

The Excise chief finds the reason for this crisis due to appropriate recruitment criteria not being followed for a longtime thus failing the due promotional schemes to the higher up positions to fill the void.

“We have already informed our subject ministry the Ministry of Finance through several written submissions about the problem and also the Public Service Commission. The Finance Ministry has also informed the PSC about this issue and has requested to speed up the promotions without waiting for officers to complete their designated years of service in a single post, concerning the severe service requirement.

However, we are yet to receive any response from the Public Service Commission regarding this matter for months now even when the recommendations by the Finance Ministry have been sent last year,” Gunasiri said.

The Excise chief said they barely have time to complete the day's duties once they have to sit for the important departmental and ministerial meetings during the early part of the day.

Attempts being made to contact the Excise Department Media Spokesperson for several months have not been successful until today as the designated officer is the only remaining Commissioner who has to oversee even the duties of two Additional Excise Commissioners General in charge of Legal and Revenue and Law Enforcement.

Spokesman Commissioner Channa Weerakkody told the Daily Mirror that despite all these difficulties they have managed to generate the tax revenue in a steady position with a massive revenue target of Rs.232 billion given for the year 2024 by the Ministry of Finance.


  Comments - 6

  • WHAT A SAGA Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:56 PM

    OH! SO. THIS IS WHY WE SAW A POST IN THIS PAPER SAYING SEVERAL CMANUFACTURING COMPANIES HAD NOT PAID TAXES AMOUNTING TO MILLIONS, OR AM I MISTAKEN? THE REASON FOR SO MANY RETIRING AT THE ONE TIME IS MOST PROBABLY PUBLIC SERVICE TOP JOBS ARE GIVEN TO POLITICIANS TO THEIR STOOGES AND FRIENDS. IT IS WHO YOU KNOW THAT GETS ONE A JOB, HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE SAME IN GOVERNMENT DEPTS. SAD BUT TRUE.

    Ram Thursday, 18 April 2024 02:04 AM

    Our FM may be helping the illicit traders and the big Companies that sell liquor, where politicians get their share, with the hope there will be money in the hands of the politicians and these illicit traders and Companies too would help them financially for the next election. The selfish FM little realises the lost revenue for the treasury

    Onlooker Thursday, 18 April 2024 03:32 AM

    Another debacle in spite of all the show off by Ranil and Vajira and Range that the govt is doing great things.

    Tap Manpower within Other Government Agencies Thursday, 18 April 2024 06:13 AM

    There so many other government agencies which are over staffed. The manpower ministry should formulate a directory for transfer when needed. The subject Minister and those highly paid senior officials should be more proactive and use the resources within. If not capable, hand it over to a private HR company and resign.

    no more excuses if your voices are not head bring it to the public Thursday, 18 April 2024 09:51 AM

    GET ALL COMPANIES TO PAY THEIR OUTSTANDING TAXES OR SHUT THEM DOWN UNTIL THEY DO SO AND OR HAND THEM A HUGE FINE. EMPLOY QUALIFIED PERSONS TO TAKE UP THE VACANCIES, INSTEAD OF PROMOTING INHOUSE STAFF WHO MAY NOT BE QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE VACANCIES LIST OF DUTIES.

    Tom Thursday, 18 April 2024 10:17 AM

    It is a known fact that all the govt. Institutions are overstaffed


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