The Department of Excise, which is the third highest tax revenue generator in the country is presently ailing with a number of unfilled top seats to carry out even its day to day operations, the Daily Mirror learns.
According to departmental sources, close to about 30 seats in the top decision making level have not been filled for many months by the competent authority, Ministry of Finance, which the department comes under.
Since the appointment of head of the Department, Excise Commissioner General a few months back, several top posts including an Additional Excise Commissioner General, two Excise Commissioners, six Deputy Excise Commissioners and five Assistant Excise Commissioners are yet to be filled since 2019.
The Department’s trade unions said the interview boards, which have to be set up by the ministry to select the appropriate officials through promotions to fill these vacancies, had not taken place for months.
Apart from the aforesaid vacancies, 16 Excise Superintendent vacancies have to be filled, whilst a large number of vacancies in the Excise Inspectorate as well as in the other rankers categories have to be filled.
According to sources from the Excise trade unions, the sole reason for the Finance Ministry not to hold the interview boards on time has been nothing but its inefficiency.
They said the regular operations have become a ‘very hectic job’ as a number of officials have to look after the duty of several others.
The Excise Department has earned a sum of Rs.120 billion as tax revenue to the Government in 2020, whilst a target of Rs.150 billion has been introduced for the year of 2021, which is likely to increase up to Rs.160 billion, the trade unions further said.(Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)