Customs Superintendents continue strike | Daily News

Customs Superintendents continue strike

Zahrah Imtiaz

Only 25 percent of Customs declarations were cleared yesterday as Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents at Sri Lanka Customs continued their strike for the second day. Sri Lanka Customs Spokesperson, Dharmasena Kahandawa speaking to the Daily News

said work at Customs had slowed down considerably with several unions choosing to ‘Work to Rule’ since Monday.

“Normally, we would clear 800 Customs Declarations a day but yesterday we could only manage 200 and we clear 1,000 containers a day at the Port but it came down to 600 yesterday”, said a Customs official.

The Unions Collective have also organised a protest before Customs Headquarters today.

All Ceylon Customs Services Union Secretary J.A. Gunathilaka said eight separate Customs Unions had joined in on the protest to ask that the Customs Ordinance not be repealed as proposed by the Ministry of Finance.

“We have been asking the Minister of Finance for an appointment to discuss the new Customs Ordinance since January but he has refused to meet.

We have also asked them to give an official document on the new proposals so that we too can discuss them and have our inputs heard, but that too has been refused”, Gunathilaka said.

“The Customs Ordinance has worked well all these years but now the Ministry is trying to amend it in secret and weaken the powers of Customs officials,”he added.

The Unions fear that a new Customs Bill would be introduced to Parliament soon and thus they need to increase the urgency of their protests. They have once again asked for a meeting with Minister Karunanayake to discuss the new bill.

The government earlier announced that they had taken a policy decision to enact a new Customs Act in place of the existing customs ordinance of No.17 of 1869 as amended to suit the present day requirements in international trade activities.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management – (CCEM) chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in May granted approval for the enactment of the proposed new Customs Act. 


 

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