Country faces annual losses due to State Institutions’ outdated policies: Prof. Tissa Vitharana | Daily News

Country faces annual losses due to State Institutions’ outdated policies: Prof. Tissa Vitharana

COPA Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitharana
COPA Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitharana

Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), Prof. Tissa Vitharana, stated that the country faces annual losses due to outdated policies and other irregularities at government institutions. Prof. Vitharana stated this while presenting the first report of the Committee on Public Accounts for the first session of the ninth Parliament, the Parliament Media Division stated in a communiqué.

Prof. Vitharana said that this report submitted by COPA is a comprehensive one with recommendations on the steps that should be taken to recover the lost revenue. He pointed out that the annual expenditure on issues related to the human-elephant conflict was a good example for the issue.

“According to existing policies, the annual budget allocates a large amount of money every year for activities including the construction of elephant fences, in order to confine elephants in a single area. Here, it’s often only female elephants and their calves that get isolated, not the males. Then, when there is a shortage of food, the animals begin to starve and die. At the same time, other elephants are free to attack villages,” he said.

Therefore, the policy should be changed, said Prof. Vitharana, adding that COPA had made a proposal for it in their report. He said that elephant fences should be made not only around the area where the people live, but also around farmlands.

An environment should be created for elephants to roam freely as well, he added. This method has been tested in Anuradhapura and Galgamuwa by Dr. Preethiviraj Fernando, and it has borne favourable results, the COPA Chairman added. He said he had held discussions with the villagers in those areas, and that they had commended the new system.

Prof. Vitharana also said that a number of companies with good auditing and accounting systems have not paid their taxes to the Inland Revenue Department for five to six years, and that a large amount of taxes has been lost due to it.

He added that the reason for it was that companies have been given the opportunity to appeal three times regarding taxes that are due.

He said that six months have been given for appeals, and recommended that the number of opportunities for appeals should be reduced to one.

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