The United Republic Front (URF) Leader and Opposition Parliamentarian,

Patali Champika Ranawaka has called for the introduction of a system to evaluate public institutions, and audit public servants' performance in order to create an efficient public service.

Launching the URF's manifesto, 'A united step for the country', he said that steps should be taken to properly reform public institutions.

“A management audit will identify the institutions that should be closed, merged, and maintained through public-private partnerships. An open system will help to identify institutions that need to be privatised,” he said, and added that a system of evaluation of public institutions and a formal programme regarding appointments should also be prepared, while the performance of public servants should be subjected to an audit.

Ranawaka further said that there should be amendments to the tax collection process as well, noting that it is impractical to open tax files for every citizen in the respective age limit as such a task would take a long time under the normal system.

“Taxation can be streamlined through alternative methods. Creating an electronic payment system is one step. A digital wallet should be provided for every citizen. It will enable the monitoring of all transactions.”

“The administration can also be streamlined by connecting all functions to an electronic data system. An e-identity card, e-passport, e-driver's licence, e-banking system and e-Rupee should be introduced. Using this system, around one million people who are currently not paying taxes but should be taxed can be identified,” he explained.

Speaking further, he said: “The outstanding tax amount owed by the relevant parties to the Inland Revenue Department is Rs. 956 billion of which Rs. 656 billion is uncollected tax money between the years 2019 and last year (2023).”

“In addition, the Customs and Excise Department should collect Rs. 58 and Rs. 7 billion, respectively, from the tax evaders. The non-performing loans in the banking system amount to Rs. 1,387 billion. Due to such a situation, the Government has to allocate Rs. 420 billion from the Budget to save banks. A formal and systematic programme should be implemented to overcome this situation and create economic growth.”



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