Unified In Confusion

Chandi Dharmaratne

Attempts to merge key government revenue generating agencies have slowed down with little agreement on the structure. rn

rnA committee appointed by the Finance Ministry to merge revenue agencies, was trying to determine if the proposed revenue authority should be run by public servants or by experts hired from the private sector. rn

rnThe government in its budget proposals announced the plans to set up the agency by merging The Customs, Excise and Inland Revenue departments.rn

rnThe agency was to be set up this year.rn

rnOfficials say that an advisory council appointed by the Finance Ministry soon after, has not come up with any substantive proposals. rn

rnGovernment revenue agency officials also say the advisory council has not consulted them or sought information from any of the revenue generating agencies.rn

rnHowever, the Asian Development Bank has funded a team of foreign consultants to help the government structure the revenue authority.rn

rnThe bank has extended a Rs. 50,000 grant to the