The main basis for the increase in excise revenue is the department has been made free of political influence, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.
The minister said that the government revenue could be increased considerably, if there was no political influence under the previous government.
Karunanayake expressed these sentiments at a ceremony where he handed over appointment letters to 46 excise officers recruited to the Excise Department recently at the Randora Auditorium of the Finance Ministry.
The minister said the youth have the opportunity to join the government service without political influence and no one can agree with the system followed by the previous government in providing appointments for government service.
“The total revenue collected by the Excise Department in 2014 was recorded as Rs. 42 billion and it has been increased up to Rs. 105 billion by the end of 2015 due to the dedication of the officers of the Excise Department. I expect that this amount could be increased up to Rs. 200 billion by the year 2016,” Minister Karunanayake said.
The main reason for this increase in revenue collected by the Excise Department is lack of government interference in its activities and such interferences could be considered as offenses against public.
“The new political culture established in the country is more favourable. All of you receive appointment letters today fulfilling the required qualifications and it is your responsibility to give utmost service to the country,” he said. “If you dedicated to increase the revenue it will help ease the burden on innocent people and that’s why you have given freedom carry out your duties on your own way. Foreign agencies should not instruct us on revenue pathways. We have the knowledge and shall strive to collect each cent which could be collected for the benefit of tax payers.
“The excise income could be increased by 100 per cent within a one year. If the revenue for 10 years were collected in this way for 10 years we could earn the cost incurred at the Mahaweli project. Revenue collection by the Excise Department was lost due to the political influences. “When we came to power on January 8, 2015, there was a debt of Rs. 118,800 Crores not paid by the Rajapaksa regime, the minister said. Finance Ministry Secretary, Dr. R. H. S. Samarathunghe, Excise Commissioner General, L. K. P. Gunawardhana and several other officials too participated