Excise Department goes for digitisation to improve tax revenue
Sri Lanka’s Excise Department is in the process of enhancing revenue collection and strengthening tax administration with the aim of contributing much needed cash for state coffers in the severe economic crisis, top official of the department said.
It has collected Rs. 80 billion up now this year from the set target of Rs.180 billion even during the period of economic difficulty tiding over the present crisis, Commissioner General of Excise M.J. Gunasiri said.
The Department has been able to increase its revenue to Rs.140 billion in 2021 from Rs.121 billion in 2020; he said adding that the tax administration has been strengthened.
The Department has broadened the scope of digitalised sticker system from a paper-based sticker system implementing both systems to cover importers and local manufacturers depending on their scale of production.
With the introduction of the system, liquor tax revenue has increased significantly during January to April 2022 due to lessening of revenue leakage, he added.
The Department of Excise will also continue its digitisation process by incorporating an IT managed revenue system with the implementation of the foolproof sticker and digital image system for liquor and liquor-based products.
93 percent of total tax revenue came from six leading liquor companies in the island and there was no tax loss or default at present or in the past, he disclosed.
With the aim of preventing adulterated or illicit liquor entering in to the market, Excise Department has taken measures to introduce standards for locally manufactured liquor and strict monitoring and inspection process will be carried out to find vendors violating it, he revealed.
The process of issuing liquor licenses is being continued as it will minimise the industrial corruption attempts like adulterating or selling substandard liquor, he said.
The Department of Excise, Government Analyst Department, Sri Lanka Standard Institution, Industrial Technology Institute as well as members of the local liquor industry collaborated to introduce the new set of standards for all the alcoholic beverages in the country, he pointed out.
It will expedite the process of system automation by incorporating IT managed revenue system instead of the currently using manual revenue system to better facilitate revenue collection and revenue administration.
A Revenue Risk Management System (RRMS) and Excise Revenue Management System (ERMS) will be introduced soon for domestic licensed liquor producers which were already introduced for the licensed liquor importers to strengthen the revenue administration.