Customs and Treasury Clash

Customs and Treasury Clash

Customs and Treasury Clash Over Rewards Fund Management

A contentious dispute has arisen between Sri Lanka Customs and the Treasury concerning control of the rewards fund, leading to Customs officials demanding autonomy over the funds and resisting the influence of the Finance Ministry. Customs officials are advocating for the retention of funds dedicated to staff rewards, opposing the current practice of transferring money to the Treasury and awaiting approval for reward disbursements.



Previously, the Customs faced delays of approximately two years under the system where revenue was sent to the Treasury first. In response to these delays, Customs was granted permission to retain a portion of the funds for timely reward payments. However, a new Treasury directive insists on fund transfers to expedite reward payments.

The Treasury argues that Customs is withholding over Rs 800 million and suggests transferring the funds to maximize interest benefits, offering a deposit of around Rs 100 million for immediate reward payments. This disagreement follows objections from Customs regarding the secondment of Sri Lanka Administrative Service officials from the Finance Ministry to senior positions in Customs. Trade union action resulted in the reversion of two senior officials to the Finance Ministry and a three-year service limit for 15 others. Customs officials also contested the use of fingerprint machines for attendance marking, prompting the Treasury to reconsider the decision and address the concerns.

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