July 05, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera has proposed a system to fairly distribute the rewards earned by the Customs officers when they made detections.
As the Minister Samaraweera explains, according to the existing provisions of the Customs Ordinance, those carrying out raids would get 50 percent of the fine imposed on the offenders caught by the Customs department.
Under the existing method some Customs officials earn huge amounts in rewards from the detections they made as the chance to earn rewards is not broad-based.
The Minister noted that there was one officer who earned Rs. 100 million a month as rewards while there are officials who earn more than Rs. 12 million a year as rewards.
"We are not jealous or envious of them, but the method of distributing the rewards is not fair for other workers in the department. Only a small section would earn in this manner," he said.
Minister Samaraweera said as it would take time to bring about amendments to the Customs Ordinance to change the distribution method of rewards, a temporary system would be implemented to ensure fairness.
Therefore, the Minister has proposed to distribute 50 percent of the fine among all 1,600 employees in the Department. As such, 10 percent of the fine could be given to the detectors and the balance 40 percent should be equally distributed.