Aug 03, Colombo: The host of digitized and paperless services, adopted by the Information Technology (IT) Department in collaboration with other departments of the Board of Investment (BOI) in a bid to curtail excess expenditure and facilitate customer touch points, have proven track record of success, which is evident with the experience shared by a local investor with the BOI.
Mr Prasantha Chandralal, a senior consultant at MAS Intimates (Pvt) Ltd articulated “We have tremendously enjoyed and benefited from the online systems introduced by the BOI, which have helped us do our businesses effectively and efficiently, saving time and cost with the least use of papers,”
“The online platform related to import and export Customs Declarations (CUSDEC) is a good case in point, where the system has been expedited to obtain speedy approvals and make payments online,” he pointed out.
Elaborating on the system, Mr Chandralal said “Earlier, we had to bring all relevant documents manually to the BOI office which at least took eight hours to finalize the process. Now, the relevant documents can be submitted via Asycuda Customs Computer System, which takes only five minutes to complete the process,”
“All in all, the introduction of online services, has not only boosted our business but upped our exports, soaring export earnings. Besides, this has prevented malpractices and eliminated undue inconveniences”
“It is also noteworthy that these online facilities vastly helped us and our intimates do business without a hitch during the pandemic period,”
Mr Chandralal, thus, invited the fellow investors to experience these smooth operations offered by the BOI in the interest of convenience of the investors.
Apart from this, the IT department has introduced an online system to integrate with the Defense Ministry for renewal of visas of the existing investors, with the recommendation made by the BOI to the Defense Ministry. Also, the spouse and the dependents of the investors also become eligible to apply for visas under the online system.
Moreover, the BOI official website, which was earlier outsourced, is now being handled by the IT department saving substantial amount to the organization and setting an example for other state institutions.
In addition, the procedure where the companies which sign agreements with the BOI and embark on new projects, that are earlier required to periodically submit reports such as performance and evaluation reports, updates on employment generation and audited financial statements manually to the BOI, has now been facilitated by a system developed by the IT department to submit the said reports online, which is managed and reviewed by the BOI Monitoring Department.
Another important move initiated by the IT department is the launch of a system where the details of the zones could be viewed via Google maps enabling investors to exactly find the vacant and filled land plots within the zones so as to start out new projects.
Meanwhile, talking about the steps that are afoot, the IT department is making arrangements to set up a fully-computerized system where all functions that come under the Human Resources Department such as recruitments, are carried out online. At the same time, the plans are also underway to integrate with the Department of Immigration & Emigration in order to finalize the visa recommendation programme, which the BOI is already linked to the Defense Ministry.
Commenting on the online services, BOI Chairman Raja Edirisuriya, said “the implementation of these online platforms is yet another milestone in the journey of digital service enablement. Here, I want to make a special mention of the contribution by our IT department and other respective departments towards making these efforts a reality and a success.”
“The BOI continues to drive digital transformations, which is evident and actively contribute to the business sector, in such a backdrop where the world increasingly embraces digital economy,” he stated.