The Ministerial Consultative Committee has approved the orders made by the Minister of Public Security under the Immigrants and Emigrants Act to revise the fine of US$500, in addition to the visa fees, to foreigners who have overstayed their period of valid visas.
The approval was given at the Ministerial Consultative Committee held recently under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles, the Department of Communications of the Parliament said.
Accordingly, it has been recommended that no penalty shall be levied for departure at an approved port of the Department of Immigration and Emigration within a period of 7 days or less than the overstaying period of valid visa without getting extended the period of the visa.
The committee has also recommended to levy a penalty of USD 250 for an overstaying period of more than 07 days and overstaying period of 14 days or less and to levy a penalty of USD 500 for an overstaying period of more than 14 days.
This step has been taken in accordance with the requests made by various parties regarding the promotion of tourism, attracting investors and due to the inconvenience caused to officials working in foreign missions operating in Sri Lanka due to having to pay the above penalty, the parliamentary communications department mentioned.
Accordingly, these orders are to be approved by the Parliament on a future date.
Apart from this, Members of Parliament have pointed out that there is a shortage of officers in police stations as police officers are deployed at various places and for the protection of individuals, it added.
Meanwhile, Minister Tiran Alles has advised the IGP that these tasks have been in operation for a long time, and after conducting a proper security assessment, to deploy officers only for essential needs and deploy other officers at police stations.
Moreover, the members have drawn the attention of the committee to the need to take steps to appreciate officers involved in drug-related raids. Accordingly, the Minister has instructed to take measures to appreciate the relevant officers by getting recommendations related to drug raids from every police zone, according to the release.
State Minister Shantha Bandara, Members of Parliament Dayasiri Jayasekara, Akila Ellawala, Madhura Withanage, Chandima Weerakkody, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Asanka Navaratne, Thisakutti Arachchi, Rajika Wickramasinghe, Isuru Dodangoda, Kumarasiri Rathnayaka, Weerasumana Weerasinghe, M. W. D. Sahan Pradeep Withana, were present at the Committee meeting held.