Sri Lanka electronic transaction law update to boost e-business: Eran
ECONOMYNEXT – The update of an electronic transaction law making Sri Lanka the first country in South Asia to come in line with a UN Convention, will make e-business and dealing with government simpler, State Minister for State Eran Wickramaratne said.
"The amendment will give greater legal certainty for e-commerce and e-business," Minister Wickramaratne told parliament this week, in a debate on the change.
"It allows the enforceability of contracts entered into by automated messaging systems.
He said Sri Lanka was the first country to bring its electronics transactions law in line with a United Nations Electronic Communications Convention.
Sri Lanka however has a serious roadblock as small e-businesses still do not have the facility to receive payments from Paypal and similar services.
In many countries in Asia, Paypal is driving a revolution in cross borders services exports and also goods.
Minister Wickramaratne said the updated will make transactions faster and also help cut corruption by reducing human intervention.
People in Sri Lanka will also be able to deal with government agencies online, get vehicle registrations and other facilities online.
The law also paved the way to file tax returns online, Wickremeratne said.
The government eventually aimed for people to go online and file tax returns without the hassle, he said.
Sri Lanka is planning to move away from a time-honoured principle of voluntary income tax filing practised in free countries by moving to a compulsory system where each citizen has to registere when they reach the age of 18, according to the latest reports.
There has also been concerns of a surveillance state being established by the current administration with a searchable citizens profile database being built up in the style of ‘big brother’ authoritarian surveillance states.
According to the law passed in parliament, the defence secretary can snoop on any citizen’s profile without a court order. Sri Lanka is moving towards a surveillance state without privacy laws or protections for citizens in place.
The state recently issued regulation requiring citizens to file not only their own data but family members and connect divorce proceedings to the database system. Citizens have gone to court against it. (Colombo/Oct19/2017)