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Duty-Free Permits For Vehicle Suspended For One Year

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To reduce the increasing pressure on the Sri Lankan rupee, the Sri Lankan government has taken several actions, together with a verdict to suspend issuing duty-free permits for vehicles to MPs for a one year of the time period.

Attorney-at-law and rights activist Nagananda Kodituwakku, who fights against MPs and Ministers misusing the duty-free vehicle permits causing loss of revenue in billions, impulses President Maithripala Sirisena to form a tough scheme to review the tax structure and also the perks and privileges specified to top Government officials, including MPs.

The former Head of the Customs Revenue Commission Force, Kodituwakku, who fled from the country in 2001 due to the death pressures after his inquiry associated to illegal transference of duty-free vehicles, said at a time the country’s economy requires a huge boost to raise the living standards of the people, the Government cannot afford to suffer losses due to exploitation.

In a letter to President Maithripala
Sirisena , Nagananda Kodituwakku said that a section of MPs had lawfully transferred vehicles imported via them to some new owners. He has enthused the Supreme Court against the fiasco on the side of the CIABOC to accuse government officials on the charge of defrauding the state of revenue amounting to Rs 7 billion.

When M. Ali Hassen, Director of Information, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media was questioned regarding this fiasco, He delivered a statement that severe restrictions executed on imports, with the import of vehicles by government officials for a time-period of one year in the last trench.
Were an attempt to reduce the burden on the rupee. Hassen also said that permits wouldn’t be distributed in case new associates arrived parliament in the event of death or due to the resignation of National List MPs.The Ministry of Finance stated verges on imports close on the heels of Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera declaring at the Royal College he would stop importing of super luxury vehicles by MPs.

The Opposition professed that nothing short of an instant change of government could save the country’s economy from the disaster. When Addressing the media at Vajirasharma temple, Borella, Colombo Region MP Bandula Gunawardena sued that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe union couldn’t come out of the current disaster by curbing imports. Gunawardena said that limits on imports under any situations were contrasting to the UNP-led government’s dossier on new trade tactic submitted to parliament.

According to Attorney-at-law and rights activist, Nagananda Kodituwakku and government reports Many frontline government officials have once again used the Duty-Free Permits approved to them to enhance their personal assets, which has caused the country to lose billions of rupees in revenue. The Ministry of Finance acknowledged that nearly all government officials had imported vehicles using the duty-free permits offered to them ensuring the previous parliamentary election in August 2015.

In an official statement, the Ministry of Finance said that the Import of vehicles for Ministries, Statutory Boards, Departments and State own Enterprises will also be suspended up until the next announcement. It said that “Entrance of an import vehicle by the concessionary permits issued to National Sector workers will be suspended for six months. No Letters of Credits (LCs) will be allowed to be opened based on these permits throughout this period,”.

The Loan Value Ratio (LTV) for Hybrid vehicles will be reread from 70:30 to 50:50 basis and the traders of all vehicles other than lorries, buses and ambulances will have to preserve a 200% cash margin at the time of opening of the LCs.

The Ministry also stated that “Further, the necessity of 100% cash margin has been imposed for the import of air conditioners, refrigerators, TVs, telephones, fragrances, mobiles, washing machinery, tyres and footwear”.

However, the actions will be operative temporarily, the Ministry said it will continuously monitor the exchange amount variations and will take proper action accordingly.


The government believe that the temporary suspend in Duty-Free Permits for vehicles will help them to avoid further damage to the National Economy. We also assume that maybe they can find a permanent solution for this issue in this one year time period. Let's see If It's a clever move from the government or not.



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