Budget should not heap taxes on vehicle imports: Importers

6 February 2019 07:11 am - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) said that it hoped more taxes would not be heaped on vehicle imports in the upcoming budget.

Its chairman Ranjan Peiris said imposing more taxes on vehicle importers in the guise of increasing Government revenue would make the government hugely unpopular at the upcoming elections.

“More and more taxes had been imposed on vehicle imports by the Yahapalana Government. The public and our members have suffered a lot from unbearable taxes that have been imposed.

“Since last September, the Finance Ministry had instructed us to keep a 200 per cent cash margin at the time of opening Letters of Credit (LCs) when importing all vehicles, except buses, lorries and ambulances. That had caused a slightly drop in the number of vehicles imported,” he added.

“This high cash margin limits vehicle imports. Due to that, new vehicle registrations have decreased by more than 50 per cent,” he said.

He said if the government thought that it could collect more revenue from increasing taxes that is a false notion. “Imposing more taxes may actually result in less revenue to them. The Rupee value against US Dollar is falling. Instead of controlling that aspect they are busy imposing taxes on vehicle imports, which is completely the wrong approach,” he said.

“The government should take measures to improve the infrastructure for vehicle imports and introduce new technology such as hybrid and electric vehicles.

“If the government wants to encourage an environment-friendly transport service, it should take measures to reduce taxes on hybrid and electric vehicles,” he said.

“The government should also conduct promotions while implementing the infrastructure that is needed for this purpose such as erecting charging points for electric vehicles countrywide,” he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)

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  • joshua Wednesday, 06 February 2019 08:46 AM

    Nuts. Where are going to drive all the cars imported? On the moon?

    Ravi Wednesday, 06 February 2019 08:47 AM

    One sided selfish importers.. Sri Lanka cannot afford these imports at all.. if imports are allowed like this we will be bankrupt faster..

    Manel Thursday, 07 February 2019 06:09 AM

    Stop all imports of vehicles because it will save foreign currency, more room will be available on the roads to drive about and save fuel expenditure and reduce atmospheric pollution.

    Chris Thursday, 07 February 2019 06:57 AM

    Importing cars means money out of the country, spare parts means the same, fuel means the same. Then more cars mean more pollution, making the poor man on the road sick and not the person driving inside in the AC, Country should actually increase the duty and the taxes more than double now. But first please improve the bus service.

    vasu Thursday, 07 February 2019 07:03 AM

    No more imports.Should impose very high tax on this despite different sizes of engines to control.Srilanka being a small state is not affordable to this.This has to be brought into control atleast for some years.Import of vehicle remains one of the negative factor in terms of the strength of our country’s currency. Hybrid or Electric nothing for some years,instead pls improve public transport channels.

    Sambo Thursday, 07 February 2019 07:44 AM

    I think, Sri Lanka should stop importing of all types of vehicles for about 5 years The roads are full of vehicles and unruly drivers. The traffic blocks are immense. These importers of vehicles only want to earn their buck not caring for what's happening on the streets.

    suran Thursday, 07 February 2019 01:22 PM

    Absurd.Dont increase tax. Humble request to Ministry of finance pls BAN importation of vehicles for atleasta year.The coutry will see a markable progress in the economy.


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