Perturbed over the withdrawl of concessionary vehicle permits, senior public servants have written to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe urging that the circular prohibiting such vehicle permits be withdrawn and the status quo restored.
The privilege to purchase an imported or locally manufactured vehicle on a concessionary rate had been withdrawn in the 2016 Budget and a circular issued to this effect.
Sri Lanka Administrative Service Association (SLASA) Secretary Chandraratne Pallegama in a letter said the SLASA had also asked the government to ensure pensions benefits to public servants recruited after 2016 and the allowances to be included in the basic salary.
“The government has meted out a huge injustice to public servants by depriving their privileges despite assuming office pledging to give them more benefits.
The Budget 2016 has failed to grant either a pay hike or an allowance. The government promised to add the allowances to the basic salary before the Budget but instead had deprived them many privileges enjoyed by them up to now. This Budget will go into history as the first and only budget that failed to give a single benefit to the public servants,” the letter stated.
The SLASA while condemning the withdrawal of concessionary vehicle permits given once in five years said it was extremely unfair and had indiscriminated public servants who hoped to obtain a concessionary vehicle permit after serving 25 to 30 years in the public service. It said it was prepared to take severe trade union action against the government’s decision to withdraw concessionary vehicle permits to senior public servants.
Meanwhile, Daily Mirror learns that though the Finance Ministry took immediate steps to withdraw vehicle permits to public servants soon after the budget speech, it had failed to issue a circular withdrawing concessionary vehicle permits to law makers though this was also a Budget proposal.
The scheme had benefited at least 2,000 senior public servants annually since 2010 and nearly 10,000 duty-free vehicle permits had been issued to public servants since then.
Parliamentarians are also entitled to a concessionary permit after five years for a higher foreign currency price. However, it is an open secret that MPs and Ministers sell their permits for a higher price. Cabinet Ministers use their official vehicles.
An MP is also entitled to a loan facility of up to US$50,000 or Rs.5.8 million from any bank to open a Letter of Credit if he or she wishes to import the vehicle.
The Finance Ministry announced that vehicle permits under the concessionary terms will be suspended from November 21, 2015.
"Those who have permits and have not yet opened letters of credit for the import of vehicles and those permit holders who intend to purchase locally-assembled vehicles, should enter into an agreement before December 31 2015," the ministry said.
The concessionary terms for issuing vehicle permits has become highly politicized and have been misused, resulting in the government incurring an annual loss of Rs.40 billion, as stated by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake during his Budget speech.(Sandun A Jayasekera)
Comments - 9
Mack Saturday, 28 November 2015 07:51 PM
Sir you came up with free education now again you are going to play with our tax money.
ameer Saturday, 28 November 2015 09:11 PM
Why for senior category ? concessionary three wheeler and motor bike permits should be given to non senior category in public sector.
Sapu Saturday, 28 November 2015 12:20 PM
These guys want too many privilages at the cost of our tax money. They even get large salary hikes
sss Sunday, 29 November 2015 03:14 AM
hey SLAS you are buying these cars using the dollars sent by housemaids. Please contribute something to the economy without freeloading
Saman Sunday, 29 November 2015 03:29 AM
We all should stop expecting handouts and stop crying like babies. Instead work hard for the necessities in life!
Chris Sunday, 29 November 2015 06:25 AM
Giving it only to public servants in the first place is discriminatory. Very soon prostitutes will want to legalize heir profession too
SLAS Monday, 30 November 2015 02:08 PM
These are the fellows who objected to CEB Engineers buying off their used CEB cars when leaving CEB on retirement . Now they (SLAS) is talking for all pubic SERVANTS for getting new cars - HYPOCRITES
Be Fair Sunday, 29 November 2015 07:42 AM
Well, I guess the govt servants have had it easy. This is a good move. I hope the Minister has the guts to stick to his words. If not the best is to resign.
Gayan Sunday, 29 November 2015 11:27 AM
Solution is to Limit the vehicle range that can be imported.If a hybrid cars is included in permit (it is inlcuded but no gain using the permit) and the gain of that is around 2Mil, no Doctor will sell their permit for 17 Laks to Import a Prado by some one else.Government will loss heavily by importing big cars via permit. Engine Capacity Should be limited up to 2L for both Diesel and Petrol. So Most of the normal usage cars can only be imported. Also Electric cars should be allowed who is contributing Electricity to National Grid only, they should get a tax free import of the car. It was stupid that allowing Electric cars to depend on the National Grid, which is running on fuel.
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