Refuting the allegations that parliamentarians and Cabinet ministers imported vehicles worth at least Rs.45 million each, Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage said today the cost of such vehicles did not exceed Rs.7.5 million each when imported under the vehicle permits granted to them.
Addressing a news conference held at Sirikotha recently, Minister Gamage said most of the ministers used their permits to import common vehicles such as Toyota Land Cruisers which cost about 50,000 USD each.
“Even Minister Sarath Fonseka imported a vehicle worth Rs.7.5 million recently. No one ever imported a single vehicle worth Rs.45 million. However, when importing vehicles, more than a whopping Rs.45 million has to be paid as duty. Every parliamentarian has the right to use a vehicle for their ministerial work. Sometimes, a vehicle is needed to maintain the status of a minister. The funds to purchase these vehicles are given by their respective ministries. The rest should be paid as Customs duty. Once Rs.7.5 million is paid, the rest of the amount will be debited to the Treasury,” he said. (Chaturanga Pradeep)