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Luxury vehicles galore on permits

27 September 2012 10:28 pm - 64     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A shipment of 525 vehicles that was unloaded at the Hambantota Port last week had 312 super luxury vehicles which were mainly imported on duty free concession permits, customs sources said yesterday.

Most of the super luxury vehicles imported were Montero Sport, KIA/Hyundai SUV, BMW X 1, X 3, 520D and Audi A 4 and A6.

Recently the government had increased the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of permits from the earlier 25,000 US dollars to 30,000 US dollars. Therefore super luxury vehicles such as the Audi A 6 and BMW X 5 now comes under this category with the increase of the CIF value by US 5000 dollars.

Most of the super luxury vehicle permits had been sold by parliamentarians. Stakeholders in the industry urged that the government should limit the permit values to enable public servants to legitimately afford standard cars, vans and double cabs.
According to them the loss incurred by the government was Rs.8.5 million on a Montero Sport, Rs.6 million on a KIA SUV, Rs.13 million on a BMW X1/X3 and Rs.20 million on a BMW 520D.

The reduced duty prices for these vehicles were between Rs.6.5 million and Rs.9.5 million respectively. They also noted that details should be obtained from third parties who had brought the permits and also from vehicle dealers, insurance companies and leasing companies.

Another regulation that they are urging the government to enforce is to cancel the power of attorney and sales agreements serving as legal loopholes allowing such transactions.

Therefore the government is facing a multi million duty loss as the number of luxury vehicles imported to the country on permits has risen rapidly during the last three months.

According to sources at the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) more than 10,000 tax free vehicles imported by public servants who had illegally sold them by violating the three year term were running on the roads at the moment.

Once the government issues the permit, then the permit is the agreement between the vehicle manufacturer and the permit holder. According to Customs the manufacturer is obliged to deliver the vehicle straight to the house of the owner of the permit on time through the local agent of the parent company.

According to RMV sources there are local dealers who manipulate the system by bringing down vehicles on permits for third parties where the dealer clears the vehicle by allegedly keeping Rs.1.5-2 million for them, for facilitating the transaction. (Supun Dias)

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  Comments - 64

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  • Trehan Munasinghe Friday, 28 September 2012 10:24 AM

    I was waiting for this news article... Firstly Vehicles in Sri Lanka are over priced.. hence the demand for PERMITS.. , Why have permits ??? make all the vehicles affordable to the common man poor middle class rich... then the argument will be that there is no room for vehicles on the road... Then what to do ? invest in proper roads... ??? more corruption , so all in all this is a very bad system and should be done way with. Govt Servants do earn far less.. True ! but that doesn't mean selling your vehicle permit to a businessman to bring down a Prado BMW Audi... where as you the Permit holder could barely afford a Maruti 800...

    So the Govt screws themselves , loss of revenue etc, and the rich class get their 4th 5th vehicle saving millions... what a system....

    Reduce vehicle taxes Example Tata Nano is Rs1,400,000 (Including Tax) Worlds Cheapest car ????

    saman Friday, 28 September 2012 05:17 AM

    One for Malaka. One for Danuna. One for Malaka's friend

    kalum Friday, 28 September 2012 05:28 AM

    So, make it legal!

    Imran Hussein Friday, 28 September 2012 05:47 AM

    Its a third world country luckily because there is no such a thing as Fourht world Countries.

    Prof Wickramatillake Friday, 28 September 2012 05:50 AM

    Dishonest money, an indication!

    Lanka Shantha Friday, 28 September 2012 05:53 AM

    When people think that one buriyani parcel and Rs.1,000/- in hand is better than tomorrow. They will keep voting.

    patriot Friday, 28 September 2012 06:52 AM

    The only vehicle we produce is BULLACART Therefore can we afford a luxary vehicle?God save this country.

    kapila Friday, 28 September 2012 07:12 AM

    me waiting for my Hyundai Tucson :)

    optimism Friday, 28 September 2012 08:15 AM

    why not increase the education budget instead.

    Riyaz Friday, 28 September 2012 08:23 AM

    Miracle of Asia

    Expat worker Friday, 28 September 2012 08:22 AM

    What a nice rule.Main income of country is foreign remittances specially from MiddleEast.Majority of these remittences are the domestic servents.But What benefit do they get by pumping millions of dollers to country? Even VAT applies on useless bureau fee while coming out
    Nevertheless, who are destroying country benefit from all the facilities using public funds..
    Highest duty imposed on bikes, three wheelers and spareparts where this work class people are surviving.
    Where a good country policy.....this all happens due to lack of strong opposition...

    Horungeth Horu, Friday, 28 September 2012 08:25 AM

    Another very good indicator to measure the heights of corruptness in Sri Lanka.

    Concerned Friday, 28 September 2012 08:25 AM

    A developed country is not where the poor drives luxury cars.. But a place where the rich depends on public transport..

    Are we developed?

    justin Friday, 28 September 2012 08:40 AM

    Permits are not given to all the Government servant,s it's only for executive grade staff officers. Subordinates and minor grade servants are not even allowed to import a motor cycle of a bicycle on permits.

    wasanthi Friday, 28 September 2012 10:01 AM

    Luxury cars means Luxury life for the people ,Luxury people means rich country, Rich country means the Paradise of the earth. It means simply Miracle of Asia, truly Sir-Lanka.

    Muditha Silva Friday, 28 September 2012 05:07 AM

    Sales owners have to sell their cars.

    Dinithi Friday, 28 September 2012 11:04 AM

    Yes, in the US and Europe.

    ANTON Friday, 28 September 2012 11:07 AM

    You can see all these things if you can have a chance to go to rural areas in Baticloa.

    Aba Friday, 28 September 2012 03:18 PM

    I guess all these for dedicated legislators' relatives. The secretary of finance, are you there or busy with salary hike for university academics. University academics are not government servants. That’s what the university academics are required to have 8years service to apply the permit. For government servants need only 6 years.

    Hiran Friday, 28 September 2012 03:44 PM

    Somewhere i read a saying ' a developed country is not where the poorest owns a car it is where the richest travels by public transport'

    kapa ta pissu Friday, 28 September 2012 05:54 PM

    I wonder about the person disliked your comment. Probably a guy who lives in SL, Only expat SL know how hard they work under hot sun and rash conditions. A house maid looking after 8 to 10 rowdy arabic kids and doing rest of house work..or a labourer doing 12 hours of hard work and goes to an room to sleep along with 15 other people in same room...come people..give these poor people some sort of relieft..let them bring a car or give a permit..selling or keeping is up to them. this is utter shame on rulers

    jay gunasekara Friday, 28 September 2012 06:57 PM

    Wickremasinha wrote that govt servants get lower pay ,right on also they hardly work other than look at the clock to go home..,there is nothing to reward these lazy people. The govt is losing revenue so that their supporters and politicians can make extra 5 million every few years for being dishonest.

    Kithsiri Friday, 28 September 2012 09:17 PM

    While the government is running short of money to supply its services and loosing lots of money due to various scandals,the State Head allows to import super luxury vehicles to politicians, using foreign exchange earn by our people from Middle East.Shame......Mr President.

    Human Friday, 28 September 2012 10:31 PM

    Cars fancy buildings, highways etc etc are not development, development is called better life standards for people of the country. Its the duty of the govt to develop and build nations roads (infrat. etc. (thats tax payers money). everybody knows sri lankan economy is nowhere near that development mark..

    Wickrema Saturday, 29 September 2012 12:07 AM

    It is not that we gave consent....but the consent was taken by giving bribes, giving govt. jobs to unqualified goons, telling lies, by thuggery and manipulation of votes. SL govt.goons deserve to go in gon karatta...nothing else.

    Veddda Saturday, 29 September 2012 12:11 AM

    SL is a third world country heading in for a fourth world....or may be adivasi community. Govt. trying a fake show off by importing cars with borrowed foreign exchange.

    Duminda Saturday, 29 September 2012 12:14 AM

    No they are drug mafia and illegal commission money.

    Nandalala Fernando Saturday, 29 September 2012 01:41 AM

    This is open robbery of Tax poor payers MONEY , who are working in Sri Lanka and Oversees. Granted to Parlimentary Govt Offices and Provincial Councellars & unknown privilaged classes of people.hard earning by poor people of island.
    80% percent our Rural Poor living in hardship, living conditions and their life-line is so undergone innumberal hardship & diffcutities cannot explain by this comment.
    Rulers of Present Govt. never listing to the or heed grivernces of day to day life of poors at all.Improving living conditions are not the agenda of MR party? Sepnding millions of foreing Currancy for FEW POLITICS AND GOVT OFFICRES FOR DUTY FREE LINCES TO EARN INDIRECT MONEY IN NAME OF DUTY FREE CONSESSION.

    test Sunday, 30 September 2012 12:00 AM


    Manik Friday, 28 September 2012 03:42 AM

    Voters in any country get what they deserve.

    Hussain Thursday, 27 September 2012 10:48 PM

    This is an utterly corrupt system. Why not allow dealers as in the old days to import vehicles and sell them at market prices to anyone who could afford them. This system breeds utter corruption right down the line and they look the other way. Why should anyone be allowed duty free vehicles? If reasonable duty is charged, then anyone who wants a vehicle will buy the vehicle which they could afford. This duty free nonsense is not only corrupting the whole society, but also losing legitimate money due to the government exchequer. This is a disgrace when everyone down the line contravenes the laws of the country.

    Curious Thursday, 27 September 2012 11:19 PM

    Sri Lanka is poor and in the third world category. Does it make any sense having those luxury vehicles on the roads when poor people are struggling so much to make the ends meet.

    Nishantha Rajapaksa Thursday, 27 September 2012 11:57 PM

    nice to know... I'm having trouble paying for my Hiace and you're talking about BMW..nonsense

    Hal Friday, 28 September 2012 12:02 AM

    Signs of the growing Sri Lanka economy. Next we will be lending money to the US and Europe.

    Nodrog Friday, 28 September 2012 12:52 AM

    The issue of permits to people, many whom can't afford who cannot afford to buy such vehicles, is a big racket because everyone know the permits are openly and illegally sold.

    Steve Friday, 28 September 2012 01:56 AM

    Nice to know these are considered luxury vehicles...most of them are considered poor-man's vehicles in the rest of the world.

    up Friday, 28 September 2012 02:20 AM

    But we have given our consent to do so .. This month also this was re confirmed.

    GameKolla Friday, 28 September 2012 02:35 AM

    This is a highly corrupted practice.Ordinary people are suffering.

    saman wickramasinghe Friday, 28 September 2012 03:10 AM

    Permits are given to Government Servants who earn a comparatively very much lower salaries than their counterparts in the Private Sector. By selling permits that they get once in 5 years they could earn some income. So others need not get jealous about this.

    Teshan Friday, 28 September 2012 03:13 AM

    Get your facts where in any category sri lanka is a third world country. it's a middle income country.

    Sumanasiri Friday, 28 September 2012 03:20 AM

    Naturally, the rulers are exempt from laws and taxes intended for ordinary people.

    Ibi-gamana Friday, 28 September 2012 03:25 AM

    The majority has given their consent for a 'Arscharyamath Ratak' and we are heading towards it.

    Nihal Amarasekera Friday, 28 September 2012 03:27 AM

    Bottom line is DUTY FREE. Slip is showing.

    chryshan Friday, 28 September 2012 03:33 AM

    Govt increased taxes due insufficient foreign reserves. If so how can they allow to import vehicles that are double CIF value of a japanese recon vehicle. Govt should Ban the permit selling method and make all Power attorney's null and void which will help Govt servants to buy a vehicle for their budget. Now they sell the permit and go by bus. Has govt achieved its intended purpose.

    sunny boy Friday, 28 September 2012 03:37 AM

    when you have friends in high places...almost anything is possible. People drive the most luxurious vehicles and still complain about the cost of living

    ami Thursday, 27 September 2012 10:42 PM

    apparently it's a paradise for the wealthy and a living hell for the common men !

    manju Friday, 28 September 2012 03:45 AM

    Private sector works hard and contributes to GDP. concessions are given to govt employees and parliamentarians. and they are the ones who go on strikes asking for a salary increase.

    Manik Friday, 28 September 2012 03:45 AM

    If we tell some of the voters about this they will turn round and say it is not our money that is spent.these men don't understand a thing about foreign exchange draining out.

    Nodrog Friday, 28 September 2012 03:47 AM

    Its still an illegal act.

    SL Friday, 28 September 2012 03:48 AM

    This includes the opposition MPs, from UNP, JVP, TNA bureaucratic and ironically striking academics.

    bandara Friday, 28 September 2012 03:49 AM

    they also do hardly any work compared to their cpunterparts in the private sector

    hrm Friday, 28 September 2012 03:56 AM

    X3/520D is a poor man's vehicle. wow !!

    iPanada Friday, 28 September 2012 04:01 AM

    You are absolutely right. This benefit has been given to government servants because the Government does not have money to increase their salaries. They earn an extra buck out of this every five years. Others should not fingering in to this as it will help this poor government servants to give a dowry for their daughter, repair their house roof etc. Be pragmatic. There should be a way for the government to keep these public servants in government system.

    Susa Friday, 28 September 2012 04:08 AM

    Nice justification! Like government.

    LankanFellow1com Friday, 28 September 2012 04:14 AM

    It's really frustrating to see this.. An ordinary citizen is struggling even to buy a motor cycle.. But look at these collosal waste by the people who are elected by us...

    Damien Perera Friday, 28 September 2012 04:17 AM

    Sri Lanka accelerating to catch up with the largest economy in the world, the U.S., where a mere 1% control/own virtually everything

    janitha Friday, 28 September 2012 04:21 AM

    Give car permits to those who send money from abroad.

    Kapila Friday, 28 September 2012 04:46 AM

    Whatever is wrong with current permit system why car sales owners pointing this out? Everyone knows lack of sales not because of they are loving country.

    Mishra Friday, 28 September 2012 04:48 AM

    Do you actually believe we are a middle income country. Go to rural areas and see it yourself. In some places, we are worse than 3rd world countries.

    Nuzrath Anver Friday, 28 September 2012 04:55 AM

    Give equal treatment for all of Sri Lankans not just politicians.

    Makka Friday, 28 September 2012 05:04 AM

    I'm waiting for my KIA Sorento. yum yum

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