Despite the general public reeling under the rising living costs, Cabinet endorsed a proposal yesterday to allow former provincial council members, who had served for more than two and half years, but were not elected this time, to import duty free vehicles, Daily Mirror learns.
Earlier, Cabinet approval had been given to issue permits for the importation of duty free vehicles to the sitting provincial council members who had served for more than two and half years. However, Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister A.L.M. Athaullah submitted a Cabinet memorandum yesterday seeking approval for the same benefit to be given to members who had served on the former provincial councils for more than two and half years, but not been elected to the current council.
The minister had also sought the approval to grant such benefits to members who had served in the present councils for a similar period, but resigned later for various reasons.
Cabinet had granted approval to this memorandum too.
The government issues duty free vehicle permits to parliamentarians once in five years. They are also given loans of up to US $ 50,000 to import such vehicles. In most cases, the MPs sell their vehicle permits at prices ranging from Rs.120 million to Rs.150 million. Recently, the government also gave approval for the MPs to sell their vehicle permits. (Kelum Bandara)