President’s Secretary Dr.P.B. Jayasundara this week (24) told a private television station that Sri Lanka has amassed vehicles enough for the next two and a half years during the five-year period of 2014-2019.
He said this in response to a question posed to him over the complete ban on vehicle imports by the government since March 19. As per now, the ban remain in effect till December 31, this year.
Dr.Jayasundara said vehicle importation causes massive outflow of foreign currency, which Sri Lanka cannot afford under the current circumstances.
The government has imposed import restrictions on a number of items deemed non-essential to safeguard the country’s scarce foreign reserves.
According to Central Bank data, Sri Lanka spent US $ 815 million on personal vehicle imports in 2019 and US $ 1.5 billion in 2018.
The latest Central Bank data showed that for the first six months of 2020, Sri Lanka spent US $ 273 millions to import vehicles.
Dr.Jayasundara said, to take the economy out from the current vicious cycle, bold decisions such as restricting non-essential imports is necessary and praised the country’s current political leadership for maintaining a tough stance on vehicle imports.