Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Concessionary vehicle permits: MPs have their way, ignoring economic crisis

13 May 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • House Committee approves proposal
  • Speaker expected to write to President asking for implementation of decision

By Kelum Bandara  

Despite the cost of living sizzling at red hot levels and the country being cash- strapped , the House Committee of Parliament has endorsed the proposal to offer concessionary vehicle permits for MPs as requested by them , a top source said.  

The source familiar with the decision said the committee which looks into the requirements of the MPs positively considered the request by them for such permits in line with the similar facilities offered to executive graders in different categories of the public service .  

The MPs , numbering more than 100 and representing different parties , submitted a letter to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena asking for permission to import vehicles with no duty for their use .  

Following the approval by the House Committee, the Speaker is expected to write to President Ranil Wickremesinghe who is authorized to execute the decision as the Finance Minister. After constitution of every Parliament, the MPs are given vehicle permits. However , the MPs elected to the current Parliament at the 2020 General election did not get the benefit due to the economic crisis and the ban on vehicle imports to save foreign exchange .  

The government is now mulling the possibility of lifting the ban . The MPs are likely to get permits once the ban is lifted only .  

In the past , there were reports about the MPs selling off their permits and earning multimillion rupee revenue each .