Govt offers relief to vehicle owners who opened LCs before budget

Govt offers relief to vehicle owners who opened LCs before budget

Govt offers relief to vehicle owners who opened LCs before budget

Written by Tharushan Fernando

06 Jan, 2016 | 9:48 pm

The government points out that individuals who opened Letters of Credit to import vehicles prior to the budget, would not have to pay demurrage fees, and would be able to import the vehicles at the old tax rates.

Tax amendments made to the importation of vehicles through the 2016 Budget, resulted in the prices of vehicles soaring drastically. Based on requests made from a number of different parties, the cabinet decided to provide relief to individuals who imported vehicles prior to the budget.

Minister of University Education and Highways, Lakshman Kiriella stated:

According to the desicion made by the cabinet, the tax hike made through the budget will not affect vehicles for which Letters of Credit were opened prior to the budget and those who have opened LCs can get their vehicles released at the old duty rates, without an increase in price

However, since the relevant amendments have not been implemented thus far, vehicle importers are struggling to release the vehicles imported, or to sell the vehicles already in stock.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Motor Vehicles Importers Association, Mahinda Sarathchandra stated:

The Finance Ministry has not sent the relevant circulars to the Customs Department and as of now, nearly 2000 vehicles are being kept at the Ports. As a result of vehicles being kept in the port,  vehicle importers are compelled to pay between Rs. 40,000 and Rs.50,000 per vehicle as demurrage fees.

Speaking at a press conference held on Wednesday, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that the relevant relief would be provided as per the decision taken by the cabinet, noting that the cabinet had taken a decision today based on the the advice of the president and not only will relief be provided, but the demurrage fees would not need to be paid for vehicles being kept at the port.

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