Vehicle assembling gimmick to cost coffers heavily | Daily News


Vehicle assembling gimmick to cost coffers heavily

Revenue loss to country could exceed Rs 700 billion   

 A minister’s effort to obtain cabinet approval to provide duty rebates for used vehicle parts imported to the country to be used by an automobile assembly company has raised alarm bells in the industry.

A top official of the Ceylon Motor Trader’s Association (CMTA) told Daily News Business they are very concerned about the amnesty proposed to be given to the auto assembling company situated in Minuwangoda.

The company had received BOI approval in 2009 to assemble motor cars with used spare parts. About 400 cars were assembled and after an individual filing a court case the operation was barred.

However, in the last budget the government had given them an amnesty to register those vehicles with the RMV.

The official said in addition to that they have now been given an additional approval to assemble 750 units per year for three years which amounts to 2,250 units.

The official said that already eight containers full with used vehicle parts has arrived in the country and the Customs has detained these used vehicles spare parts containers as they were more than three years old ranging from 5 to 10 years.

He said that according the country’s law, vehicles more than three years old cannot be imported into the island. “There is a serious issue here because these used car parts imported are very old they are basically Toyota’s and Honda’s and will be assembled and sold in a different brand name.

This is a violation of manufacturer’s rights as these cars will carry the chassis numbers of the original manufacturer. This will also be an environmental hazard and against the government’s policy of having cleaner air.

The official said that the CMTA’s main concern was that the public is being misled, given false information and moreover the colossal loss of revenue to the country if this vehicle assembling was allowed to continue with amnesty in Customs duty on scrap vehicles imported to the country.

Further the CMTA is also very concerned about the safety factor as there is no quality checks which can lead to accidents and loss of life, further one cannot accept any safety factors from a vehicle that had run for over 10 years.

Therefore, the CMTA requests President Maitripala Sirisena to appoint a committee and immediately check the status of this business to prevent innocent people getting affected by this. 


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