Leasing companies under scrutiny | Daily News


Enforcing six month grace period for repayments

Leasing companies under scrutiny

Action against firms violating Govt order

The Government and the Police will be keeping a close watch on leasing companies to ensure that they do not renege on the six month grace period granted to several categories of customers in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the President’s Office announced.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed Acting IGP Chandana Wickremaratne not to entertain any complaints from leasing companies over the non-payment of dues by these customers until the six months period lapses. Moreover, no complaints should be entertained from leasing companies after they seize any vehicles illegally.

The moratorium on lease repayments for three wheelers and several other categories of vehicles was among the relief measures granted to the public by the Government after a curfew was imposed in March to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus.

Accordingly, the circular numbered PC/CSA/16/2020 issued by the Presidential Secretariat on March 23, 2020 temporarily suspended the collection of leasing repayments from three wheeler purchasers for a period of six months from that date.

Furthermore, as per Clause 9 of the circular numbered PC/CSA/18/2020 sent to Ministry Secretaries on March 30, 2020, lease repayments on three wheelers, passenger buses, school buses and school vans, commercial trucks and other vehicle categories used by the self-employed would be halted for a period of six months.

This would provide relief to thousands of persons who had purchased such vehicles on a lease basis.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has noted that any leasing or finance company that seizes vehicles for defaulting payments during these six months would be deemed as having violated a direct Government order. Stern action would be taken against such companies.

This follows an incident a few days ago where the Chairman of the Self-Employed Three Wheeler Operators Association Sunil Jayawardena (53) was attacked by employees of an unauthorized leasing company in Mirihana, when he had gone there to discuss repayment arrangements for a three wheeler leased by one of his relatives. Jayawardena later succumbed to his injuries at the Kalubowila Hospital. Eight suspects believed to be employees of this illegal leasing company were remanded over the incident, which exposed the violent methods used by leasing companies against customers who fail to pay their dues.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the Police have also cautioned the public against entering into transactions with unauthorized leasing and finance companies. Up to date Information on recognized and authorized financial entities is available on the CBSL website. 

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