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No luxury vehicle tax for Sri Lankan lawmakers

The luxury tax imposed on vehicles imported by lawmakers who served in parliament between 2015 and 2020 has been waived off by the government.

The directive had been issued by prime minister and finance minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on December 31 last year, state documents showed

Earlier, the waiver had been granted to vehicles less than 1800 cc, diesel vehicles less than 2300 cc, and electric vehicles less than 200 kW.

Rates of the luxury tax, imposed in 2019, range between 60 and 120% if the vehicle cost exceeds the tax-free threshold.

Sri Lanka has temporarily suspended vehicle imports, according to its COVID-19 economic revival plan, citing it as a move to curb foreign currency outflows.

Colombo District SLPP (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) MP Madura Vithanage said that he wouldn’t take the duty free vehicle permit he was entitled to.

The former Kotte Mayor said that he had informed the relevant ministry of his decision.

He admitted that it wouldn’t be fair on their part to receive such a privilege as the country was struggling on the economic front.

Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku asked whether members of parliament were entitled to such generous grants.

Kodituwakku noted that it would be a massive challenge for the new government to scrap the duty-free vehicle permit scheme.

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