- Published on Sunday, 17 June 2012 17:52
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The Finance and Planning Ministry in a circular under the signature of Director General P.A. Dias has called for applications from public and PC officials, who had not bought duty free vehicles from 2007 to apply for import permits under a special duty waiver.
All public officers entitled to a duty free vehicle are permitted to import one every five years.
A senior Treasury official said the government spent US$2.6 billion this year to import vehicles for Pradeshiya Sabah Chairmen and provincial councillors. The cabinet had increased the ceiling on vehicle permits for parliamentarians from US$35,000 to 50,000 in 2010.
He said public servants are given tax waivers to import a vehicle up to the value of US$25,000 and some 1,000 public and Provincial Council officials will get the opportunity to obtain this facility.
The permission to import vehicles under the new circular will impose an added burden on the economy as the rupee is depreciating rapidly against the dollar at Rs.130.35 yesterday.
The official said the country’s exports suffered the biggest fall of 10 per cent in the first quarter of this year when compared with last year while imports grew by four per cent. The foreign reserves are estimated at US$ 5.8 billion as opposed to US$ 7 billion last year.