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Sri Lanka's senior state officials to get vehicle tax permits
Up to half of import taxes would be knocked-off under proposed system
Riyad Riffai
LBR,Tuesday 14 December 2010

Sri Lanka's treasury secretary has given the green light to grant tax cuts up to 50 percent of vehicle import prices to senior state sector workers after nearly halving tariffs on motor vehicles a few months ago, a finance ministry circular showed.

The proposed tax cut to be effective form December 15, 2010, is open to state sector officials who have served at a senior position for over six years.

Officers above the ranks of lieutenant colonel, commander and wing commander is entitled to the tax concession, while professionals attached to the armed forces such as engineers, lawyers, doctors and accountants are also eligible, the finance ministry circular showed.

Senior university academics with 12 years services are also eligible to the permit.

The tax cut is only valid to import brand new vehicles, but vehicles that have been used for less than one year abroad and locally assembled vehicles using brand new parts is also eligible.

Vehicles are given a maximum importation value of 25,000 US dollars.

Under the tax cut vehicles with an engine capacity less than 1,000 CC (cubic capacity) will get a 50 percent tax cut, while vehicles above 1,000CC, but under 1,600 CC is entitled to a 45 percent reduction.

Vehicles under 2,000 CC, but over 1,600 CC will get a 40 percent reduction, while vehicles above 2,000 CC, but less than 2,600 CC is entitled to 30 percent reduction on import taxes.

The tax cut is equal to both petrol and diesel powered engines.

Sri Lanka's overstaffed state sector serves almost 17 citizens per public servant, the highest in the world.

Until recently ordinary Sri Lankan's were paying vehicles import taxes over 300 percent, while public servants and representatives were given permits to import vehicles tax free.

The government changed its policy three months ago under instructions by International Monetary Fund (IMF) to receive an emergency bailout package after facing a near balance of payments crisis after depleting national reserves defending the rupee.

Comments in Chronological Order. Total 35 Comment(s)
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P.D.Vidanage
2010-12-14 9:28 PM

Then the others are not Sri Lankan. We need same treatment as all are Sri Lankans.
azhar
2010-12-14 10:24 PM

Private sector workers are the engine of growth but you give all these benefits to be enjoyed only by the state sector workers who productively work only for 3-hours a day on average. This is discrimination to be enjoyed by the non-tax paying public sector which is a burden to the economy. Give them the 2500 rupees instead
Bandara H S.
2010-12-14 11:24 PM

What is the position of executives and other professionals who work in semi-government organizations and boards? Where is the equal opportunity policy in the country? And no consideration given to foreign exchange earners?
Pradeep
2010-12-15 9:32 AM

As Private sector employees we are really unhappy about these decisions, because 'Don't we serve to the country'? We all know how government employees are working and how effective they are. There are good efficient people but majority senior employees are useless to the country. Why can't the government think about the private sector employees as well?
karu
2010-12-15 4:45 PM

A doctor's salary is around Rs. 38,000/- per month with 6 years of experience. They don't have any other benefit no bonus,no incentives, no housing loans. This will be an at least some help for them.
Herath M J
2010-12-16 12:33 AM

It is totally unfair that the opportunity is open only to Central Bank Staff by complete ignoring the State Bank professionals
Anonymos
2010-12-16 6:35 PM

I m also eligible for this. But I feel guilty. While others don't have even public transport.
Gamini
2010-12-17 12:02 AM

How about us expats who send valuable foreign exchange to Srilanka ? At least they should allow expats to bring vehicles duty free from their foreign earnings
P.D.Vidanage
2010-12-20 8:12 PM

Read Constitution - 12 (1)
nawarathne
2010-12-20 8:29 PM

Lawyers, doctors, accountants and engineers who are not attached to armed forces should be treated in the same manner
N. Rathnaweera
2010-12-23 1:29 PM

Please can anybody show the web link to download the above circular?
RIP
2010-12-26 10:34 AM

It was an internal circular. Not sure if it was published.
bamba
2010-12-26 11:28 AM

It's great. At least the government servants will have some motivation.
Roshan
2011-01-02 11:59 AM

Well, If you all remind your school leaving time and compared your qualifications verses how wealthy you are among your colleagues, I do believe its fair to have some concession for government servants, specially those senior servants, who dedicated their lives without migrating and managed their life with a small government salary compared to those on private sector in similar caliber.
Rajakaruna
2011-01-06 7:02 PM

Please do not underestimate the services of government officials. We work for half the salaries of privare sector employees . It is not because we cannot get into a private company but because we love the service.I think we do derserve a motivator like this once in a while.
Lankan worker in Gulf
2011-01-07 8:58 PM

The Central Bank report in 2010 Sri Lankan working abroad brought USD 4.1 billion in foreign exchange. Ministry of Finance, please allow these workers to bring their vehicles free of duty.
Ranjith
2011-01-16 3:12 PM

It is better to extend this facility to other officers who have atleast 25 years of service in Govt Departments or State organization ann who served continus service of 10 years in a Government Projects.
upali
2011-02-07 7:05 PM

Foreign exhange earners who are bring money to the country should be given some sort of duty relief for there vehicles. They suffer lot aboroad and no subsidaries are given to them.
Danushka
2011-02-13 8:14 AM

Hey you need votes from government worker only or what? What about the other Sri Lankans. They do all the hard work and you give all the benefits to lazy government employess.
kosala
2011-03-05 1:55 PM

This is totally unfair. What about the professionals who are not attached to armed forces.? They also should be given this opportunities such as FCA,ICA.CIMA,ACCA. Because they also contribute to the national economy.
kotas bappa
2011-03-06 10:32 AM

We need a peoples' uprising like in the mid-east to rid double standards set by state sector.
Capt. Haddock
2011-03-07 2:35 PM

This is nothing but self indulgence by state officials. We make the rules for ourselves!
civil service
2011-03-08 8:15 AM

But public servants get low salaries vs private sector workers. Some would call the perks in state services unfair, but that's the only way state workers can live a decent life especially with the high cost of living.
fly boy
2011-03-15 9:53 PM

Get a job in the private sector.
rudy
2011-05-05 1:27 PM

Is any one who is eligible for this permit willing to sell the permit, pls let me know.
sunil
2011-05-29 4:28 PM

I think it is enough crying asking for duty free or partly paid vehicle permits for foreign currency earners. Government and the country is living on the earnings seny by 1.5 million foreign employees but if a consession is given, how many of them actually can import a vehicle? Only a few hundred thousands could do so because others' earninings are not eligible to send a vehicle. Therefore I urge government and secretary of ministry of finance to allow this concession to Sri Lankan foreign currency earners. If not it is high time for all of us to think of directing our hard earned currencies to a country where we can get some sort of reward There is no meaning in the scheme allowing foreign currency earners to import vehicles under blue permit issued by the import and export controller because the importer has to pay full duty under that scheme also. Sometimes a vehicle will cost more than the existing price of that vehicle in local market. So this is useless.
balasooriya
2011-07-18 12:42 AM

I am an engineer in the private sector with more than 10 years experience, but we don't have this facility. This regulation should be changed for us also. We are very very unhappy.
Fathima
2011-08-07 10:48 PM

What about the At-At-Lawyers doing private Practice?
Vina
2011-08-18 9:06 PM

In some Goverment Boards, Enginners required 16 Years Experience to get a permit with Charter. I do not know why that much of experience need for a vehicle. Another lot professionals go abroad for better life due those situation.
Nazafi
2011-09-08 12:05 PM

This isn't democratic for me. We as private sector work like hell every day more than 10 hours yet we pay tax on income. We have no pension scheme compared to government sector employees. No income tax, pension and these kind of benifits just for working not more than 4 hours a day. This is insane. Where is the democratic policy? As private sector and as we contribute a lot to growth of the country i guess we also should have the right to have these kind of permits.
Darshana
2011-10-18 1:38 PM

We all need to understand that the government can’t give duty reduced permits to all private sector employees since it will be like they have reduce the duties as an overall regime (everybody is working in private sector one way or the other except for public servants). However, they need to understand that some of these benefits need to flow to the private sector too as we too work hard to uplift the status of the country (I guess we carry the majority of the burden due to many reasons like work pressure, taxes, high interest rates, etc. etc). So, the government needs to strike out a line where both public and private sectors are benefited equally.
Sivaa
2012-02-05 6:18 AM

All should know salary difference between senior state staff and basic staffsshould be at least 12:1 ratio as seen in many countries (even India maintains this ratio) all should think how it is reasonable o/l qualified staff get 20,000 thousand rupees while a docter who studied at least 8 years professionally gets 50,000. Our goverment gives them only 20% salary. Layman with mini shop can earn a lot more than that, Can you understand this point? Do you know most of the professionals do not want to stay in srilanka when Sri Lanka gives these funny fake facilities.
huzam
2012-02-15 12:55 AM

What about for the seafarer? Is there any benefit for a seafarer? We bring dollars to our country by hard earning, why cant the government give us a vehicle permit?
Hingurala
2012-03-31 5:33 PM

Government needs to give attention to age of perrmit vehicle as government servants have a lower salary. They have to utilise all their savings to buy a brand new or 1 year aged vehicle. Propose age up to 5 years. Please comment!
Kirthi
2013-07-31 3:33 PM

I have been a expat worker for 17 years and brought all my earnings to Sri Lanka. I don't think any one should be given a duty free permit to import motor vehicles. Let every body purchase them on their earnings just like any other citizen. This is ridiculous and so unfair to the poor people who need basic needs.hope the recipients think about this and touch their hearts for guidance.
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