Dec 05, 2020

Govt to manufacture motorcycle parts locally - SLAAJ in peril Featured

A decision has been taken to assemble and locallymanufacture motorcycles required for the country and also to manufacture motorcycle spare parts .

This decision has been taken during a discussion held between the Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa and the relevant industrialists.

Accordingly, it is reported that the Ministry of Industries is preparing to make arrangements to commence the manufacturing process from next year.

Discussions with motorcycle assemblers and the Minister focused on the future course of action in this regard.

It is further reported that Sri Lanka spent Rs. 4.2 billion on the importation of motorcycles last year and also spent heavily on spare parts.

Importers of Japanese vehicles in trouble

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Automobile Association in Japan (SLAAJ) has requested the Government to grant permission to import vehicles that they had purchased to fulfill orders before March 20.

SLAAJ President S. A. Nishantha Meegalla has told Daily Mirror that all information relating to the purchased vehicles such as the chassis numbers had been submitted to the Japanese Embassy office.

“About 1,364 vehicles are stuck at ports in Japan while paying demurrages for their parking arrears. It is a huge cost and a big loss for the Association. Now it is becoming very hard even to maintain the services,” Mr Meegalla said.

He said all the vehicles were purchased and manufactured according to the local customer requirements. Therefore, those vehicles cannot be sold to other countries.

“If we sell those vehicles to other countries, we have to sell them at half of the price that we bought them at despite the manufacturing cost,” he said.

Therefore, the Association is requesting the Government to grant permission to only import those vehicles stuck at ports to cover up their losses, Mr Meegalla said.

He said the Central Bank (CB) had directed all banks to suspend facilitating the importation of all types of motor vehicles for three months. The decision was announced on March 20.

According to the CB, the decision was taken to ensure adequate liquidity in the market to facilitate smooth operations and sustain market confidence amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Later, the Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukella said on September 3 that the Government had decided to extend the suspension of vehicle imports for one year for the time being.