Finance Ministry discloses measures to lift vehicle import restrictions



Officials representing the Ministry of Finance have disclosed that they intend to lift all restriction on imports except for private vehicles by the end of 2023. 

The officials stated the aforesaid when the Committee requested for a time frame as to how long such restrictions will be in place post advertently considering the duopolies such restrictions have caused, especially governing wheat flour and tile.

The discussion pertaining to the said was held at the Committee on Public Finance held today (05) in Parliament, Chaired by Dr. Harsha de Silva.

Accordingly, the Committee took into consideration the Regulation under the Imports and Exports (Controls) Act, No. 1 of 1969 published in the Gazette Extraordinary 2341 / 38 of 20.07.2023 and was approved by the Committee.

Migration allowance increased

The Order under the Foreign Exchange Act, No. 12 of 2017 was also considered during the Committee on Public Finance Chaired by Hon. (Dr.) Harsha de Silva and approved. 

Accordingly, the eligible migration allowance for the emigrants who are claiming the migration allowance for the first time was increased from USD 30,000 up to a maximum of USD 50,000 or equivalent in any other designated foreign currency.

The Committee questioned the position of equity for those who migrated the year prior to such order. The officials present stated that emigrants who have already claimed migration allowance could claim the remainder up to a maximum of USD 20,000.

Moreover, the Social Security Contribution Levy (Amendment) Bill was also considered by the Committee on Public Finance and was approved.

 Accordingly, the said Bill intends to amend the said Act to exempt any motor vehicle liable to the excise duty under the Excise (Special Provisions) Act, No. 13 of 1989 on the importation in considering excise duty is a composite tax introduced to simplify the tax structure, previously included in the Act.

Furthermore, it also intends to exempt equipment used by persons with disabilities to lower the tax burden on such persons, rough unprocessed gem stones imported for re-exporting after cut and polishing to maintain the competitiveness of such Sri Lankan business in the global market by lowering the tax burden and any items sold at duty free shops, similar to other import taxes.

However, the Committee questioned the officials present regarding the motive, effectiveness and the impact of to exempt equipment used by persons with disabilities to lower the tax burden when access for persons with disability is not being facilitated. 

State Minister Dr. Suren Raghavan, Members of Parliament – Chandima Weerakkodi, Wajira Abeywardana, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Nimal Lanza, Isuru Dodangoda, Dr. Major Pradeep Undugoda, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Madhura Withanage were also present at this Committee meeting held.


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