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“Govt. to partially relax vehicle import ban”

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The Government is set to partially relax the vehicle import ban that has been in place since 2020, says First Capital Research.

“With this move, the government is planning to lift restrictions placed on small cars with engine capacity of 1,000CC and 1,300CC.”

The move to relax small vehicle imports come in the wake of limited revenue collection by Sri Lanka customs (approximately falling short by RS. 300.0 bn – RS. 450.0 bn), on the backdrop of stringent revenue targets set by the IMF.

“Prior to the ban on vehicle imports, Sri Lanka had new vehicle registrations of over 350,000 annually, of which majority was dominated by motorcycles ( over 280,000) whilst Cars came in second with over35,000 new registrations annually,” First Capital Research stated.

Considering the pent-up demand in the system on the back of outstanding permits given to government officers, we believe that the lifting of the ban on small vehicles under 1,300CC will trigger new registrations between 10,000-15,000 in the next 2 years (new registrations of small car imports less than 1,000CC amounted to 26,962 in 2019 and 64,195 in 2018).

This move is expected to boost the prospects for Diversified Financials given that 57.3% of the loan book in the sector is exposed to the leasing business.

Taming down in interest rates together with the pickup in economic activity in the country is also expected to aid leasing volumes, after Govt. partially relaxes the prevailing import ban.

“However, steep depreciation of RS. and recently implemented taxes are expected to cause headwinds to the expected growth in volumes,” the report added.

No final decision on car imports

State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe said yesterday that the Government has not yet reached a firm decision on lifting the ban on private motor vehicle imports.

He said that the prime focus of the Government is to uphold economic stabilisation at an acceptable threshold and added that this cautious approach was being taken to safeguard the economic gains achieved so far.

(sundayobserver.lk)

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Decision on water tariff reduction, soon?

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Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman, announced that the reduction of water tariffs is being studied alongside the new electricity tariff revision, with a decision expected by the end of this week.

The Minister also highlighted that the Water Supply Board, previously experiencing a monthly loss of LKR 2.8 billion, has now achieved a profit of LKR 6.2 billion.

Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman made these remarks during the ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’ press briefing today (17)  at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC).

Minister Jeevan Thondaman, elaborating further, also stated:

We commend Minister Kanchana Wijesekera for initiating steps to lower electricity tariffs. The water supply sector is closely tied to electricity tariffs, making it likely that this revision will also lead to reduced water tariffs.

Water availability is influenced by various factors. We previously committed to lowering water tariffs in tandem with reductions in electricity charges. Currently, the Ministry is not only focusing on electricity but also assessing the impact of reduced interest rates, down from 26% to 11%. Additionally, we are studying the potential reduction in water tariffs based on changes in the dollar exchange rate. It’s important to note that the cost of chemicals procured by the water supply board is influenced by the dollar exchange rate.

It is expected that by the end of this week, a decision will be made regarding the extent of the reduction in the water tariff. When I assumed office in January 2023, the Ministry faced challenges, unable to even provide 1,000 new water connections. Moreover, I inherited a Ministry burdened with an USD 800 million debt and a Water Supply Board experiencing monthly losses of approximately LKR 2.8 billion. The board’s monthly recurring expenses of LKR 4.5 billion had a significant national impact.

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4 females arrested over brutal assault on child

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Aranayaka Police say that 04 female suspects have been arrested over brutally assaulting a six year old child.

The arrests were made after a video of the incident had gone viral online.

Accordingly, the women including the child’s mother, have been arrested and are to be produced before the Mawanella Magistrate’s Court today (July 17).

The child, who is under the care of his father, is to be produced before the Mawanella Judicial Medical Officer (JMO).

Aranayaka Police is conducting further investigation into the incident.

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Price of several fertilizers to be reduced

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The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera today (17) instructed the State Fertilizer Company to take steps to significantly reduce the prices of fertilizers used for plantation crops such as cinnamon, tea and coconut.

Accordingly, the President of State Fertilizer Company, Dr. Jagath Perera stated that the prices of 5 types of fertilizers such as APM, YPM, Urea ( Cinnamon), SA ( Cinnamon) and TDM fertilizers produced by State Fertilizer Company will be reduced from Rs.1500 to Rs.2000 with immediate effect.

A discussion was held today at the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries regarding the reduction of fertilizer prices. The minister gave these instructions during the discussion.

(dailynews.lk)

 (This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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