Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association (CMTA) newly elected Chairman Tilak Gunasekera last week hailed the Government’s decision to reduce the age of used cars as well as reduction in duties which have boosted prospects for the automobile market.
“After many years of lobbying by CMTA to the President and relevant Authorities, we were able to bring down the age of used cars from 3.5 years to 2 years. This is a significant achievement by the CMTA,” Gunasekera told the 91st AGM of the Association.
He also said that the CMTA wrote to the President regarding the depreciation being lowered at the last budget from 70% to 55% and less than 6 months old vehicles the depreciation had been lowered to 90% from 100%.
“In our representations we highlighted this anomaly and cited revenue contributed to the Government coffers by our members amounting to over Rs. 30 billion, the employment provided, training opportunities and CSR activities carried out by our members,” CMTA Chief said.
To ensure a level playing field among members, the CMTA had recommended to the Government a few years ago that there had been one category up to 1600 cc however at the last National budget this had been split under two categories less than 1000 cc and greater than 1000 cc. “The idea of our request was that European cars do not have a smaller engine capacity and therefore to amalgamate duty levels into one category,” Gunasekara pointed out.
Referring to business of the trade, Gunasekera said that as per 2010 Annual Report of the Central Bank, growth in the transport sector was 11.4%, the highest recorded by the sector during the past three years. He also said that the recovery in economic activities is reflected in the number of vehicle registrations which rose significantly in 2010. (See Table)
In his address the CMTA Chief also referred to meeting with Commissioner General of Motor Traffic regarding the illegal assembling of vehicles by Vehicles Lanka and its registration of vehicles. “I must say, he was very supportive and very cordial in assuring us, his department would not register any more vehicles by Vehicles Lanka,” Gunasekera added. The CMTA had also taken up with Dharmapriya about the difficulties and harassments caused to members when transferring their vehicles to their show rooms both in Colombo and the suburbs using Garage Number Plates, which seemed unacceptable to the Traffic Police. CMTA commended Dharmapriya’s subsequent directive to IG Police to permit the movement of vehicles.
CMTA Chairman also said that the Association with the assistance of Vice Chairman Senani Perera, looked at the possibilities of how the members could obtain private bonding facilities and had logistics providers to show what they could offer to members. “The Association is also holding discussions with DG Customs on this issue,” Gunasekera told the AGM.
At the AGM Toyota Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. General Manager Operations Senani Perera and David Pieris Motor Co (Pvt) Ltd. Sales Manager Yasantha Abeykoon were elected as Vice Chairmen. Associated Motorways (Pvt) Ltd, Diesel & Motor Engineering Co PLC, Frontier Automotives (Pvt) Ltd, Kia Motors Lanka Ltd, McLarens Lubricants Ltd, Prestige Automobile (Pvt) Ltd, Senok Trade Combine Ltd, Stafford Motor Co Ltd, and United Motors Lanka PLC were also elected to the Executive Committee of the CMTA for the ensuing year.