The Finance Ministry will shortly convene a meeting of all motor vehicle importers to discuss a new scheme to improve service standards and reliability.
Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera told journalists on Monday that the new meeting was a follow up to a discussion President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also the Finance Minister had with Vehicle Importers Association recently.
“We will meet with all importers to discuss the modalities for a licensing arrangement to ensure after-sales service standards as well as reliability of vehicles sold,” Dr. Jayasundera said.
He explained that during the meeting with the President, it was pointed out that within the motor trade there are several unorganised importers who remain in business despite supplying vehicles of poor quality and reliability, jeopardising the interest of motorists or customers. A scheme has been proposed to issue licences for the purpose of vehicle imports ranging from a Rs. 5 million fee for small scale importers of reconditioned vehicles and Rs. 10 million for large-scale firms as well as Rs. 25 million for those who import brand new cars.
“The proposed meeting is aimed at getting view points of all motor industry stakeholders and reach an understanding on the way forward,” Dr. Jayasundera added.
The Treasury Chief also said that following the 1 April hike in duties, the value of vehicle imports this year is likely to come down to $ 700 million from a record high of $ 1.7 billion last year.