Ravi K charges Mahinda imported 43 vehicles sans taxes

Friday, 20 May 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday informed Parliament that the former President had imported 43 vehicles to the country without making tax and duty payments.

Bringing details of this controversial vehicle purchase to the Parliament, Minister Karunanayake highlighted the irregularities found at registration of the same vehicles. “Even though a fleet of 1,500 vehicles under the previous President was discussed we were able to locate only 220. The other vehicles are missing and no traces could be found,” he said.

Rejecting the charges of MP Wimal Weerawansa blaming the Government for allocating Rs.160 million for disaster relief against Rs.600 million sought for the vehicle purchase, Minister Karunanayake said: “The actual cost of the two vehicles was Rs.154 million. The balance of Rs.458 million is the tax payment, and this amount will be credited to the Treasury as tax income. MP Weerawansa, who sought help from Prime Minister to go on a foreign trip while having two passports in possession, has no ethical right to criticise,” said Minister setting the record straight.

According to Minister Karunanayake the vehicles proposed for the Prime Minster are less expensive compared to the bullet-proof super luxury imports made for the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Bringing up the former President Rajapaksa’s relative Udayanga Weerathunga now wanted by the United Nations for weapons deals during his tenure in Russia as the Sri Lankan Ambassador, Minister Karunanayke said: “INTERPOL should question MP Rajapaksa and his strongman former Minister G.L. Peiris to arrest Udayanga Weerathunga.”