The Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka yesterday expressed optimism that the Finance Ministry would streamline the two separate import excise duties on brand new and reconditioned electric vehicles such as Nissan Leaf.
Association President Ranjan Peiris commended the budget proposal to reduce excise duty on brand new Nissan Leaf vehicles by Rs. 1 million and said this duty should be given to reconditioned vehicles as well.
“Even the Finance Minister had admitted that this should be rectified and all vehicles of this kind, regardless of being brand new or reconditioned, should be given the same excise duty relief of Rs. 1 million,” he told a news briefing.
He said more policy decisions should be put in place to allow the flowing in of e-vehicles into the country. However, he said more measures need to be taken to prepare basic infrastructure required for e-vehicles in the country.
Mr. Peiris commended the move to establish 100 e-vehicle charging points across the country and said it was best to use solar power to power up these charging points without burdening the main grid.
Meanwhile, he said the Rs. 750,000 increment in excise duty on hybrid vehicles such as Toyota Axio, Aqua, Honda Vezel, Grace and Fit would create a negative impact on traders of such vehicles.
“It would have been better if the excise tax for these vehicles remained uncharged,” he said.
He welcomed the budget proposals to make compulsory the importation of vehicles which had airbags and anti locking brake systems and the importation of vehicles of Euro 4 standard.
“We already import vehicles that are up to Euro 6 standard. We commend the green-budget concept of Minister Mangala Samaraweera to make Sri Lanka a country with environment friendly vehicles,” he said.
Commenting on the Letter of Credits (LCs) opened by government workers on the permits, Mr. Peiris said the government should ensure that these government workers won’t be affected by the budget proposals and that they enjoy the benefit of them.
With the reduction of import excise duty, he said a Suzuki Alto (Japanese) could be valued at around Rs.2.5 million while Toyota Pixis and Suzuki Wagon-R at Rs. 3 million. (Lahiru Pothmulla)