Against the backdrop of the government formulating a plan to curb the import of fuel guzzling vehicles, the Justice Ministry is planning to import 27 brand new petrol-driven cars.
The ministry said that tenders had been called to acquire 1600 CC cars for judicial officers. The newly appointed Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena recently said the government would shortly introduce a set of new guidelines aimed at restricting the import of heavy fuel consuming vehicles.
Responding to a query raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, Gunawardena said other countries had imposed such restrictions in view of the global energy crisis.
Well informed sources said despite grandiose announcements, the Rajapaksa administration was yet to take any tangible steps to cut down on expenditure.
Recently the President and the Treasury Chief Dr. P. B. Jayasundera had persuaded CEB engineers not to demand duty free vehicles due to extremely difficult economic situation caused by spiraling energy and defence costs.
So far only the CEB engineers had agreed to forego their right for the facility temporarily, the sources said, asserting although the government performing well on the battlefront, the economy had taken an unprecedented beating.
A senior government official told The Sunday Island a recent CEB advertisement carried by the national press revealed the pathetic state of the economy. The CEB has warned that the economy would collapse unless tangible action was taken to save foreign reserves, he said. Unfortunately the political establishment seemed blind to the reality.