If the new Special Goods and Service Tax (GST) is imposed on vehicle imports, the prices of imported vehicles will rise further, Vehicle Importers’ Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) Secretary Arosha Rodrigo said.
He said with the COVID pandemic in the country, total vehicle imports were suspended by the government to save foreign exchange.
According to the Finance Ministry, the GST was proposed in the Budget 2021 and was proposed to be implemented from January 1, 2022.
In the Budget 2021, it was stated that an online managed single special goods and services tax would be proposed on telecommunications, motor vehicles, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, betting and gaming.
Mr. Rodrigo stated that the current budget proposal will keep the vehicle import suspension in place even into next year.
“When we searched for more details from the Finance Ministry, they said the vehicle importation topic is not even suitable to talk about given the critical situation the country is currently facing,” he said.
Mr. Fernando said that vehicles are very expensive, and people are used to purchasing new vehicles despite many difficulties.
Therefore, he has requested the government not to impose such taxes on vehicle imports in this critical situation that the importers are facing.