With the Cabinet decision to suspend the importation of a limited number of vehicles, the media has recently reported that the request made by the MPs for vehicles for their travels has failed, but a question has arisen as to whether it has actually failed.
A Cabinet Memorandum was submitted to import 399 vehicles including luxury jeeps and the Cabinet of Ministers stated that it was not appropriate to import even a small number of vehicles under the current circumstances.
It is noteworthy that this decision was taken by the Cabinet of Ministers considering a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to import a stock of vehicles.
Last April, the Cabinet decided to import a consignment of vehicles in accordance with a Cabinet Memorandum submitted by the Prime Minister stating that such vehicles are required to make the government's development activities more efficient.
It states that 50 vehicles should be imported in 150 ambulances, water bowsers and double cabs.
Also, the suspension of the duty free vehicle licensing system was a problem for the Members of Parliament and an alternative method could be considered to remove that effect.
To solve this problem, orders have been placed to import 3.7 vehicles under the 399 billion leasing facility provided by the Bank of Ceylon.
Accordingly, despite the Cabinet decision to suspend the import of 399 vehicles on May 24, it is reported that the Bank of Ceylon has opened letters of credit on April 399 for the 29 vehicles on behalf of the government.
Nor has it been decided to suspend or cancel those letters of credit.
According to media reports, 399 vehicles have already been ordered and will not be allowed to arrive in the country.
Bank of Ceylon is the applicant for these letters of credit and this is considered to be a business of Bank of Ceylon.
Last April, the Central Bank banned the issuance of letters of credit for the importation of vehicles to commercial banks.
As the Bank of Ceylon is not a duty free institution declared by the government, the Central Bank will also have to pay customs duties on 399 vehicles ordered.
Therefore, if the Bank of Ceylon fails to pay the relevant tariffs, it will also be a tax evasion.