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Vehicle import restrictions to be lifted only after thorough analysis – state minister

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A committee has been appointed to look into the lifting of import restrictions imposed on vehicles, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said.

Speaking to the reporters , Siyambalapitiya emphasized that measures will be taken to gradually relax the import restrictions on vehicles in parallel to the increase of foreign reserves within the country.

Commenting further, the Finance State Minister said: “We have been gradually relaxing import restrictions. Initially, there were restrictions on the import of around 1,500 to 2,000 items, but now only vehicle imports remain restricted. We will continue to ease these restrictions as necessary. Specifically, we have permitted the import of 250 buses and 750 vans required for the tourism industry.”

The State Minister expressed that the government, the Ministry of Finance and the Treasury make decisions based on reports, following proper investigations.

“Our reserves are showing clear improvement, leading to further appreciation of the Rupee”, he added.

Siyambalapitiya also said that even if the import restriction will be relaxed in the near future, the government will only allow vehicle imports based on a proper order of necessities.

“A committee has been appointed to investigate this matter. They are conducting analyses on essential vehicles and their brands, fuel consumption of vehicles, their compatibility with Sri Lanka’s road system, and the extent to which vehicles available within the country are usable”, the State Minister added.

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