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Wed, 23 July 2014 10:39:37
Sri Lanka car registrations fall 75-pct in September
19 Oct, 2012 06:57:28
Oct 19, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's motor car registrations fell 75 percent to 1,072 in September 2012 from a year earlier while total registrations had fallen 45 percent to 24,478 data analyzed by JB Securities, a stock brokerage has shown.
An analysis of data from Sri Lanka's motor vehicle registry had shown that brand new cars were 75.4 percent to 643 and used or reconditioned cars were down 75.3 percent to 429 in September.

Some car importers had sought permission from the state to export vehicles already bought into the country, media reports said.

Total new vehicle registrations, which include motor cycles, three wheelers and trucks, fell 45.3 percent to 24,478 while cheaper used vehicle sales fell at a faster 56.8 percent to 1,928.

Sri Lanka's state jacked up vehicle taxes suddenly by a midnight gazette literally while citizens were sleeping in April 2012, after central bank accommodated credit taken by state enterprises to manipulate energy tariffs forced a devaluation of the currency.

Taxes on ordinary citizens have been raised to prohibitive levels while elected rulers get tax free cars, and state workers get tax slashed cars.

In Sri Lanka taxes are not only imposed by midnight gazette without going to parliament violating a basic democratic principle of 'taxation by consent' but taxes are also arbitrarily raised between budgets, taking away the freedom of citizens to plan their lives.

Registrations of Maruti Alto a small Indian made car, Sri Lanka's best-selling model at one time fell 94 percent to just 45 units from 804 a year earlier.

Registrations of motor cycles fell 51 percent to 11,922 in September, and biggest fall seen in absolute terms was in the smallest motorcycles used by the least well off people.

Motor cycles of engine capacity of 100 cubic centimeters or below fell by 7,541 units to 5,347.

The taxes by midnight gazette came just as female citizens were starting to buy small scooters, improving their mobility and freedom.

Analysts have pointed out that import duties, including nationalist taxes to protect big businessmen and producers close to the ruling elite work by hurting the poorest sections of citizenry most.

Luxury Mercedes, BMW and Audi cars meanwhile rose 7 percent to 88 units in September 2012 from a year earlier.

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READER COMMENT(S)
3. Is this right Oct 20
After the war ended taxes on vehicles were reduced. It is now restored to previously held levels. This is necessary to curtail consumption oriented excessive import of vehicles which is not productive to the economy as well as prevent drain of foreign reserves.
2. Asela Oct 19
More Audis than Marutis. Miracle of Asia!
1. Mahasen Oct 19
In Sri Lanka you need to have a privilege to own vehicle the ruler. Rulers permits who and who can't own a vehicle. Isn't that breaking a fundamental right? Why treat people differently? Everybody should be the same.

Could somebody go to the courts to remove this 'permit' thing? All the animals are the equal. But some animals are more equal than others in Sri Lanka.