Mobility Monitor

Feb 14, 2011 (LBO) – Car imports into Sri Lanka shot up by 300 percent to 23,072 in 2010 after the government slashed import duty and also because of rising demand after the end of a war, a government statement said. It said the number of cars registered with the motor traffic department in 2009 had been only 5,762.

A total of 359,243 vehicles of different types were registered with the department in 2010 up by 155,168 or 76 percent from 204,075 in 2009, the statement said, quoting motor traffic department statistics.

Over two million motor cycles were registered with the department in 2010 as the economy revived with the end of the island’s 30-year ethnic war in 2009.

The statement attributed the higher vehicle imports to the 50 percent reduction in import duty last year and improved availability of bank loans and leasing facilities along with higher demand for vehicles in the former war zones of the north and east.

Government incentives to encourage small and medium enterprises also led to increased demand for motor cycles and three-wheeled auto-rickshaws.

Government officials have said revenue from import duties have also risen sharply after imports shot up with the reduction in rates.