Sri Lanka loses Rs10bn on tax slashed cars to state workers

June 12, 2009 (LBO) – Import duty waivers for Sri Lankan state workers to buy cars has lost the country over 10 billion rupees in revenue in 2008, a report by the finance ministry said. The import of motor vehicles under a concessionary duty structure was implemented under different government circulars in 2008, the finance ministry annual report just released said.

In most of these schemes, the excise duty which is the largest revenue source was either exempted or placed under a concessionary rate.

Duty waivers were also been granted under schemes such as the compliant tax payers scheme, Sri Lanka Nation Building Bond Scheme and for the eligible members of the Parliament and Provincial Councils.

“Out of the 16,758 concessionary permits issued to public servants under Trade, Tariff and Investment Policy Circular during 2007-2008, 11,684 permits have been made use of during the same period,” the report said.

“The foregone excise duty under these concessionary permits in 2008 alone was 10,062 million rupees, which was around 0.3 percent of the GDP.

“The total revenue foregone from all these schemes amounted to 11,094 million rupees in 2008.”

However, the sc