May 23, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will not buy new limousines for the Commonwealth summit in Colombo and instead visiting heads of government will travel in cars taken on loan from ministries and departments, cabinet spokesman Anura Yapa said today. The minister denied reports that the government planned to import a dozen brand-new Rolls Royce Ghost cars, each valued at about 300,000 dollars (duty free) and 100 of the cheaper BMW Seven series cars at 150,000 dollars each.
“We will not import a single car for the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting),” Yapa told reporters in Colombo. œMinisters and departments will give their cars to be used for the CHOGM.
The government has not said how much it planned to spend on hosting the CHOGM of the 54-member bloc, but the foreign ministry in a statement last evening said no new allocations will be made for the summit.
“All expenditure in relation to CHOGM 2013 will be met from existing budgetary provisions, and additional funds for this purpose will not be resorted to,” the ministry said.
In 1976, the government imported a fleet of brand-new Peugeot 504 cars for the Non-Aligned Summit while Holden Statesman cars were brought down for visiting heads of state.