There are certain informal discussions are underway among opposition MPs to play diluted protest over the attempt of the government to import luxury SUVs to parliamentarian at the cost of 2.5 Billion public money. The reason for this situation is that all 225 people, including opposition members, have the opportunity to obtain such vehicles.
The Bank of Ceylon has so far opened a letter of credit of Rs. 3.7 billion for the purpose of import 400 vehicles including 228 Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs. These allocations were made even before the approval of the Cabinet and the Cabinet Memorandum on this was submitted only after that. Although the Cabinet decided to suspend the import of these vehicles however Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella had recently stated that the vehicles would have to be annexed as there is difficulty in revoking the letter of credit.
What the government has done in the past is to give MPs a duty-free license to import vehicles, where the government only lost tax revenue. However, at a time when the government is facing a severe foreign exchange crisis, many commentators are of the opinion that it would be economically foolish to import vehicles at a cost of Rs. 2.5 billion.
Recently, Bangladesh became the world’s largest lender and for the first time, Sri Lanka provided US $ 200 million loans on a Swap facility to help alleviate the foreign exchange crisis.
Sources told Lankasara that despite such a situation, there is a discussion among several members of the Opposition that they should protest against the government’s attempt to import these vehicles without showing strong opposition. However, it is reported that the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, the main opposition party,