Colombo, April 18 (Xinhua-ANI): Sri Lanka has accelerated imports of reconditioned vehicles after a special appeal was made by vehicle importers to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, an official said here on Wednesday.
Vehicle Importers Association President Yoga Perera told media that the appeal came after the government, under pressure from a 10 billion U.S. dollar trade deficit, increased taxes on vehicle imports last month, which would have strangled the industry.
According to Sri Lanka's regulations imported cars can only be one year old but this has been increased to two years while commercial vehicles have had their age increased from three and a half years to four.
"We are very happy over this outcome as it would give the chance for more Sri Lankans to afford vehicles," Perera said.
The association had maintained that if the extension was not given, it could result in the closure of reconditioned vehicle importers' business and render one million people jobless.
At the time the government revised rules and import duty, around 2,000 reconditioned vehicles were already at the Colombo port whilst 6,000 were on order.
Last year the value of imported vehicles doubled to a record 1 billion U.S. dollars from 546 million U.S. dollars in 2010. (Xinhua-ANI)
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