Electric vehicle traders cheer swift govt response | Sunday Observer

Electric vehicle traders cheer swift govt response

Ranjan Peiris
Ranjan Peiris

Electric vehicle dealers expressed delight over the Finance Ministry’s quick positive response to the request made by traders to extend the original budget concession to cover used electric vehicles.

According to traders, with the extension of the rule, it is expected that import duties of electric vehicles under one year will come down by at least Rs. 1 million while those aged from one to three years will fall by approximately Rs. 400,000.

“We are very happy that the government took heed of our displeasure, by understanding the practicality concerns we raised and made the change within a short span of a week,” President of the Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL), Ranjan Peiris, told the Sunday Observer yesterday. Although, the Budget 2018 originally announced a minimum Rs.1 million reduction of duties on new electric cars, the Finance Ministry on Thursday extended the proposal to cover cars up to one year.

“We request the government to further relax the one-year limitation entitling the Rs. 1 million duty reduction to three years so that electric cars could be made more popular,” Peiris outlined.

Taking the popular Nissan Leaf as an example to explain the implications of the proposal, Peiris pointed out that since the under one-year old vehicle is already very expensive in Japan, it will be difficult to competitively price the car in Sri Lanka and attract a majority of consumers. “From a policy perspective, if the country is to promote the use of electric vehicles, we should be able to offer it at a very competitive price compared to hybrid and petrol.

While the Budget proposal is an extremely positive decision, we welcome further relaxation,” the VIASL chief said. 

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