The Sunday Leader

JVP Warns Against Returning Cars

By Rasika Jayakody

The JVP says it would strongly object to any moves by the government to return the 54 Benz cars which were imported for the Commonwealth Summit.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader, JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said the Finance Ministry had signed as the consigner of the 54 Benz cars in the documents with regard to the purchase. “Therefore the Benz cars were imported by the Finance Ministry and were given tax concessions without any legal basis. A letter has been sent from the Department of National Budget to the Customs Department seeking tax concessions. Customs documents indicate the Finance Ministry is responsible for all transactions including payments.

How could these private institutions be given unlimited tax concessions?” the JVP MP asked. “The tax relief for Benz cars is Rs.750 million. A Benz car is worth Rs.35 million. And these private institutions will sell these cars again with the tax added to the cost. That process is completely flawed,” he asserted.

“The only option which the government can resort to is auctioning the Benz cars following a transparent tender procedure. It is crystal clear that the government is avoiding that,” the Parliamentarian added saying that is one reason why there is no uniformity in the statements issued by ministers of the government with regard to the future of the 54 Benz cars.

He said if the government decided to hoodwink the public on this matter, the JVP would raise the issue and make the public aware of what he termed as a ‘dirty deal’.

There were media reports two weeks ago saying that the Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga had said the cars would be returned to the companies and they will be ordered to sell them and close the letters of credit opened through Bank of Ceylon. Prior to that, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella had said the cars would be distributed among the ministries.

Although The Sunday Leader attempted to contact a spokesperson from the Finance Ministry to get their response to this allegation, it did not bear fruit.

4 Comments for “JVP Warns Against Returning Cars”

  1. These 54 cars will be eventually go to Rajapakses family and goons. Even if they are sold to hoodwink the public they will be sold to friends and family. There is nothing anybody can do. Why not Rajapakses family enjoy these perks. This country of ours is broke and these 54 cars will not improve our purse.

  2. dagggy

    Keheliya was dissapointed that he had to settle for an Audi as a gift to his son for taking wickets in a 20/20 game…………
    from where did this rascal get this much money to buy such a gift ??/

    Quote: “Therefore the Benz cars were imported by the Finance Ministry and were given tax concessions without any legal basis.

    OK. the Government put them up for auction with the bid commencing from the price Cost plus Import duties.
    All what the GOSL will have to do is to collect Omport Duties plus the cost for every vehivle.
    How they intend to do is nobody’s business as lons as there is transparency. Afterall these were brought in for a purpose that concerned the image of the country.
    The GOSL can certainly resell them to China in any manner to cover costs or even return them and sold through exporter as long as transparency remains.

    JVP IS ATTEMPTING TO CREATE A MOUNTAIN OF A MOLEHILL. BANKRUPT FOR IDEAS.
    SL CAN NEVER PROSPER AS THERE ARE MANY WHO WANT TO DRAG THE COUNTRY IN MANY DIRECTION INSTEAD TOWARDS A COMMON GOAL.

    All unsold vehicles be handed over to the JVP parlimentarians.

  3. SHM

    Don’t forget the good old saying: ‘Clean suit empty pocket! 54 Benz cars! when we struggle for a living!

  4. gamarala

    These cars are for the ‘favoured few’ and all know it.

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