State Minister says vehicle imports cannot be allowed yet

Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says vehicle imports cannot be allowed yet under the existing economic conditions.

The lawmaker told the media that the decision to lift import restrictions on vehicles should be taken after carefully studying the country’s situation.
Speaking on the recent significant depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee, the lawmaker attributed the situation to prevailing demand and supply, assuring that it is not unusual.

Explaining the reasons for rupee depreciation, Siyambalapitiya said the situation was caused by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) purchasing approximately USD 75-80 million from the market and the Central Bank to procure fuel and the heavy buying of US dollars by parties investing in the foreign currency expecting it to appreciate.

In response to a question on allowing vehicle imports, the state minister said even the allocation of nearly USD 80 million for fuel purchases had an impact on the value of Sri Lankan rupee against the USD, noting that, at this juncture, permission cannot be granted to import vehicles.