Friday, 04 June 2021 09:53

Suspension of 399 vehicle import takes a new twist Featured

The government’s decision to suspend the import 399 vehicles including 227 luxury vehicles with the approval of the cabinet of ministers has taken a new twist as the government is compelled to import these vehicles as the required vehicles have all-ready manufactured by the manufacturing Company according to specifications.

However this was not a direct deal with the manufacturer as it was vested in an intermediary party called Toyota Tsusho Asia Pacific Pte Ltd in Singapore and the awarding of this tender had been carried without following proper tender procedures , reliable sources revealed.

The government’s decision to suspend the import 399 vehicles including 227 luxury vehicles with the approval of the cabinet of ministers has created unexpected critical problems for the leading local bank.

Although the decision to suspend vehicle imports was made on the 24th of May, the LCs were in fact opened by BOC on the 29th of April on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, and these LCs are yet to be terminated.

On the other hand the Bank OF Ceylon which has opened the Letter of Credit is still to cancel it and it is facing threat of facing the black listing for default and franchise dealer which has placed the order with manufacturer in oversea if it fails to abide the rules realting to this matter ...Banking sector sources said.

Several leading bankers pointed out that any action to suspend the deals under this set up breaches Uniform Customs and Practice (UCP 600) regulations that govern international trade of banking.

Most those LCs are basically insured by a foreign bank for payment default, they disclosed.

Under this set up if the foreign suppliers shipped the consignment of cars and claim their payment from the relevant foreign bank then the local bank which has opened the LC would be black listed in international trade for defaulting, they claimed.

LG has been opened in the leading local bank with the approval of the state authorities in accordance with the government guideline of easing restrictions of on restricted items considering case by case basis for the import of limited number of vehicles even under the import restrictions, they added.

The Cabinet of Ministers, once again has reversed its earlier decision on the directions of Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa against his own cabinet proposal considering the Covid-19 situation in the country.

The decision has been taken when the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, convened via Zoom on May 24.

Local media revealed plans to import 399 vehicles including 227 luxury Land Cruiser SUVs under the Bank of Ceylon’s Rs. 3.5 billion leasing facility despite the current ban on importing vehicles to Sri Lanka.The letter of credit for the importation of these vehicles was opened on the 29th of April.

Leasing facilities have been granted by the state-owned BOC to import 227 Nos of 2755cc 7-seater Land Cruiser Prados, 52 Nos of 6403cc Hino Cabs, 50 Nos of Hiace Ambulances, 69 Nos of Hilux double cabs & One Toyota Land Cruiser, the payment of which should be made in USD.

 

 

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