Labour Ministry Defends Transparent Initiative to Boost Remittances via Electric Vehicle Imports
The Labour and Foreign Employment Ministry has affirmed the transparency and success of its initiative aimed at encouraging Sri Lankans living abroad to send remittances through banks while introducing import licenses for electric vehicles. This endeavor has effectively contributed to increasing the country’s remittance earnings.
Official data from the Ministry reveals that, within the first nine months of this year, Sri Lanka received a substantial sum of US$ 4.3 billion in foreign remittances, marking a remarkable 75% surge compared to the previous year.
Thus far, the Ministry has issued 318 electric vehicle import licenses to Sri Lankans who have sent remittances through legitimate channels, resulting in US$ 38 million for vehicle imports. It is important to note that the vehicle import licenses issued under this scheme are not exempt from import duties. This initiative aligns with a Cabinet decision aimed at motivating Sri Lankans abroad to channel their remittances legally, with all imported vehicles being required to pay the full customs duty and other taxes as stipulated by the Customs Department, thereby contributing to the state’s revenue.
The Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment has extended an invitation to all institutions and associations involved in the vehicle import business, including the Vehicle Importers’ Association, to join this program from its inception.
However, the Ministry expresses regret over the interference of Parliament and its committees in business matters concerning vehicle importers and firmly condemns the use of parliamentary platforms for such purposes. The Ministry urges individuals who present false information for media attention without verifying the facts to understand that such actions may hinder the steps taken to rejuvenate the country’s economy.
The Ministry emphasizes that its efforts to increase remittance earnings will persist, and narrow political agendas will not derail these initiatives. Furthermore, the Ministry is committed to supporting thorough investigations to ensure the transparency and integrity of this endeavor.