Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) urged the government to reconsider the import ban.
They said severe issues had been faced by the vehicle importers and all related industries due to the ban on vehicle imports. It creates a negative impact on the Sri Lankan economy, they said.
“Vehicle importers provide various employment opportunities ranging from accountants, sales executives, marketing executives, drivers, cleaners, security staff, etc. Furthermore, services areas such as clearing agents, interior cleaners, mechanics, car carrier operators and service centres are directly dependent on the importation of motor vehicles,” the Association said.
“The vehicle importers, as well as related service providers, are at stake in maintaining their business premises, paying off bank loans, rent and paying the salaries of their employees. Since the industry was only at the recovery stage after the Easter attack, most vehicle importers carried out importation with minimum stock, as the holding cost of our industry is substantial,” it said.
Hence currently there are a large number of showrooms and importers in the country who are without a single vehicle in their showrooms and are struggling to survive and to pay their employees, the Association added.
“If the ban is to continue further, they will be forced to close down their business and make all their employees redundant. As per the calculation carried out by VIASL, around 100,000 direct and indirect employees will have to be made redundant if the ban is to continue further, the Association said.
This would mean around 350,000-400,000 dependents of these employees would be facing severe financial difficulties threatening survival, they added.