The vehicles have been sent to the Hambantota port.
Sources at the port say that the shipment included buses and lorries in addition to small cars.
In a gazette notification issued on May 22, motor vehicles were included in imports which were halted. Sources say that vehicle importers are attempting to release this stock under the guise that they were ordered before the gazette was issued.
Jobs at risk!
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Vehicle Importers' Association (VIASL) says that they will be compelled to close down their businesses and lay off employees if the ban on vehicle imports continue.
As this would mean many jobs including accountants, sales executives, drivers, assistants, security guards and technicians would be at risk, the VIASL urges the government to address this issue urgently.
Arosha Rodrigo, Secretary of the VIASL says that although the government has decided to suspend the import of vehicles amid a foreign exchange crisis, this will adversely affect vehicle importers as well as the Sri Lankan economy.
They also note that production or assembly of vehicles locally is not a solution to the above problems and that this economic policy is a strategy that will not add any value to the country's economy.