Feb 12, 2017

Approval given on AG’s advice

Eight containers containing used vehicle parts released from the Customs to its consignee who is engaged in vehicle assembling was based on a decision made by the cabinet of ministers on the basis of legal advice given by the Attorney General. This Cabinet decision was communicated to the Sri Lanka Customs by the Secretary to Treasury and not at the will of the finance minister, as certain parties with vested interests were trying to mislead the general public with ulterior motives of tarnishing the image of the Minister Ravi Karunanayake, said the director of information of the ministry of finance in a statement.

A private company called Vehicle Lanka pvt Ltd which is engaged in assembly of vehicles making use of the used spare parts had commenced its operation after year 2005. Since then as they encountered with numerous legal barriers they had filed over 20 court cases and FR applications in the Supreme Court. One such Fundamental Right case filed in 2012 has been amicably settled with Transport Ministry and as a result the company was given permission by the then Commissioner of Motor Traffic to engage in vehicle assembling. As even this decision meted out with barricades the company had filed a case against the Commissioner of Motor Traffic too.

The Supreme Court decision on the last FR case No 304 filed in 2011, was delivered in the year 2015, and the Cabinet appointed a Sub- committee appointed in this regard under the chairmanship of the minister of Transport Mr. Nimal Siripala de Silva after having considered the legal opinion from the Attorney General decided to give three year concession to the company to be engaged in vehicle assembling business on the condition of withdrawing all the pending court cases.

The ministry of Finance as these actions come under its purview, in October 2016 submitted a paper to the cabinet of ministers for its consideration but not due to any personal interest on the part of minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayeke to help an individual company.

It has been brought to the notice of the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake that certain politicians and media are engaged in tarnishing his image with malicious intention to portray that the Minister Ravi Karunanayake is trying to help this particular company.The minister Ravi Karunanayake condemns these acts while rejecting the allegations.