24 January, 2021

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Ravi Imports Super Luxury Benz, While Ordering Public To Tighten Their Belts

While the public was ordered to tighten their belts, and pay up increased taxes, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake this month imported a brand new super luxury Mercedes Benz from Germany with a duty free vehicle permit, which resulted in the country losing millions of rupees in revenue.

The total tax waived off for Karunanayake’s luxury Benz which was imported on November 2, 2016 is approximately Rs. 29 million on the vehicle. The custom’s declaration form in possession of the Colombo Telegraph has been signed by the Finance Minister himself.ravi-karunanayake-imports-duty-free-super-luxury-benz

According to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, which issued the permit to Karunanayake, the CIF value of the vehicle should be US $ 62,500 or any other currency equivalent to this amount for a petrol or diesel vehicle, and Karunanayake can import any vehicle of his choice and no limit was granted to the engine capacity of the vehicle.

Meanwhile in a letter addressed to the Director General of Customs, lawyer and rights activist Nagananda Kodituwakku in a letter dated November 10, 2016 accused the Director General of intentionally violating the Constitutional rights conferred in all citizens in terms of Article 14A (1) (b) of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Right to Information Act No 12 of 2016 and also the provisions of Section 6 Paragraph XLVII of Volume II of the Establishment Code – to obtain the said information helped with the office of the Director General of Customs.ravi-karunanayake-imports-super-luxury-benz

Kodituwakku accused the Director General of Customs that he had not only violated the public trust placed in his office, but had abused his office to protect the interest of dishonest politicians, while also helping them in unjust enrichment by defrauding the government revenue.

At least 77 MPs in Parliament have used their duty free permits to purchase luxury vehicles in 2016 alone, which has resulted in the country losing billions of rupees in revenue.

Most of the vehicles that have been imported have been Toyota Land Cruisers, Hummers, BMW’s and Mercedes Benz. In July, Kodituwakku told the Supreme Court that the MPs instantly make as much as Rs. 25 million for each permit they sold, which they receive free of charge from the government.

After coming to power, the Maithripala Sirisena – Ranil Wickremesinghe led administration, having appraised the colossal losses sustained under the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, in its first budget presented in the parliament on November 20, 2015 declared that government had incurred a heavy loss of over 40 billion rupees on tax free car permits, therefore the administration proposed to abolish all such permits altogether including the permits issued to MPs which was openly abused by them.

However, few months later, the same Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake who presented the initial fiscal policy statement made a U turn and made an order (published in the Gazette (No 1965/2 of 02nd May 2016) under Sec 3C of Excise (Special Provisions) Act exempting levies on motor vehicles imported by MPs with CIF value up to US $ 62,500/. However, as required by the law to protect the government revenue, there was no condition whatsoever imposed against the abuse of such permits, allowing MPs to sell their permits in the open market.

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Latest comments

  • 22
    0

    What needs to be done in my is to review the tax benefit to the MPs
    Limit the value of the vehicle and ban the sale of the permit or the vehicle for five years. If any of these to be sold the Duty component should be paid.

    Also the Auditor General should publish a annual statement of ” cost to country” For the purpose of financial Yhapalanya

    • 22
      6

      Corrupt and disgusting Ranil Wickriamashinge and his corrupt Finance Minister should be arrested and put in Prison for the bond scam.

      Ranil has entrenched a culture of corruption in the parliament of morons that is even worse than Mahinda Jarapassa.

      Lets hope thatAnura Kumara and JVP will win next election time because otherwise,Gotabaya Jarapassa will win like Trump at the next presidential election!

    • 2
      0

      [Edited out] we are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

  • 26
    1

    This is whats happening since Independence , these politicians from both party come into power, clean the country all of its wealth and go. The poor masses paying up and keep electing again & again these “Trump” like politicos.Why is SL cost of living going up & away because of these crooks. The people should be taught about it & have power to control these by taking to the streets and protesting…Does Mr. Ravi need a Benz to travel ,why not a Skoda or Hyundai from Russia or Korea.
    Very soon it will be hard to live in Srilanka…unless these and all other waste are brought under control. Just see what’s happening to SL airlines.The same will happen to hotel industries..We will have white elephants soon.

  • 20
    0

    So far Sri Lankans have been very unlucky and unfortunate in not getting a honest and strong leader who is only concerned about increasing the quality of life of his people and not blinded by the power and prestige he or she receives after getting elected to the highest position in the country by the people. Very sad indeed!

  • 3
    9

    If this is not selling of permit with his own money. why not go after people sold permit poor journalism.,

    • 13
      0

      He imported the car using his permit! That resulted in a loss of revenue for the country. The businessman who bought the Rolls-Royce Wraith paid taxes more than 2-twice that of the car value! The Finance Minister imposing taxes on people should have known better. There average Sri Lankan buying motorbikes and threewheelers also have to pay inclusive of taxes, yet Ravi doesn’t have problem making maximum use of tax concessions? Now thats a hypocrite and thank you Colombotelegraph for brining this to light.

  • 19
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    What a hypocrite!

    • 2
      0

      Day light ROBBERY by political BANDITS.

  • 12
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    We live in a terribly flawed system in which life is conducive for politicians and crooked businessman.

    So many dreams for yahapalanaya have been destroyed by the attitude of the Presidenent and PM. I am not surprised by Ravi’s action and motives but never expected the President and PM to be party to the looming debacle ahead of us.

    Looks like Sirisena’s sons matter has been permanently buried. Has the media been bought?

  • 7
    0

    Presently an Indian MP is entitled to a loan of Rs 4 lakh to purchase a vehicle and the loan is recovered from the MP’s salary in sixty equal installments.

    Our MPs used to travel by train. But 39 years ago, first time in Sri Lanka ජුනියස් රිචඩ් ජයවර්ධන passed a law for MPs get duty free luxury vehicles. At that time most of the MPs got Mitsubishi Jeeps.

  • 4
    0

    he should resign. Shame

  • 3
    0

    Import is by a private company presumably owned by the Minister. If that company has actually earned profit that enables the import AND the company has paid its taxes, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong. If other MPs and Ministers too have the same entitlement, what’s the fuss ? The article says the permit was issued for a cif value of $62,500, but the invoice copy published shows a value of $55,000.

  • 6
    3

    Duty free car entitlement of is a law which he didn’t break. He may have done other things to break the law but not in this instance.

    About “What a hypocrite!” all Sri Lankan Buddhist are hypocrites including you me President, PM and JO.

  • 4
    1

    Not a big issue a cabinet minister or defense chief or PM buying BMW, Benz or Prado,. common stuff right ? we see 1000s of them on road not a big news guys

  • 1
    0

    A number of budget proposals are aimed at earning commissions to this utterly corrupt finance minster. Giving 175,000 tabs at at least 50,000 each will bring him a commission of 8 million!

    • 0
      0

      Tabs are not that expensive now. You can buy some modles for less than RS5000.

  • 0
    0

    Pls let us know the name of thd insurace company. It is very cheap.

    • 0
      0

      Mr Rathana pay US$464 as insurance as against US$20 paid by MrKarunka.

  • 0
    0

    When this is costing US$65,000 in USA how can he buy this for US$53,737. Any one an challange this in courts.

  • 3
    0

    While the Salawa armory was on fire and the properties of innocent folks in and around that camp were being totally destroyed the Yahapalana government wanted to buy duty-free vehicles for all MPs. Everyone including media was against it and the authorities pretended that they would not go ahead with the idea since they too felt sorry about the Salawa people.
    Recently the poor folks who were affected by the fire staged several protests since the government has so far failed to pay compensation that these people are rightfully entitled to. However, now we can see Mercedes Benz, Toyota Land cruisers, BMWs, and also a Hummer have arrived in Sri Lanka to serve the ‘hardworking’ PM, Ministers, and MPs of the Diyavanna Palace complex. All these luxury cars are ‘gas-guzzlers’ and the innocent tax-payers have to pay not only the initial cost but the ongoing recurrent cost too.
    Thanks to CT; we saw Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s luxury Mercedes Benz and Venerable Athuraliye Ratana’s Toyota LCruiser. I am just curious if these men and women have any idea of what they are doing. Do they know the meaning of the word ‘shame’? The order paper clearly shows these shameless hypocrites ordered these vehicles just after the Salawa fire! Whom are they trying to fool?

  • 0
    0

    The rule for parliamentarians and ministers in particular is:
    Make hay while the sun shines.
    One is never sure that the sun will set on their career; so one never takes chances.
    Why should Ravi K be an exception to the rule?

  • 0
    0

    Sri Lankan Donald Trump where are you .?.

  • 2
    0

    Why should Politicians be entitled to Extra Perks!

    They are supposed to Serve the People, but they seem to be Serving themselves and their Families, with the Biggest Ladle they can Find!

  • 0
    0

    As usual the UNP hierarchy is out of touch with grass roots politics. In the past also UNP leaders, notably Ranil Wickremesinghe, callous disregard to the plight of ordinary people. How they eat and how they dress and how they eke out an existence. This is the reason that UNP had a long spell in the wilderness. While asking ordinary people to tighten their belts the Finance Minister imports a state of the art Mercedes Benz. Yet both Ranil and Ravi has the audacity to speak about a yahapalanaya government. It is this type disconnect with ordinary folks that cost Hillary Clinton her bid to become the president of US.

  • 0
    0

    If this vehicle is sold by the government, our cost of living will come down. What have they contributed towards the country after getting free education.? Shame!

  • 0
    0

    As usual, the UNP hierarchy is out of touch with the grass roots. In the past also UNP leaders, notably Ranil Wickremesinghe, callous disregard to the plight of ordinary people. How they eat and how they dress and how they struggle for existence. This is the reason that UNP had a long spell in the political wilderness. While asking ordinary people to tighten their belts the Finance Minister imports a luxury Mercedes Benz. Only preaching but never practice what he preaches to the people. Both Ranil and Ravi has the audacity to speak about a Yahapalanaya government. Does selling duty of free vehicle permits to big Medallist and pocketing at least Rs.3 million profit prick their conscience?  Is this not corruption at the highest level? As some one said is this not day light robbery? It is this type of disconnect and insensitiveness towards ordinary folks that cost Hillary Clinton her bid to become the president of US. Not surprisingly, the leader of the   Joint Opposition Dinesh Gunewardane who otherwise breaths fire and brimstone against corruption and waste by the ruling coalition has staunchly defended both the issue and sale of duty free vehicles/permits. It is obvious he is also hand in glove with this racket.
     

  • 0
    0

    The robbery of public resources that people’s representatives indulge in is the result of people’s ignorance and apathy. A large proportion of the people think that the leaders are entitled to the comforts they enjoy owing to their past merits. I have seen how the poorest brag about the opulence displayed by their representatives. They feel homered when these thieves attend their funerals, puberty ceremonies, weddings etc. why else would the people keep electing these rogues and thugs 85 years after receiving Universal Franchise and 68 years after independence?

    Aananda

  • 0
    0

    Galleon Ravi gave instant lottery tickets to colleagues with a guaranteed winning of at least USD Three Hundred Thousand.

    All UNP members plus the 56 others, whom the UNP Leader recruited from Aiyo Sira’s Labor Hire Firm got this lottery ticket, and became instant LKR Multi Millionaires in just 12 months of Yahapalanaya.

    So what is wrong with Galleon helping with one for himself.

    With the Missus and the Darling Daughter now having to visit the Yahapalana Port often for property inspection, and rent collection they need another set of wheels for sure..

    They can’t just Drive a Hindian Maruti made in Thamil Nad for inspection tours of a Commercial Property, which needed LKR 400 Million just as the down payment.

    Wonder whether it is the BOC which arranged the mortgage?.

    And how much is the price of Keeramin , with Galleon’s new Value Added Tax to pay for these revenue losses to the Yahapalana Budget.

  • 0
    0

    To put it in Ravi Karunanayaka’s words ” Now stomach it till the next election ok”……………..

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