JVP Leader Anura Dissanayake has charged that the current government repeats the very mistakes committed by its predecessor. That is against people’s mandate. Speaking in Parliament, he stated that the Government had lost an income of Rs. 4,700 million, due to a massive fraud of undervaluing and importing 710 Toyota Prado Jeeps in 2015. He accused Finance Minister of interfering in the investigations into this fraud and had helped the vehicle importing businessmen involved in it to release the undervalued jeeps from Customs.
He added that In 2015, 930 Toyota Prado jeeps had been imported to Sri Lanka. Out of them, 710 had been undervalued. The Customs commenced investigations on the other 180 jeeps. The number of jeeps released without any investigation were 530. The Finance Minister ordered the release of those 180 vehicles by charging Rs. 1.6 million from each vehicle and the total amount collected was Rs. 300 million. However, if duty was charged correctly, the total amount the Government should have received was Rs. 1,500 million. The loss from these 180 vehicles alone was Rs. 1,200 million. The government has lost another Rs. 3,500 million for the rest of the 530 vehicles which had been released without any investigation. Therefore, approximately Rs. 4,700 million the Government coffers should have received had gone into the hands of few businessmen.
He further stated that the Gazette Notification issued by the Finance Minister had been detrimental to the investigations concerning the fraud. He asked the Government to hold a proper investigation on the racket of undervaluing and importing vehicles from Japan, adding that this scam affected tax revenue and foreign exchange of the country as well.