7/18/2011

No cars and no busses too to less affluent Sri Lankans

Sri Lanka government's new regulations regarding the vehicle import shows that the rulers are in need of making the car a luxury item that is restricted to affluent classes.

A new directive stipulates that only cars less than two years old could be imported. This comes on top of the increase of the effective total tax rate for petrol cars with standard engines with capacities below 1,000 cc from 95 percent to 120 percent. These cars are the type that is affordable for most of the lower middle class people.

The government increased the duty for poor man's trishaw also from 38 percent to 50 percent.

Motor Traffic Chief B.D.L. Dharmapriya said to the Sunday Times that with per capita income increasing rapidly, the government might soon impose a total ban on the import of used vehicles. He said a similar policy was enforced in Singapore which no longer imported used vehicles.

But does the increase of per capita income really show the development? Simply, it increases the income disparities more than it develops the country?

For instance, are the public transport systems developing per se the said increase of per capita income?

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